Jekyll Island appears to be going through the renessaiance officials had hoped for when they decided about 10 years ago it was time to begin renovating important places on the island.

First, it was the convention center. Then came the complete rethinking of a few hotels and building some new ones. The Beach Village followed and now people are buying up townhouses in the first two new residential neighborhoods on the island in decades.

The Ocean Oaks and the Jekyll Cottages are driving what is already looking like a record year for real estate on Jekyll Island.

In the first six months of 2017, 54 residential properties changed hands, compared to just 33 over the same time in 2016. That comes out to $27.3 million in real estate transactions so far this year. Last year set a new record at $31.9 million in sales.

Other records are being broken as well. Two homes on Jekyll sold for more than $1 million this year, the first and second to ever top that price.

All of this makes one thing very clear: Jekyll Island is back. True, it’s an island, so it never actually went anywhere in the first place, but there was a time when hotels, housing stock and amenities were showing their age. The luster of Georgia’s Jewel had worn off a bit and it was in need of a little polishing.

Then, Jekyll Island Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks took his position in 2008. Since then Jekyll Island has done nothing but get better and better, once again becoming a top, sought-after destination on the East Coast. Take a drive around the island and count the number of license plates from places as far away as New England states and Canada.

New restaurants and shops, the Beach Village, new homes, nicely kept and renovated older homes, more than 3,000 acres of undeveloped land, miles of beaches and top-notch amenities have truly made Jekyll Island Georgia’s Jewel once again.

If you need proof, just look at the real estate numbers this year. As the economy continues to strengthen and grow, we hope Jekyll Island continues to reap the benefits. The better things are going over the causeway, the more likely it is Jekyll will survive as a self-sustaining state park for decades to come.