Participating in the Oaks on the River Luxury Boutique Resort groundbreaking were, from left, Darien Mayor Hugh “Bubba” Hodge; Bernard Sarme, managing director of Oaks on the River Luxury Boutique; McIntosh County Commission Chairman David Stevens; Art Lucas, president and Founder of Oaks on the River Luxury Boutique Resort; Dawn Malin, president and CEO of the McIntosh County Industrial Development Authority; and Joe Fraser, President of Fraser Construction Company.

A group of dignitaries and guests gathered Wednesday to mark the ceremonial groundbreaking for the newest addition to Darien’s historic waterfront revival, Oaks on the River Luxury Boutique Resort.

Led by real estate developer and founder Art Lucas, Oaks on the River Luxury Boutique Resort is cradled by the iconic riverfront bluff of Darien and expects to provide memorable experiences for individuals, couples, families and groups.

“We know that tourism is a $66 billion industry in the state of Georgia,” said Dawn Malin, president and CEO of the McIntosh County Industrial Development Authority, to open the ceremony. “As we entered into this venture with Mr. Lucas, we knew it was their vision to bring jobs and capital investment to our community. The Oaks on the River Luxury Boutique Resort is phase three of this project, and it’s bringing it all to fruition. And we know that this is not where our vision ended, but where it began. Jobs and capital investment follow each other and we see that in the growth of our community today.”

Lucas added “we are hopeful that this project will be a source of pride for the people of Darien and McIntosh County, and that it will be at least a small part in helping spur economic development and jobs within the community.”

David Stevens, chairman of the McIntosh County Commissioners, and Darien Mayor Hugh “Bubba” Hodge also spoke at the event.

The 53-room boutique resort will offer a host of amenities including a restaurant, The Cedar Bar, an outdoor pool and poolside bar, spa and fitness center, event and conference facilities, indoor and outdoor venues, a dock on the Darien River and curated outdoor experiences. The Darien Oak, estimated to be 250 years old, will be the centerpiece for weddings and outdoor events, while a dockside gazebo will allow for intimate on-the-water events.

Just to the east of the resort are the Oaks on the River Residences, luxury condominiums which opened in March 2020. To the west of the resort is Spartina Grill, also an Oaks on the River development, which opened on Labor Day weekend 2020.

Oaks on the River Luxury Boutique Resort is scheduled to open in spring 2022.

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