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Developer of Reynolds Plantation Acquires Ginn's Laurelmor Project in N.C.

As a result of the Ginn restructuring agreement with Credit Suisse, Reynolds Signature Communities acquires Laurelmor, planning a re-launch of the Blue Ridge Mountain community in the 2nd half of '09

By Toby Tobin
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Palm Coast, Florida – December 30, 2008 – As predicted in recent GoToby.com news stories, Ginn Company's Laurelmor community near Boone, N.C. has been acquired by the developer of Reynolds Plantation. The purchase was confirmed today by Reynolds Signature Communities, though the transaction occurred on December, 23, 2008 according to Watauga County, NC public records. As a result of an agreement between Ginn-LA and Credit Suisse on December 23, 2008, two other Ginn communities filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the US Bankruptcy law. The Laurelmor purchase is a result of the same negotiated settlement.
Based on documentary stamps in the two counties straddled by Laurelmor, the Winston-Salem Journal reports the transaction was worth a little more than $32 million. 
The Laurelmor sale is another step in what appears to be an unraveling of the once close working relationship between Bobby Ginn and his financial partner, Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler. Reportedly, the 2009 staff uniforms ordered for Reunion, Ginn's Orlando area resort, will not sport the Ginn logo.
Reynolds Signature Communities developed the Reynolds Plantation golf community on Lake Oconee. Another of the Reynolds entities, Linger Longer, recently took over the operational and future development responsibility for Cobblestone Park, a Ginn community in Columbia, S.C. Laurelmor is a 6,200 acre community in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Blowing Rock and Boone, N.C.   The property, which is currently in the early stages of development, features panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The community is ten miles to the west of the town of Blowing Rock, N.C., known as “The Crown of the Blue Ridge.” Laurelmor is also 12 miles from Boone, N.C., home of Appalachian State University. In addition to the offerings of these two charming towns, Laurelmor has an extensive list of planned amenities, including golf, nature trails, equestrian, wellness facilities and more. 
“We are very excited to extend the Reynolds lifestyle to this beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain setting,” states Mercer Reynolds, chairman of Reynolds Signature Communities. “My family was blessed with some magnificent waterfront land in the Oconee River Valley for Reynolds Plantation, and the mountains and ridges at this property are every bit as glorious. I think it is a great sister community for Reynolds Plantation.”
“Reynolds has been able to maintain solid sales through the recent real estate slowdown, largely due to the strength of the lifestyle created by the Reynolds family,” notes Terry Russell, president of Reynolds Signature Communities. “The Reynolds name is well-respected in the marketplace, and a luxury mountain community is a great compliment to what has been done at Lake Oconee.”
Headquartered in Lake Oconee, Georgia (between Atlanta and Augusta), Reynolds Signature Communities was formed in 1985 by Mercer Reynolds and Jamie Reynolds to develop Reynolds Plantation and the surrounding lake area.  Reynolds Plantation is an award-winning golf and lake community that has grown to feature 99 holes of championship golf and 80 miles of shoreline, as well as an AAA 5-diamond Ritz-Carlton Lodge.  Additional Reynolds Signature Communities include Reynolds Landing on Lake Oconee and Achasta in historic Dahlonega, Ga. 
reader comments
Currahee Club
Posted by JL
Jan 14, 2010, 5:39 pm
Any out there know the status of the Currahee Club in North GA?
Posted by Jeff Lemberskie
Oct 11, 2009, 11:09 am
If anyone out there has any insight to the Currahee Golf Community, Toccoa, GA regarding a foreclosure sale please let me know if there is any truth to Reynolds Group or The Cliffs Communities attempting to purchase the community.

Posted by Sam
Feb 19, 2009, 8:08 pm
I don't understand the logic in saying that Linger Longer will "go under" or that they won't be involved in Laurelmor after a few years. Have you SEEN their product? Their track record?? LL has a 20 year history of success in development and their portfolio is so diverse that no one purchase of a development will break them. They have successfully taken over 4 communities in the South East and just signed a deal for the Jekyll Island Project on the coast of GA. These folks are not rookies and they know how to invest well. They don't go throwing money around to look like important developers and they don't rob Peter to pay Paul in the process. I would be willing to bet that LL will not only be involved in Laurelmor after 10 years, but it will have acquired other similar developments in the Blue Ridge Mtns as well. If you need proof, you need to have visited Port Armor before it became Reynolds Landing (also on Lake Oconee) and you also need to visit Achasta. It couldn't have been done any better!
Posted by bryan
Jan 16, 2009, 10:21 am
or brjones@crescent-resources.com
look forward to talking.
Posted by John
Jan 10, 2009, 3:48 pm
I am no betting man. If I have learned anything from the past two years is that betting is for suckers. I'm only going after sure things moving forward.

With that said, I'm curious is you have some information that is not widely known as to why you think Laurelmor is going to be a bust for Linger Longer. Besides their horrible name for the company, they seem to be a very capable group with a very cheap piece of property on their hands.

I would be happy to chat about it with you off of this site if you wish but I don't know how that would work.
Posted by bryan
Jan 09, 2009, 6:20 pm

I will bet you a lunch that in five years Reynold Plantation will no longer be involved with Laurelmor and not because they sold out of lots. I hope you are correct.
I am not going to debate the success or failure of the future of Laurelmor on Toby's website. find me a different venue and we can continue our debate. until then, Lunch? 2014? name the spot.
Brian you are crazy
Posted by John
Jan 06, 2009, 10:42 pm
I won't say there is no way (based on the recent past there is always a way) but I think it is very unlikely that Linger Longer will go under from the acquisition of Laurelmor.

They paid $32M for a property is entitled, platted, and that has 95% of the infrastructure in place (note not the amenities), in a beautiful part of the country. They would almost need to TRY to screw this up.

The actual amount of ground work and development that has taken place up there is really mind blowing. Building in the mountains is not easy or cheap. They are way ahead of the curve on this project.
Posted by Bryan
Jan 06, 2009, 6:53 pm
Albatross now in place.

The good news for Laurelmor owners is that a solid company with a great track record will begin dumping lots of money into this development.

The bad news is this will drain and ruin a solid company.

The next good news will be... the "next" company will have to dump less money into Laurelmor after they buy it from a bankrupt Reynolds Developer.

It will take several developers, clueless financial backers, and many years to bring Laurelmor back from the dead.
Good News for Laurelmor
Posted by John
Jan 04, 2009, 2:41 pm
I have no idea what the new development plans are for Laurelmor but I think this is a huge step in the right direction for this project. I have been on property and I must admit that it is a spectacular area of this Country.

I would actually consider buying in Laurelmor now that Ginn is out. It will all depend on what comes out of the new owners.

Hopefully the Reynolds / Linger Longer have the ability to finish what was originally envisioned.
I told you so!
Posted by Tim Rogers
Dec 31, 2008, 1:14 pm
I made comments last month titled "What
if?" in regards to Reynolds (Linger Longer) stating that in my opinion Laurelmoor would be bought followed by BriarRose. One down, one to go!
As a resident of Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee and a fulltime realtor at RE/Max Lake Oconee, it is my business to know what is going on. I have been involved with BriarRose actively for over two years and have followed events to present. The success of BR has always been contingent with having access to Lake Oconee. Reynolds has the ability to now make that happen w/o purchasing additional lakefront tracts. With their insight and Adler's money, this bodes well for the 250+ property owners at BR.
At present there are 22 lots listed for sale on our local MLS of which several are in foreclosure. If the owners can hold on, Reynolds acquires the property, and the real estae market spikes, all should be fine.
Reynolds creates a casual but upscale environment with worldclass amenities. This ensures that investors will have a strong comfort zone in buying under their brand.

Tim Rogers

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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.