Atlanta's Jacoby Development plans 700-acre project on Georgia coast

July 2, 2020, by David Allison, Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Atlanta’s Jacoby Development is planning a 700-acre mixed-use project in Camden County on Georgia’s coast.

The project, called Cumberland Inlet, calls for the redevelopment of approximately 722 acres of the former Durango Paper Mill site located within the city of St. Marys, and adjacent to the North River. The proposed project envisions 1,176,000 square feet of marina and marina facilities; a 140-room boutique hotel; 50,000 square feet of commercial, office and retail space, 1,200 multi-family units (apartments, condos, vacation rentals), and a 4.8 million-square-foot eco-tourism park, according to plans filed with the state of Georgia.

See site plans here. The county and the company have been discussing the project since the beginning of this year.

“We are truly very excited to partner with a developer like Jim Jacoby to repurpose the former Gilman Paper Mill site in St. Marys,” said James Coughlin, executive director of the Camden County Joint Development Authority, in an email to Atlanta Business Chronicle. “This site once employed 1,200 people and was the economic driver for our region. It has sat dormant for 18 years however and frankly has been an eyesore and a source of frustration on our otherwise pristine coastal community. The city and county worked together to create a TAD [tax allocation district] back in 2015 and the Camden Joint Development Authority worked for 2 years to get a marina permitted on the site. We were finally awarded the permit in 2019 right before Jacoby Development got under contract on the site. He has long been interested in St. Marys and recently told us that the groundwork done by the local community made the opportunity even more attractive. Really, it’s the right developer, with the right idea, in the right community, at the right time.”

Jacoby Development is probably best known in Atlanta for Atlantic Station in Midtown, and for Porsche North America’s headquarters near the Atlanta airport. In 2014 the company proposed to develop a movie studio and mixed-use project in Norcross, but it never moved forward.

Jacoby Development could not be reached immediately for further comment on Cumberland Inlet.

The Camden County Joint Development Authority Board approved a joint development agreement between the Authority, Jacoby Development, the city of St. Marys and Camden County at its June 18 board meeting.

“The vote today is a key step in bringing a public/private partnership to fruition that is designed to transform the former mill site property into an exciting endeavor that will bring new jobs, industry and commerce and tourism opportunities to Camden County,” JDA Board Chairman Jeff Barker said in a statement. “The economic benefit of this venture is the most significant in JDA’s history.”

Barker went on to say that, “Any public/private partnership that involves over 700 acres with plans for a marina, apartments, hotels, eco tourism and nature preserves requires complex financing. This development agreement includes both the criteria the developer must meet in order for the JDA to issue bonds and the method for repayment of those bonds. It also details the extent and limits of TAD funding. Most importantly, it permits the developer with the elements of financing vehicles he needs to obtain firm commitments from quality sub developers.”

The Joint Development Authority is on schedule to approve bond issuance at its regular July board meeting. If all goes according to plan, Jacoby Development would close on the property in August, Barker said in a statement.

Source : Atlanta Business Chronicle