Fractions of Palaces - Spear's Magazine

Fractions of Palaces

Susan Kime on how the equity-based shared residence industry – or HNW timeshares – are proving resilient in the recession

Susan Kime on how the equity-based shared residence industry – or HNW timeshares – are proving resilient in the recession

The highest end tier of the equity-based shared residence industry has recently been able to access some members of the UHNW and HNW population, as even now and especially now, they do remember the value relevance of asset-based products.

The clubs below, though the most expensive and/or amenity laden in the industry, have as their magnet the equity deed, where the owners buy a share of the residence.

It combines their desire to travel to elite places, stay in multi million dollar residences – and with all the amenities: dedicated concierges, private chefs, butlers, all the usual comforts of home, and own a piece of the home as well. The combination is irresistible, even to the highest of the high end.

The Residences at the Little Nell, Aspen Colorado

The Residences at The Little Nell (RLN) officially opened in February 2009, making it the most luxurious, shared ownership project of its kind, ever. Why is it so popular, and expensive? Because it’s in Aspen, at the foot of the Silver Queen Gondola, with ski-in/ski out access to Aspen mountain.

The residences are one of a kind, and the owners pay for this privilege. More than $80 million in sales have closed on this 26-residence property with significant sales continuing throughout the first half of 2009.

A three bedroom residence for 1/8 (about 6 weeks) share is $1,900,000, and a three bedroom residence for ¼ share ( 3 months of the year) is $3,800,000. The four bedroom units have been sold out.

The Club at Solaris, Vail Colorado

Located at the heart of Vail Village within the new Solaris development, The Club at Solaris is the latest offering from Epiphany Clubs & Resorts. The Club will feature 19 exquisitely appointed residences will provide members with the amenities and service of a grand resort and the intimacy of a fine private residence.

The collection of three and-four bedroom residences average 2,800 square feet. Each is exquisitely appointed andfeatures spacious rooms, gourmet kitchens, custom stone fireplaces and large outdoor-heated stone terraces with views of Vail ski resort and the surrounding mountain vistas.

The kitchens boast granite and marble countertops, climate control wine storage and premium Sub-zero, Wolf and Viking appliances. Membership deposit is $1,900,000.

The Villas at the Grand del Mar, Del Mar, California 

To begin with, the Villas at the Grand del Mar are not an UHNW fractional, but rather a HNW fractional with exceptional amenities, and some of the largest ( 5000 square feet)and most exquisite fractional villas in existence.

Just as the palace of Versailles is 10 miles outside Paris, and the Taj Mahal is about the same distance from Agra, so too is the Grand del Mar — about a 20 minutes ride from downtown San Diego.

The Grand Del Mar is San Diego’s newest luxury resort destination, with The Villas at the Grand Del Mar a fractional component of the Resort. The Villa owners can access the awards-winning resort amenities, any time they reside in the Villas.

The Grand Del Mar Golf Course
The exceptional Tom Fazio-designed 18 hole course is considered one of the most dramatic and challenging courses in the country. It is a par-72, 384 acre course, with an 18 foot waterfall and stream crossing the course. Villa owners are members with full privileges when in residence.

The Spa
This is a 21,000sf space, and the treatment menu includes natural plants from the area: local Eucalyptus, sage, rosemary, and mineral rich muds. The Spa also is one of the few with flotation bed treatments: after a body scrub, you are wrapped in warm blankets, then lie in the flotation bed: the table beneath fills with warm bubbling water, and the client lies in suspension for half an hour. The Spa at the Grand Del Mar received the Favorite US Spa from Spa magazine, 2008, and Conde Nast’s Top New Spa award, 2008.

Addison’s
The resort’s signature dining venue, Addison’s is the only restaurant in Southern California to win the Five diamond award from the AAA, in November 2008. It has won multiple awards in 2007 as well. Chef William Bradley takes an artisanal/contemporary French approach, using fresh local produce and meats. The wine list and 2500 bottle wine room is also an awards-winner.

Even without these awards-winning amenities, the Villas’ life calms, yet enlivens.    There are two Villa styles, each between 4500 and 5000SF, with an outdoor deck, grill, and firepit for more expansive living, but it also has a private hot tub as well.

Inside, is a personal elevator (if you do not want to walk up the glorious winding staircase to the three huge bedrooms), and a baby grand piano, perfectly tuned and ready to play. In addition in each Villas is a large, home theatre room, plus a personal computer and business area off the kitchen.

In the two-car garage, a complimentary Golf Cart is there for owners to use while in residence. The Villas have been valued at 5M each. As of this writing, the fractional pricing is 1/10 ownership for $450,000. For this price, the owner receives 5 weeks a year, and unlimited use, based on space availability.

Finally, for those who love flowers, it will be duly noted that in the Villas at the Grand del Mar, the home décor, unlike many other hotels and villa residences, includes real dendrobium orchids, camellias and gardenias. There is no artifice here – only the best of the best: golf, spa, balmy weather, awards-winning food, life perfected.

Elite Destination Homes

“This may be a terrible thing to say,” comments Bill Bisanz, CEO and Founder of Elite Destination Homes, a high end fractional co-ownership company in St. Paul, Minnesota, “but the recent problems seen in the destination club economy has brought quite a bit of business to us.

“Members who have been burned by other clubs are taking a second look at our practical, reality-based, transparent model of private co-ownership. We have not had the problems that larger, less intimate clubs have, access being a main one. If two families want the same week or two in Aspen or Turks, I just call one or both and ask if they could switch weeks… and the problem is solved.

“This is the advantage of many of the members knowing each other, and the company knowing the members also.” The inclusionary, friendly nature of a real club seems pervasive in this company, a high end shared ownership firm.    

Elite Destination Homes’ model is based on co-ownership of the homes that the members can buy into. According to Bisanz, “Each deal is different. For example our current Turks deal is $400k equity buy in (+ $300k financed) for a 8 week interest.

“This pricing is very similar to our current Paris deal. We do have a couple of other items that are $200k equity buy in. It really depends on what the member wants and how much he will use the residence.”

Elite Destination Homes creates small, private, usually two to five, partnerships to own extraordinary vacation homes in some of the world’s most desirable and exclusive destinations, including New York City, Paris, Turks & Caicos, Los Cabos, Florida, and Telluride, Colorado. The membership is by invitation only.



 

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