On October 6, 2008, Linger Longer Communities (LLC) revealed a revised town center plan that radically reduces the size and built environment contained in LLC’s original proposal. In his presentation, LLC’s project manager, Jim Langford, outlined the public concerns that he said led to the changes in the plan. Those concerns, which included the project’s size, location, and impact on affordability, on beach access, and on Jekyll’s environment and wildlife habitats, are the ones that many of you have voiced over the past year, either through the comments you made in the IPJI surveys you completed or in letters and phone calls during our various political action campaigns.
Your active support of Jekyll’s protection empowered the IPJI to speak on behalf of thousands of Jekyll’s visitors, giving us credibility as an organization, media visibility, political weight, and a measure of influence with LLC and the JIA. Thanks are due to each and every one of you for taking the time, for making the effort, to preserve Jekyll’s traditional character and protect its critters and environment. You’ve shown that grassroots civic action can really make a difference!
Please note that the protect Jekyll campaign will not end with the town center project.
•We need to examine carefully the terms of the public-private partnership contract that is now being negotiated between the JIA and LLC, particularly with regard to amount of authority being given to LLC for park management, operations, and pricing. •We need to study further the Bleakly Advisory Group's (BAG) "Analysis of the Long Term Impacts of Development on Jekyll Island," a document which forecasts an increase in Jekyll’s lodgings and residence from the existing 1,600 units to 3,700 units by the year 2023 as a means of generating the revenues to pay for infrastructure needs and capital improvement projects identified by the JIA. •We need to push for adoption of Jekyll Island’s Conservation Plan and to ensure that development does not adversely affect the park’s environmentally sensitive areas or wildlife habitats.
Main Components of the Town Center Plan
The project site has been reduced from 63 acres to 22 acres, and the cost from $352 million to $100 million.
The number of hotels has been reduced from three to two, with plans for the upscale 400-room hotel having been abandoned. The total number of hotel rooms has been reduced from 725 to 350.
The 277 unit condo village has been abandoned. If condos are included in the new plan, they will be built as loft units above the retail shops, and would be limited to 70 or so units.
Beachview Drive is not being rerouted as planned, but rather will intersect with Jekyll's entrance parkway in a Y shaped fashion, without any loss of the current view of the ocean. This change in road design will necessitate amending Jekyll’s Master Plan, since 1.75 acres of undeveloped land will be affected.
No development will take place north of the convention center - the children's playground and miniature golf course will stay where they are. The parking areas north of the convention center will be reconfigured and rehabilitated at the JIA’s expense.
The north (main) part of the convention center will be being renovated; the south part will be rebuilt. The total size of the new convention center will be close to that of the existing structure.
The 160 time-share units that were in the original plan are in the new plan as well and will be located between the convention center and the Days Inn.
Site Map of the New Town Center Plan