Monday, November 19, 2007

11/16 - Lawsuit may halt Jekyll development plan > Business
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/16/07

IMAGE: Glory Beach on the south end of Jekyll Island. Cumberland Island can be seen in the background. Jekyll Island is the 7.5-mile barrier island and state park along Georgia's coast and has long been known for its casual atmosphere. Developers are proposing to build condominiums, retail stores and other structures, however, on the island's undeveloped south end. David Tullis/AJC

Jekyll Island's massive re-development plans may be in jeopardy after a developer who wasn't chosen to build the state park's "town center" sued to stop the $352 million project.

Wade Shealy Jr. has filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court, claiming the authority unfairly awarded the "town center" project to Linger Longer LLC. He seeks an injunction to keep the Greensboro, Ga.-based developer from proceeding with plans for more than 1,100 hotel, condo and time-share units fronting the Atlantic Ocean.

The authority has maintained that the process was fair. It selected Linger Longer – developers of the upscale Reynolds Plantation east of Atlanta – in late September after considering bids by Shealy's group and the Trammell Crow Co.

"The whole process was flawed; a lot of the procedures were violated," Shealy said. "Our goal is to get a judge to stop (Linger Longer) from going forward with any contracts signed and to have the bid re-done."

Linger Longer and the authority held public hearings this week, and will hold others next week, over the redevelopment plans. Selected as the island's master planner, Linger Longer has yet to sign a contract.

Shealy contends that the authority violated state procurement law while engaging in "an arbitrary and capricious act." He claims that the authority

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