On Thursday, June 18th, the Camden County Joint Development Authority entered into a development agreement with Jacoby Development Inc. of Atlanta. The Development agreement marks a key step in redeveloping the former Gilman/Durango Mill Site into a nearly 700-acre mixed-use facility that could include a marina, dry-stacks, a town center featuring restaurants and retail, luxury housing, market-rate apartments, a signature hotel, eco-tourism opportunities, and more. Jeff Barker, Chairman of the Board, said “the economic benefit of this venture is the most significant in JDA’s history.” John Loudon, representing Jacoby Development, spoke to the public and the Board at the meeting to thank the Board and City of St. Marys officials for their cooperation and continued efforts to make this venture a reality.
Below is the official press statement that was released following the June 18th Board meeting, as well as the preliminary site plans.
“For Immediate Release
June 18, 2020
JDA Board Chairman Jeff Barker announced today that The Camden County Joint Development Authority Board has approved the 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. The economic benefit of this venture is the most significant in JDA’s history.
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.
With this Agreement now in place, JDA is on schedule to approve bond issuance at its regular July Board meeting. Because the Agreement includes numerous real estate negotiations, the document itself remains confidential until the developer actually closes on the property. If all goes according to plan, that closing should occur in August.
Officials from the city of St. Marys and the County have been briefed on the details of the Agreement and are comfortable with the elements relating to their entities. Both are expected to approve the Agreement later this month.”