Development in North Carolina Sold

Greensboro, Ga.-based Reynolds Signature Communities, a subsidiary of Linger Longer Communities LLC, said in a news release in late December it has acquired Laurelmor, a 6,200-acre master-planned golf and equestrian community west of Blowing Rock, N.C.

The new owner developed Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee near Greensboro, Ga. A purchase price for Laurelmor was not released.

According to published reports, Ginn Development Co., the former developer of Laurelmor, nearly lost the community to foreclosure earlier this year when it failed to make principal and interest payments on a $675 million credit facility on the development and other properties.

The sale is part of an agreement with Ginn Development's lenders, including Credit Suisse, according to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal.

"We are very excited to extend the Reynolds lifestyle to this beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain setting," Mercer Reynolds, chairman of Reynolds Signature Communities, said in a press release. "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."

According to the release, the community will be re-launched in the second half of 2009.

Work initiated on the Laurelmor development in 2006. Ginn sold 200 lots and built roads into the community, but sales have since slumped due to the poor economy, according to the Journal report. The Journal said the value of the deed transfer to Reynolds' subsidiaries was $32 million, according to property records.

"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," Terry Russell, president of Reynolds Signature Communities, said in the release. "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."