Reynolds Lake Oconee’s History

History of Reynolds Lake Oconee

Reynolds Lake Oconee history is a fascinating story of a special and unique community which attracts people from all over the world to come live in Reynolds Lake Oconee.

Reynolds Lake Oconee is a residential community located 80 miles east of Atlanta in Greene County. It is located in the rolling hills of yellow pine trees in Georgia. People come from all over the country to visit. But something happens during their visit. They see something unique. Really, it more like they feel something unique. Reynolds has a comfortable feeling like no other community. As a result, it has grown to more than 2,500 homes in Reynolds Lake Oconee.

How did this phenomenal community come to be? We want to reach back into the history of Reynolds Lake Oconee and visit the players that brought this amazing community to reality.

It was the vision of Mercer Reynolds III. He was a visionary developer who transformed the family tract of land into the nationally renowned Reynolds Plantation golf community located on Lake Oconee.

Reynolds Plantation and the history of Reynolds Lake Oconee started with Mercer Reynolds’ grandfather, Mercer Sr. who became financially successful by developing a process to solidify cottonseed oil for transport. Under his leadership, the family assembled more than 10,000 acres of yellow pine timberland in Greene and Putnam counties.

Reynolds Lake Oconee’s History with Georgia Power

In 1979, Georgia Power dammed the Oconee River creating a lake of more than 19,000 acres. This resulted in hundreds of miles of lakefront property along the Reynolds property. Mr. Reynolds saw an opportunity to create a unique community of residential homes, golf courses and lake amenities for families to enjoy the outdoors. He created a setting that brought families together to enjoy the woods, the lake and of course, golf. It was perfect for those that enjoy friends who also enjoy the spacious outdoor environment.   

In the 1980s, the family formed the Linger Longer development company headed by Jamie Reynolds. The company was named after the grandfather’s hunting lodge, Linger Longer. Reynolds Plantation was created and became a name known nationwide. People began coming from all over the world to visit and many bought lots and built their dream homes.

The Ritz Carlton Reynolds

In 2002, the Ritz-Carlton opened in Reynolds Plantation. It sits on thirty acres along side of the lake. The resort has earned AAA’s Five Diamond Award almost every year since 2006. The Ritz Carlton Reynolds welcomes first time families with open arms and special packages for those that want to spend a few days experiencing the Reynolds Lake Oconee lifestyle.

After the addition of the Ritz-Carlton, more golfing and boating amenities were added. Additional marinas made possible for more families to enjoy life on the lake. This expansion appealed to water and boating enthusiasts. The boaters and golfers told their friends and their friends told their friends. The reputation of Reynolds Plantations spread across the nation. Families built second homes, vacation homes and permanent homes.

As with every residential development, the economic downturn in the mid-2000s brought difficult times to Reynolds. Lot sales slowed and the cost of operating the fabulous golf courses and marinas caused the owners to look for alternatives.

In 2012 MetLife entered the picture. MetLife, an insurance and financial services company, acquired Reynolds Plantation. MetLife brought in their management team to make the transition smooth and efficient. In the end the entire community benefitted.

Even though Reynolds Lake Oconee is but a tiny portion of the real estate holding of MetLife, it is the crown jewel of its real estate properties. MetLife didn’t just purchase six golf courses, four marinas, 5,000 acres of undeveloped land and the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lodge on the Lake but acquired a community that sits like a trophy on its top shelf in full display.

Robert Merck, senior managing director and head of real estate investments for MetLife, said in a news release at the time, “This is a premier community with world-class amenities, a great reputation and a strong future.”

The history of Reynolds Lake Oconee continues. It continues to be a thriving community under the management of MetLife. It has been awarded the “12 Best Golf Resorts in the United States” by Forbes. Today, Reynolds Lake Oconee continues to develop residential lots along the 374 miles of shoreline on the lake. It is truly one of the premier communities in the world.

Outdoor Amenities for All

The 19,000-acre lake serves as the centerpiece amenity for the community. Homeowners enjoy the diverse activities of water recreation of the lake. The amenities include six award-winning golf courses, 4 marinas, Lake Club Wellness Center, 10 distinct culinary restaurants, 6 swimming pools, 6 clubhouses, shooting range – all interconnected with 21 miles of biking and walking paths throughout the development.

The four marinas offer a full range of services. Dry-slip storage, pontoon boat and canoe rental, dockside fueling and stores with boating and fishing supplies for every fisherman’s needs. The marinas also provide on-demand boat launching, fueling and cleaning.

The Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds is the newest addition for the sport’s enthusiasts at the Lake. The Sporting Grounds sits on 100 acres and features a 20-station sporting clays course, five-stand shooting range and air rifle facility as well as an archery area.

Superb Builders

This rich history of Reynolds Lake Oconee includes some of the best builders in the industry. The Reynolds community has been blessed to have builders that have built homes to match the culture and luxury of the development itself. The quality of the homes in the signature program is unmatched by any residential community.

Arthur Rutenberg Homes and Southern Luxury Homes are the newest arrival to join these skilled builders. To showcase the Rutenberg Process, Arthur Rutenberg Homes built a Model Home in Horseshoe Bend on Linger Longer Drive. The Model Home opened in May 2018 and has attracted tremendous interest in the community. The Model Home showcases the quality and craftsmanship of Rutenberg process.   

The history of Reynolds Lake Oconee continues to grow and improve bringing innovative ideas to the community. Friends continue to bring friends to build and to live. Word of mouth is the future of Reynolds growth.

Recommended Resources: https://www.arthurrutenberghomes.com/blog/

Related Topics: https://www.arthurrutenberghomes.com/builder-search.aspx

https://www.arthurrutenberghomes.com/(Link to Southern Luxury Homes article)

By |2018-10-05T16:20:36+00:00August 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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