The following notes were taken at recent JIA Board meetings dealing with, 1) the lease for the replacement hotel and condominiums on the site of the former Georgia Coast Inn; and 2) the approval of the “Revitalization Partnering Agreement” between the JIA and Linger Longer Jekyll, LLC. The Partnering Agreement, which is a fifty-year contract, spells out the obligations and rights that Linger Longer Jekyll will have as the JIA’s private sector partner in the redevelopment and further development of the park. Details on the is posted on IPJI’s website.
Record of the Jekyll Island State Park Authority (JISPA) Teleconference Board Meetings of 25 November and 1 December 2008, as recorded for JICA, as recorded by Steven Y. Newell, Secretary, Jekyll Island Citizens Association
(Note: IPJI has placed some text in “bold” type for emphasis)
25 NOVEMBER MEETING (INN & COTTAGES LEASE)
Chairman Bob Krueger brought the meeting to order at 9:40 AM in the Conference Room. Board members on the conference telephone were Buddy DeLoach, Mike Hodges, Becky Kelley, Bob Krueger, Tom Lewis, and Sybil Lynn. Park Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks, Project Manager Jim Broadwell, Marketing Director Eric Garvey, and Accounting Director Marjorie Johnson were present in the conference room. Legal counsels George Zier and Brooks Stillwell, Oversight Committee member Senator Eric Johnson, and Bleakly Advisory Group employee Gary Mongeon (the Board’s Financial Consultant) were on the teleconference line. The audience numbered 3 persons.
Chairman Krueger reminded the audience that the teleconference was a Board meeting, and therefore no public comment would be accepted, and he wished a pleasant Thanksgiving to all.
Krueger noted that this meeting was called to present the Georgia Coast Inn lease, on which the Inn & Cottages at Georgia Coast are planned. He was pleased to be considering another component of the Board’s revitalization efforts. He announced that all Board members had copies of the ground lease, the financial analysis, and the summaries of the documents, but none of this information was presented to the audience. All Board members had been briefed by staff, legal advisors, and financial advisors. Krueger called for and received a motion and second for approval of the lease. No discussion was offered, and the vote was unanimously positive. Krueger requested that Director Hooks explain to the press that the Inn & Cottages project would bring a significant financial return to the Park Authority. Director Hooks asked Financial Consultant Mongeon to stay on the line so that the press could obtain information from him. Chairman Krueger then adjourned the meeting at 9:45 AM, and all Board members disconnected from the teleconference.
Brunswick News reporter Anna Ferguson was permitted to ask questions of Director Hooks, Manager Broadwell, and Consultant Mongeon, and Eric Garvey passed out a press release and drawing to the JICA representative and to reporter Ferguson. Ferguson inquired about the effect of the slumping economy on the Inn & Cottages project? Answer: the plans for the project got underway before the slump, and the Authority is optimistic that the partners in the project have their financial backing lined up. There is no risk to the Park Authority, because there are escape options in the financial agreements. Ferguson wondered when the groundbreaking would take place? Answer: there is a strict timeline that the project developers must follow, resulting in opening by April, 2011. Ferguson asked how the Park revenue would be affected? Answer: total income to the Park over the next 15 years is forecast at just under $7 million, which comes to $1.2 million per acre of the project, higher than any of the current revitalization projects now under consideration. There is also a forecasted dollar-for-dollar return to the Park from the monies spent by the visitors to the Inn & Cottages resort. [NB: the 3-4 bedroom cottages on the site are projected to sell for $990,000 each.]
1 DECEMBER MEETING (AGREEMENT WITH LINGER LONGER JEKYLL)
Chairman Krueger opened the meeting at 9:40 AM in Room 9 of the Convention Center, and reminded the audience that no comments or questions would be accepted. He and Board member Mike Hodges were present in the room, and all other Board members were on the teleconference line except for Buddy DeLoach (who is serving on a grand jury) and Ben Porter (who is ill). Also on the teleconference line were legal counsel Brooks Stillwell, Oversight Committee member Senator Eric Johnson, and Financial Consultant Gary Mongeon of Bleakly Advisory Group. Park Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks, Project Manager Jim Broadwell and Marketing Director Eric Garvey were present in the room, along with an audience of about 12 persons.
Chairman Krueger provided a review of the process leading to the meeting’s goal of approving the Private Revitalization Partner Agreement with Linger Longer Jekyll, Limited Liability Company (a new unit of Linger Longer Communities, or LLC). A request for proposals was issued in 2007. Linger Longer Communities’ proposal was selected. A negotiating team was put together to arrive at a contract agreement; the team included three of the nine Park Authority Board members (Ben Porter, Bob Krueger, Mike Hodges), and George Zier, Brooks Stillwell, Jones Hooks, Gary Mongeon, and Jim Broadwell. When Porter fell ill, Authority Board members Steve Croy and Buddy DeLoach were added to the team. The team has put before the Board the Revitalization Agreement. Conference calls have been held with the Board members who did not participate in the negotiations with LLC, during the last week of November. Krueger called for a motion to approve the Revitalization Partnership Agreement. Hodges obliged, and Tom Lewis provided a second.
Krueger called for discussion. Sam Kellett submitted a motion to table the issue of the Agreement until 8 December, so that those Park Authority Board members who were not on the negotiating team could familiarize themselves with the terms of the Agreement (some 70 pages long; no information about the contract was released at the meeting), and thereby gain a deeper understanding of the Agreement, and be qualified to provide feedback to the Chairman. Krueger asked whether there was a second to Kellett’s motion, and declared it failed when he heard no second. He then asked for a vote. Most Board members voted yes, but Kellett clearly voted no. Krueger declared the motion carried, and asked if there was other business. No one spoke up, and Krueger adjourned the meeting at 9:44 AM, after agreeing to get together with Director Hooks and place a call to Croy.
To read the contract agreement between the JIA and Linger Longer Jekyll click here.