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  • mdenn101 mdenn101 May 18, 2005 9:10 PM Flag

    Money Mag = one more time

    Auroleon, you are one of the very few people who have ever set foot on Dog Island. I own a lot on the bay side, which I bought in 1999, although the seller has since passed away, so it was definitely not your lot. At the time, the realtor said, "In the early 90's you could get these lots for $35K", which is exactly what you paid in 1993. By 1999, the listed prices ranged from $75K to $115K for a deep gulf front lot, with high dunes (the "mountains" of Dog Island).

    Celestine Sibley used to often write her AJC columns from her beloved Dog Island, so some people in Atlanta have heard of the island, but since it is only accessible from air or water, few have set foot. There are about 350 private lots on the 6.5 mile long island, with the rest in the hands of the Nature Conservancy. There is a very sleepy Dog Island board on Yahoo Groups, that I check a few times a year. The last time that I spoke to a realtor about Dog Island, she mentioned that a daughter of Jeff Lewis (the post WW II owner of the entire island, who gave most of the land to the Conservancy) worked for Arvida/St. Joe Towns. She mentioned that a very out of left field rumor has St. Joe swapping wetlands in the panhandle for the 75% of Dog Island owned by the Conservancy.

    I found the comment very interesting, since there was a precedent, in the late 90's, of which the realtor was unaware. I recall reading about how the NC gave a few hundred acres of beach in Virginia to a developer, in return for thousand of acres of inland wetlands. The diehard environmentalists were of course, howling with indignation, but the Nature Conservancy have always been a pragmatic group. It makes sense to swap beach for wetlands at maybe a 100:1 ratio, just as a wild guess. The current residents of Dog Island would be very upset, to say the least, but they are few in number. There are only about 120 houses on the island. Of course, investors, such as myself, would be smiling. JOE could set up a Carrabelle based shuttle to the island and develop a very nice upscale resort. I remember staying at a small, upscale eco-resort on the Big Sur section of the California coast, with a great restaurant and spectacular views of the ocean. Dog Island would be perfect for a limited number of people willing to spend $400-$1000 a night to stay on their private island. Sort of like the Cloisters Hotel on Sea Island, Georgia.

    Just dreaming for now.

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    • you know from my posts that I accept the envitability of the growth of the region

      I have also often said and believe that considering our population is increasing with no end in sight....that we have been fortunate that the land has been held in such large quantity by JOE...and we are lucky for the level of development they are doing

      but as to Dog Island, I for one would rather see it stay the same...just because it is a one of a kind. my time spent there was always a surrender to the nature...walking the shorlines I could sense life in the water

      I forget my lot number, but it was just down the beach from Sibley a bit to the east... I met her grandaughter one day walking around and was in the house

      I was in india when I sold it, and I remember sending the documents off via Fedex... feeling like a loser, for letting a gem like that get away...

      I have had other properties that I have sold that I would like to have back... but nothing close to the magic of that place... as I said and you know... the nature humbles

      the nature converancy would be swapping quantity for quality...I would then say that pragmitism is relative

      even with my position in JOE, and I know they could do it as well as anyone....JOE couldn't do better then just leaving it alone

      IF I ever get a piece of prisitine earth, and left it looking for it to be perserved, i now know not to do it with the nature conservacy. I would think that the land could have been deed restricted....something basically saying... "look but don't touch"

      I dreaming too

      • 2 Replies to auroleon
      • I imagine that Dog Island will stay the same for many years. Although a small boutique hotel would be nice, with minimal impact on the environment. The Pelican Inn has been operating since the 60's, but does not provide the sort of ambience that well-heeled ecotourists expect. As you know, Dog Island is a stop over point for the migratory birds and lots of "birders" would love to spend a few days in paradise. I think the chances of a bridge being built are somewhere between zero and nada, which suits me fine. The spring break crowd would hate Dog Island anyway.

        The Money Magazine article mentioned PEI, which is hardly undiscovered among Canadians and Europeans. As a transplanted Canadian myself, I can attest to the pleasures of long summer days spent on the red beaches of Prince Edward Island. All of the Canadian Maritime provinces are very cheap, even after the recent real estate bull market. PEI is generally more expensive than it's neighbors. Someone I know recently bought a five acre lot with over 400 feet of beachfront in New Brunswick for about $130K US$. The beaches are not of Destin quality, but more like New England, with similar water temperatures. I will be in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Quebec's Magdelan Islands for two weeks this summer and true to form, I will sneak away to scout real estate. If anyone is interested in some info, I can send an e-mail with digital pics.

      • i agree re/ dog island...hands off! however, should a large piece become available, perhaps joe could by it and use it as part of their conservation plan....again, hands off!

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