The auction of the 14.5 acre beachfront Jekyll Oceanfront Clarion Resort property just ended (2:45 pm, March 10, 2011). The opening bid was set at $1.8 million; the final bid was $4.750 million.
Today, March 17, 2011, IPJI learned that the winning bid was not accepted by the owners of the Jekyll Oceanfront Resort, leaving the future of property up in the air. Hopefully, this situation will be resolved satisfactorly before the summer season is underway.
The previous owners of the Oceanfront Resort intended to convert the northern half of the complex to condominiums and to build a new hotel on the southern part, but that plan floundered due to a weak economy, forcing the closure of the resort earlier this year.
The online auction website says the property could be converted to an upscale nameplate, such as a Crowne Plaza, but JIA spokesperson Eric Garvey said the Authority is not aiming for a high-end hotel to be built on the land. "We're really looking for something that functions most like the original property did," Garvey said. The original property included some 263 hotel rooms, with an average daily room rate of around $90 in recent years.
The addition of a new or renovated and modestly-priced Jekyll hotel, which apparently is the Jekyll Island Authority’s preference, would complement nicely the pair of hotels to be built as part of the Jekyll town center project, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2012.
Property auction under way
The Brunswick News
By ERIKA CAPEK
The now-shuttered Jekyll Oceanfront Clarion Resort is being sold in two-day online auction that ends today, with bids so far at only a fraction of its appraised value.
The 14.5 acre beachfront motel at 975 Beachview Drive on Jekyll Island was appraised in June at $11.6 million. The opening bid Tuesday afternoon was set at $1.8 million, and by the end of the business day Wednesday the online auction site auction.com had a high bid of just over $2 million for the 166-room and villas motel.
A victim of a weak economy, the Jekyll Oceanfront Clarion Resort that once operated 263 units was abruptly closed in late January by its owner. One plan to convert part of the complex to condominiums for sale and another to tear down part of the building to make way for a new hotel both failed.
The online auction website says the property could be converted to an upscale nameplate, such as Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn Resort.
Jekyll Island Authority spokesperson Eric Garvey said the authority has received numerous calls about the property. Because Jekyll Island is a state park, land is leased to motel operators, and the authority board would have to approve any new lease to operate the site.
"We're optimistic that someone is going to be able to purchase that property and make some good things happen with it," Garvey said.
He said the authority is not looking for an upscale hotel to be built on the land.
"We're really looking for something that functions most like the original property did," Garvey said. "An ideal situation would be for someone to pick up the pieces and carry it forward and continue to make improvements on that property."
The auction comes at a time when the state is pumping millions of dollars into new, modern facilities and making plans to increase the number of conventions on the island.