Monthly Archives: September 2006

We don’t got no stinking bursting real estate bubbles round here

Pardon us real estate investors here in coastal Georgia if we sit out the long predicted real estate market collapse that is the cause of growing concern to investor’s nation wide. This much hyped possibility is a non event in the Lowcountry of coastal Georgia for a number of different reasons – undervalued coastal real estate comparatively speaking, low population density, and plenty of eco-tourism resort type activities 300pxsavannah_river_georgia_queen_2 that are favored by a growing number of retirement age baby boomers. Fundamentally, these boomers continue to target, buy, and hold future real estate investments Savannah7 that figure high on their retirement plans along our “golden highway” paralleling Interstate 95 and Highway 17, an approximate 100+ mile stretch of road infrastructure that runs the Heritage Corridor from Hilton Head, South Carolina down to the Georgia/Florida state line. Boomer retirement accounts, long anticipated leisure life style choices coupled with retirement plans, and relatively undervalued real estate properties trumps all other considerations in this local real estate market that remains alive and well if not actually cranking out real estate transactions as robustly as just six months ago.

The long term prognosis not only remains solid but fortunately ample investment vehicles are still available. And the ongoing trend of many planned developments to be built by migratory nationally known builders confirms this trend is likely to continue unabated minus any overly worrisome peaks and valleys over the next decade or two assuming you continue to purchase real estate along this corridorBig_georgia  underneath the market. A recent article by one low cournty resource, St. Simons based The Center for a Sustainable Coast consortium, who’s mission statement reads that they were “formed in 1997 by a group of public-spirited environmental professionals and concerned citizens” to “improve the responsible use, protection, and conservation of coastal Georgia’s resources – natural, historic, and economic” lays out the mythic good life style scenario in a pristine environment. Read this article to see why coastal Georgia is in the proverbial right place at the right time with the prerequisite undervalued real estate investment inventory that bears investigation for savvy boomers that are still undecided that a southeastern coastal move and a Lowcountry Lifestyle is not a prudent choice for living in the Promised Land.

Avast there bloody landlubber, leave your loot here on Tybee Island

As the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise continues to capture the imagination of the American consciousness, the Tybee Tourism Council Rotate_lighthouse appears downright prescient after they positioned themselves last year to capitalize on this love of the buccaneering life style during their inaugural Tybee Island Pirate Fest on Columbus Day. As the second annual event is fast approaching next weekend October 6 through the 8, pack up the kids and hit the road for that much needed Tybee Island weekend getaway, and help us repulse the anticipated Pirate attack at the Lazaretto Creek Marina and Café Loco complex. Or maybe you prefer to just kick back with the family and enjoy our Tybeefest sponsored festival weekend that encompasses a variety of other events which include: A Pirate Party, Parade, Costume Contest,Pirates82  Adult and Children’s Treasure Hunts, and our Thieves Market which features arts and crafts, food, games and live music. The event is designed to appeal to all ages so bring your entire family of swashbucklers for a day or the whole weekend! Aargh and shiver me timbers, there is a reason that Blackbeard Island is found along coastal Georgia, matey.

Living the Good Life on Daufuskie Island, accomplished artist points the way

Islviewef A recent Hilton Head television show featured Daufuskie Island artist Chase Allen in a September segment of the popular Lynes on Design TV show where host Debi Lynes transports local WHHI TV viewers

"into the world of interior design and home building. Each program showcases tips, tools and techniques for creating a personal home sanctuary. Lynes on Design also provides viewers with an inside looks at the work of design and home building professionals as they showcase their workmanship and craft. LOD also regularly tours many of the most beautiful and interesting homes in the Lowcountry.”

Check out the proverbial dream life style in this 20 minute clip of accomplished metal forging artist Chase Allen in his 100+ year old Gullah Cottage, his interior design techniques, along with a metal forging preview of his nautical themed art form in his Iron Fish Art island studio by clicking on Daufuskie Cottage in the top right hand navigation bar of the link.Map_1

And when Chase is not busily at work in his studio, or selling collectible works of arts to tourists that stop by his island abode, you might find him pursuing his other passion fishing! Talk about living the good life, make it a point to spend some time on Daufuskie with Allen and his fellow islanders on your next getaway weekend to Savannah. The ferry out to Daufuskie Island from historic downtownSavannah4_1  Savannah River Street’s Market Place (purchase tickets here) makes the turnaround cruise five times a day.

The fabled tunnels found underneath Historic Savannah

Many Americans are familiar with Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, "Treasure Island".Robert_louis_stevenson  And many Savannah visitors are now familiar with Stevenson’s inspiration for this novel, the tunnel found underneath Savannah restaurant, The Pirates House, (located in Trustees Gardens) where the hapless victims were allegedly waylaid in this establishment and spirited off to sea as seaman underneath these tunnels that led to the Savannah River several hundred yards away. Few outside of Savannah, however, are aware of the additional tunnels that have gone unreported to the world at large outside of Savannah proper. Enjoy today’s Murem Sharpe’s Evoca podcast interview of a SCAD student as well as this reprinted article written by Jacob Cottingham, managing editor of The South Magazine, for Savannah’s Best web site.

"Intrigue has spun around the Savannah tunnels for over a century. Nearly 50 years ago, a William H. Whitten wrote in the Savannah Morning News about secret autopsies held in the passageway and noted that a Mrs. James Harrison remembered playing in the tunnel as a youngster in the 1880’s. Her grandfather, Dr. Stephen Harris, apparently “had told her years before of his having witnessed the bodies of yellow fever dark from the woods for burial.”their history, but all seem agreed that written records of the tunnel’s construction are scarce, due to the lack of information in hospital minutes. An unaccredited typewritten page, written in September-October 1958 and found in the Georgia Historical Society, claims that “Others say it (the tunnel) was built during the War Between the States.” Rumors run rife about the tunnels and victims being secretly moved through the tunnel to the ‘marshy and wooded’ area adjacent to the hospital (today’s Forsyth Park) for quiet removal during the Civil War."

For those underground cave dwelling spelunker types among the guests to our Lowcountry Buzz today, enjoy the pertinent information provided here. And we hope to see you soon in our fair city to find out for yourselves about the tunnels of Savannah, the most famous originating inside of the Pirates House Restaurant.Pirates1 

If you enjoy a taste of the good life, this upscale Savannah vacation rental is perfect!

72_01This two bedroom and one and a half bath carriage house is unique in its design because the living room, dining room and kitchen are on the top floor and the bedrooms are on the bottom floor. The Liberty House was built in 1870 and has recently undergone renovations to make your stay even more comfortable.

Two large pillars separate the dining room from the living room and you will find lovely paintings throughout. Open the curtains your bedroom in the morning to allow the sunshine in while you taken in the beautifully landscaped shared courtyard.

This upscale accommodation will make you feel right at home while you’re in Savannah!

Hutchinson Island, future home of the new Historic District Quadrant across the Savannah River

The Savannah International Trade and Convention Center rolled out their comprehensive plan for future development at a recent CVB luncheon. This visionary model calls for a Savannah Historic District like infrastructure implementation to an undeveloped parcel of land adjacent to the existing convention center. The master plan submitted by historic urban design firm preservationist Sotille and Sotille calls for extensive greenery in an urban park setting, a ferry slip, a 350 room hotel, boutique shops, restaurants, and a possible music performance venue. Trans1

Tying this whole concept together will be the grid style street design reminiscent of The Hostess City’s own well known English Township themed design just south across the Savannah River. An additional thousand foot River Walk area will connect to the existing river walk in front of the Convention Center moving north along the eastern edge of slip three and connect to the water ferry stop. Plans to start construction on the initial river walk area are slated to start within the next six months with final completion of this ambitious plan projected to end by 2012.

West Broughton Street anticipates high fashion and artistic additions later this year

Historic Savannah’s Broughton Street has drawn favorable comparisons to her rival sibling, our South Carolina neighbor to the north known as The Holy City of Charleston and her equally trendy King Street. Three blocks of this highly trafficked real estate are expected to become even busier on West Broughton one block removed from Franklin Square as indications of a Marc Jacobs boutique shop slated to open after the first of the year were recently announced along with another high end woman’s apparel storefront and an equally upscale Copper Penny and Copper Penny Shooz planned spring opening date. The latter company has two operations in both Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Broughton_montgomery

As building refurbishment takes place in these two locations along the south facing sections of W. Broughton St., additional retail space is slated with the popular move of @Home General Store’s move in October from their York Street location as well as a November opening of the Goldon House Gallery that features various artists and eclectic Chinese furnishings from 100 to 400 years old. And finally, an additional fifty+ loft condominiums and apartments will be fed into the local real estate market above these boutique stores over the next several months, with the first units available anticipated in January. These urban living alternatives in the highly sought after historic district are expected to hit the market at $350,000 – $1 million+ per unit.

Hilton Head Island has a Storied History – Part Two

Following the Civil War, many of the Island residents chose to leave. Those Freedmen who stayed faced a very isolated existence, which required creating a very different agricultural economy than the plantation system that preceded it.

Because of very limited contact with the European culture during the time of slavery through post Civil War time, the Freedmen created a blend of African and American traditions, which became the Gullah culture. This culture can still be found on the Island and on the mainland in Bluffton through local Artists and excellent cuisine.

HiltonheadmapFrom the late 1800′s to 1950, the Island residents used the island for hunting, farming, and fishing. But in 1953, the first state run car ferry opened and the first toll bridge opened in 1956, also the same year a young man named Charles Fraser bought 5000 acres of land and began to develop Sea Pines Plantation. His vision was to highlight the natural beaches, marshes and forests. The Town of Hilton Head Island was incorporated in 1983 and the population now numbers around 35,000, with up to two million visitors each year.

Mr. Fraser was certainly onto something, because 50 years later we are still enjoying the results.

Contributed by Randy House

Renovation on Tybee Island’s historic Old Post Theater underway

In 1930, the U.S. Army built a movie theater for troops stationed at Fort Screven on Tybee Island. This structure has situated in what many consider the very heart of Tybee’s historic district. Savannah22 This historic old lady is finally receiving a much needed facelift if she is to also serve as the heart of Tybee’s rapidly expanding arts initiative on the island according to a recent article filed by John Stoehr online to Pajamas Media.

Susie Morris, president of the Friends of the Tybee Theater, said construction started Monday in the first of a series of steps leading to the opening of Tybee Island’s first performing arts venue. The first renovation phase involves restoring the roof to its original early 20th-century design. It also involves restoring exterior features, such as windows and doors, as well as repairing bricks damaged during the years the former movie theater sat vacant. Subsequent stages will involve refurbishing the interior and installing theatrical capabilities, like the stage, lighting equipment and a sound system. This first round will cost $290,000 and will take about three months to complete, Morris said.

Renamed the Tybee Post Theater, the building will house the island’s growing arts organizations, diversify entertainment options and boost cultural tourism, officials say. Tybee’s burgeoning arts community has outpaced its ability to serve it, said Patricia Miller Wann, president of the Tybee Island Fine Arts Commission. "Everyone realized there was a huge need for a venue like this," Miller said. "Now that we have it, the opportunities and benefits are just immeasurable." Denise Vernon, president of the Tybee Arts Association, said her organization has not had a permanent venue and that "a real theater on Tybee has been a long time coming." "It’s breathing new life into an old gem," she said.

If all comes together as planned the art community out on Tybee Island should receive this much needed shot in the arm as early as 2009.

Beautiful and Private Vacation Home at the Rock at Jocasse just 5 miles from Table Rock State Park

Pickens_026Thinking of vacationing in Upstate South Carolina? You will certainly want to take advantage of our beautiful three bedroom and two bath home located at the Rock at Jocasse Golf Community in Pickens County, South Carolina. Located just off of Highway 11, you are within quick access to Table Rock State Park just five miles away. Other close attractions include Lake Keowee, Lake Hartwell, The Cliffs Golf Community, Clemson SC, Greenville SC and Hendersonville NC.

This private vacation home is ideal for couples or families looking for a quick getaway. Downstairs features a comfortable living and dining area, wood burning fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, screened in porch, full bathroom and two bedrooms. Upstairs includes the third bedroom with bath, and a seating area. Other amenities include TV’s with satellite, DVD, charcoal grill and telephone.

One can enjoy breathtaking views at The Rock Golf Course with its mountain scenery, trails and waterfall. Golf packages are available but must be made in advance. Guided horseback rides are also available.

Competitive rates are in place to ensure occupancy so don’t delay. Call Aubrey toll free (866)690-2074 to make your inquiries and reservations.