A Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and gated community in the North Georgia mountains that was once part of the Reynolds Plantation empire is expected to soon be offered for sale.
Achasta, in Dahlonega, about 60 miles north of downtown Atlanta, was part of the once high-flying Linger Longer Development Company that ran into financial trouble following the economic meltdown.
Linger Longer, led by noted political heavyweight Mercer Reynolds, also developed Reynolds Plantation and Great Waters along Lake Oconee.
The Achasta community was the company’s Georgia mountain outpost, a blend of top-flight golf and foothill retreats a short drive north of the capital city.
Several notable Georgia golf course communities hit into the rough during the recession as the real estate market tanked and the sport’s popularity waned. Sea Island and Country Club of the South are among the clubs that found trouble and wound up being sold.
Hilda W. Allen Real Estate will market the Achasta community, its 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, restaurant and surrounding lots and undeveloped land. Allen, in an interview, said the sale will occur through a sealed bid process for qualified purchasers.
That is expected to take place in the first quarter of next year.
“The property is in very good shape,” Allen said. “It’s a Jack Nicklaus signature course. The property is second to none.”
The Reynolds development firm lost control of much of its empire in May 2011 when lenders appointed a receiver to manage the golf courses and unsold residential property. Months earlier, Reynolds attempted to cobble together a deal to have members acquire golf courses, clubhouses and other amenities. But that deal fell through.
In August 2012, insurance giant MetLife acquired six golf courses, four marinas and nearly 5,000 acres of undeveloped land tied to the Lake Oconee operations, about 80 miles east of Atlanta. Its partner, Birmingham-based Daniel Corp., oversees operations.
But MetLife did not acquire the Achasta community.
Andrew Bolnick, whose firm took over the properties in receivership, said MetLife and Daniel Corp. have done well at Lake Oconee and home sales have improved.
Real estate values in the Dahlonega area also are improving, he said. Achasta was previously under contract with a buyer, but that sale didn’t pan out.
“Dahlonega is an exciting place. It’s growing,” he said, citing the University of North Georgia and a mix of new residents young and old.