Buckhead development takes off
By Ramsey Nix
GIM Synergy Lake Oconee, LLC broke ground last Tuesday morning in Buckhead, celebrating the commencement of construction at Kingston on Lake Oconee, a new master planned community in Morgan and Putnam counties. Standing under a tent in front of a field of freshly upturned red clay, chief operating officer Don Davis announced, “Kingston on Lake Oconee has broken ground. We’re moving forward on the first phase of development.”
That first phase should produce 400 new lots for prospective homebuyers. The developers are planning a golf course, pool and tennis center, lake club, and marina on the 1,187-acre plot of land located on the west side of Lake Oconee, a few miles from the Buckhead exit off I-20.
This is not Synergy’s first master planned residential community. According to marketing director Ashley Flo, the real estate developers have created award-winning residential developments in Woodstock and Canton.
Kingston has been in the works for three years as the developers sought out multi-jurisdictional support from Morgan and Putnam counties. According to Putnam County Commissioner Bob Landau, there were no irreconcilable differences between the counties, and the final 15-page development plan received unanimous support from both boards of commissioners.
According to a Kingston press release, the developers have planned for 1,370 single family, town home and lakeside villa sites. When asked how Kingston plans to attract buyers, given the state of the national economy, Davis said, “Compared to other similar projects around Lake Oconee, their lot prices are 30 percent to three times as much as ours. Kingston will have the same quality at a lower price.”
“We’re also attracting people with discretionary income– people who want to buy versus need to buy,” he continued.
According to sales director Ken McAfee, some local potential buyers have already expressed demand for sites at Kingston. The developers are currently interviewing local builders interested in the project.
“We are planning a broad marketing campaign,” said McAfee. “We have budgeted just under a million dollars for marketing.”