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Margaritaville moves ahead

Subheadline: 
55-and-older development garners interest, on track for 2018 finish

  • Jim Quirk, a Sun City resident, reviewed one of the maps with the developers with Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head during a Forum Club meeting. The developers were invited to provide an update to those living in Sun City on Nov. 17. Photos by Shellie Murdaugh/ Jasper County Sun Times
  • Sun City residents had the chance to receive an update and look at some drawings from the developers of Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head during a Forum Club meeting Nov. 17. Photo by Shellie Murdaugh/Jasper County Sun Times
  • Jim Quirk, Vice President of the Forum Club in Sun City, introduced those who provided an update on the Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head development to the crowd during the final Forum Club meeting on Nov. 17. Photo by Shellie Murdaugh/Jasper County Sun Times
  • City of Hardeeville Mayor Harry Williams welcomed the crowd and spoke about the benefits the new Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head development will bring to the entire Lowcountry as well as Hardeeville. Photo by Shellie Murdaugh/Jasper County Sun Times

More than 100,000 people — the majority from the Lowcountry — have shown interest in two existing Latitude Margaritaville properties in Hardeeville and Florida, according to its developers.

“Over 100,000 people have registered on the website,” said Dow Drury, Director of Construction for Latitude Margaritaville at Magnolia Hall in Sun City on Friday. “The interesting thing about that number is there were not just tire kickers taking a look, there were people who gave information about what kind of amenities they were looking for in their housing, and where they want to locate. There is a large percentage in that number serious about joining the Margaritaville lifestyle.”

Drury spoke to a crowd about the recently opened Daytona Beach and developing Hardeeville sites during the final meeting of the Forum Club. He was joined by city of Hardeeville Mayor Harry Williams, John Binder, Director of Community Development for Latitude Margaritaville and Ofer Fridfertig, one of the principals of Sutton Properties.

“For those of you who live in Hardeeville, this is going to add a tremendous tax base,” Williams said.

Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head is a 2,739-acre, 55-and-older community on U.S. 278 about 2.5 miles off Interstate 95 that developers say will include around 3,000 homes, a resort-style pool, tennis and pickleball courts and arts and learning programs.

Latitude Margaritaville in Daytona Beach opened Monday and Drury said more than 300 people attended the event. He said people waited more than 12 hours to get in line to reserve lots.

“We opened Daytona on Monday and it was like you were at a tailgate party or a Jimmy Buffet concert,” Drury said. “We took 162 reservations on the first day, so it was a huge success. People didn’t just come from the immediate area, they were from all over.”

Binder said a sales center on the Hardeeville property is in drywall. The sales center is planned to open in the next couple of months. He said they are looking at first quarter as their timeline to get started with sales.

“We’ve started the clearing process and we’re about four months behind where Daytona is,” he said. “It’s about a six-month process to start delivering lots in this area. We will start building houses in the beginning of 2018, looking to deliver finished homes in the second and third quarter of 2018.”

Binder said Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head is going to be more single-family residential homes and includes a villa concept. They will offer 50- and 60-foot lots.

“A lot of concepts that you will see in Daytona will be similar in the new location as far as products go,” he said. “It’s about the food, it’s about the friends, and it’s about the music,” he said. “We are tying in the Lowcountry into our designs.”

Drury said homes would start around $200,000, with several designs available.

Fridfertig said amenities would be brought into Hardeeville as his company partners with Minto.

“Our company is based on neighborhood centers, outlet centers, things that would bring amenities to local communities,” he said. “What we’ve found in Hardeeville is the incredible can-do attitude of the folks who work at the city.”

Fridfertig said a developing retail center, in a 72-acre area, will be open to the public, located right in the entrance of the development. He said it will be a destination shopping, dining and entertainment venue.

“Our intent is, within the next several years, to build a destination center that will bring both outsiders and local residents to a great entertainment area,” he said. “We appreciate the efforts that both the Hardeeville folks as well as Jasper County and the state as a whole have offered to us already. It’s been a huge help.”

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