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Reynolds hopes to recapture market



Article Published: Oct. 19, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Reynolds Blue Ridge has released more details for the former Laurelmor project in southeastern Watauga County.

The 6,200-acre development is now selling lots of between one and four acres and capitalizing on the Reynolds Signature Communities image developed over the last quarter-century by the parent company.

Reynolds Signature Communities developed Reynolds Plantation in Georgia, Hammock Beach and Reunion Resort in Florida and Cobblestone Park in South Carolina. The company's stated philosophy is of providing "a peaceful, vibrant family retreat."

Reynolds Blue Ridge has a sales office In downtown Blowing Rock, headed by sales manager Chris England. Infrastructure work is continuing with nearly 20 miles of paved roads finished this autumn as well as entry gates, central water and sewer systems, electricity and communications systems.

"We searched the western Carolina mountains for a property that could become the next Reynolds Signature Community, and the views, natural features and great location of this property will provide the basis for the nationally recognized Reynolds lifestyle," said company chairman Mercer Reynolds in a press release.

"The Reynolds name has come to represent a trusted lifestyle brand in the Southeast, and this first Reynolds-named community away from Reynolds Plantation will live up to the high standards we set for our communities and ourselves."

Reynolds took over the property in December after the Laurelmor owner, Ginn Company, faced financial difficulties and the threat of foreclosure. Reynolds plans an architectural change to favor a more rustic mountain style, which will also be featured at the entrances.

The new architect for the 18-hole golf course is Rees Jones, with the planned route and hole layouts nearly complete. Jones has designed more than 100 golf courses and also revamps courses that will be used for the U.S. Open golf tournament.

Several miles of hiking trails are also under development as well, and company officials predicted a surge in interest that will boost the economies of Watauga and Wilkes counties. The new owners are working with the Stewart Simmons Volunteer Fire Department to place a new substation on the development. Other projects include a clubhouse, tennis courts, wellness facilities, cultural and arts programs and an Adventure Center.

Nearly 180 property owners were notified about the changes, including an adjustment of future lot prices, though the first phase of the development will be largely unchanged from what has already been approved by planning officials.

The company's Web site is at http://www.reynoldsblueridge.com.

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