Friday, January 11, 2008

01/07 - Jekyll worries condos won't boost tourism

The Florida Times-Union
January 7, 2008
Times-Union Correspondent

JEKYLL ISLAND - Proposed beachfront condos on Jekyll Island are being designed for use by vacationers. But development watchdogs worry they could instead become part of an upscale condo village if restrictions aren't strong enough.

Were that to happen, it would go against the purpose of redeveloping the island, says David Egan of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island.

"The point of these, the whole pretext for building the condos is we would boost island visitation," he said. "You're not going to boost visitation much if you have two owners sitting in a condo 52 weeks of the year."

In response to concerns, the Jekyll Island Authority, the island's governing body, has promised Jekyll's new condominiums will operate as condo-hotel units, not as residences.

"The intent of the Jekyll Island Authority is to ... maximize the use of any new condominium as lease and vacation rental property," said Ben Porter, chairman of the authority board.

The authority has required developers to physically design their condos to be attractive as vacation rental properties. Units must allow one room to be locked out for use as a hotel room, so owners can more easily rent them.

Also, the lease agreement between the authority and the hotel/condominium complex developer assesses a penalty if condo owners occupy their unit for an extended period during the six-month peak tourism season.

However, the authority does not actually require owners to place their property into a rental pool: That option is left up to the owner.

Those monitoring island redevelopment have maintained an uneasy silence over the hotel-condo issue until a November real estate promotion for the upcoming Trammell Crow condominiums reignited fears.

A news release announced that Trammell Crow's 127 condo units, called The Residences at Canopy Bluff, would be "the first new residential offering on Jekyll Island in more than 35 years."

Mindy Egan, co-director of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island said: "You have to wonder what it means when the information going out to potential buyers is something that calls these vacation condominiums 'residences.' "

Mindy Egan said she called the real estate agent, Hodnett Cooper, for clarification.

"Pat Cooper told me, 'The authority cannot make the owner not live in something they buy. There'll be a surcharge and that will be the end of it,' " Egan said.

Developers' dream

Condominiums are a high-stakes issue with Jekyll Island redevelopment.

According to marketing director Eric Garvey, developers are keen toward building condominiums on Jekyll because they can turn around and sell these to private individuals for immediate profits.

"The developers would probably prefer to just build condos," Garvey said. "But we at the authority told them no, we want hotels. What we've done with the [hotel condominiums] is a bit of a compromise."

Trammell Crow's Buccaneer Hotel replacement will include 127 two-, three- and four-room vacation condominiums. Linger Longer Communities' town square center will include 277 condominiums. Unsuccessful bidders for the town square center project each proposed even greater numbers of condos.

Public's nightmare

On the other side of the issue, public opinion falls heavily against building new condominiums. A survey of more than 5,000 Jekyll Island visitors has shown than less than 10 percent favor new condominiums on Jekyll.

Sen. Jeff Chapman, who introduced legislation last year to prevent new private residences on Jekyll, said building condominiums that are used as private property goes against the grain.

"This is a state park. It's not private property," he said.

So far Hodnett Cooper is only taking $2,500 in refundable reservation money from those interested in the new Canopy Bluff condominiums.

Contract details won't be finalized until May, but Pat Cooper says the condominiums will likely sell as investment properties.

"Most of the people who have made inquiries have been investors. I've had 90 reservations so far, and I haven't heard from many people who want to live there," she said.

"You're in a hotel situation there, surrounded by other amenities. On July 4, when it's crowded, it wouldn't be so attractive for someone who wants to live there."

This story can be found on at


Sundarraj Jayaraj said...

I feel bad while am living this Alpine Peaks restaurant , wow i enjoyed every second there. I dono weather i ll get one like this in future

Anonymous said...

Hi !.
might , probably very interested to know how one can manage to receive high yields .
There is no initial capital needed You may begin to get income with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you haven`t ever dreamt of such a chance to become rich
The company represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

It is based in Panama with structures around the world.
Do you want to become a happy investor?
That`s your chance That`s what you wish in the long run!

I feel good, I began to get real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to select a correct partner utilizes your money in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
I earn US$2,000 per day, and what I started with was a funny sum of 500 bucks!
It`s easy to start , just click this link
and go! Let`s take our chance together to feel the smell of real money

Anonymous said...

Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you're working with? I'm planning to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something unique.
P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

My web site :: oily skin care

Anonymous said...

Hey! I know this is sort of off-topic however I needed to ask.
Does running a well-established website like yours take a massive amount work?
I am completely new to running a blog however I do write in my journal every day.

I'd like to start a blog so I will be able to share my personal experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

Here is my page - how to cure allergies