Luxury residential developers often pitch their projects as a lifestyle rather than a property, but now that almost every new project seems to include a state-of-the-art spa, pool, outdoor terrace, fitness center, wine cellar and private chef, developers today are looking to raise their game as high as 30,000 feet.
BGI Cos., a subsidiary of Miami-based BGI Capital, is developing a 22-story condo tower at 4714 North Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach that will be the first in South Florida to offer buyers a complimentary membership to Magellan Jets, a subscription-based private jet operator.
The Alba Palm Beach project's 55 residences start at $3M with a planned delivery in 2025, and the development includes all the expected trappings of a luxury development, including a sports simulator, private dock and dog spa. But buyers will also receive a complimentary Explorer Jet Membership, valued at $16,500, with their condo or townhome purchase that includes $4,500 worth of in-flight credits to charter jets with less than a day's notice.
Magellan Jets, headquartered in Boston, gives its members the opportunity to schedule on-demand flights to the destinations of their choice. The partnership with BGI is part of a broader expansion for Magellan Jets, which has already been working with hotel operators but is planning to launch a homeowner-focused service called Magellan Residences.
“It provides a competitive advantage if you can think outside the box,” Anthony Tivnan, the founder and president of Magellan Jets, told Bisnow in an interview. “Everybody can put a beautiful gym, a beautiful spa, a beautiful restaurant in a building. For the level of customers at these properties, that’s almost something that’s expected.”
The partnership was created in response to demand among Magellan customers looking for second or third homes in the area, he said. Palm Beach, Miami and Naples are among the five most-traveled locations for Magellan customers.
It also comes as Palm Beach County's condo market has tilted toward luxury buyers. There were 28 condo purchases priced at or above $1M in June compared to 18 sales from the same time last year, according to data from Douglas Elliman. Overall condo sales, however, were down 22.9% over the same period.
The Magellan and BGI collaboration is part of a broader expansion strategy for Magellan, which launched in 2008 and began working with hotel brands in 2012. It is now preparing to launch its residence-focused offering.
Magellan’s first hospitality partnership was with the Four Seasons Resort Nevis in the Caribbean, where it also has collaborations with St. Barts Properties, Amenera in the Dominican Republic and Little Gem Resorts on Lovango Cay in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company also works with Canyon Ranch, a resort and spa with locations in California, Massachusetts, Arizona and Nevada, as well as the Nemacolin resort in Pennsylvania.
In 2020, Magellan expanded its relationship with Four Seasons to include the hotel operator’s Maui property and it added the Four Seasons Boston Residences in 2022, the first condo-focused project for the company.
Magellan opened its first private terminal in Boston in January and is planning to add another in South Florida in 2025. But Tivnan is keenly aware that Magellan’s high barrier to entry is a selling point, and he said the company is pursuing deals strategically to avoid overexposure.
“We need to be thoughtful around our partnerships and continue to create that exclusivity,” he said. “You can't really do it with everyone because then it loses that cool factor.”
Magellan also offers its customers access to small events that range from batting practice on the field at Boston’s Fenway Park to private dinners at top restaurants in West Palm Beach.
The offerings are part marketing and part amenity, giving customers the opportunity to develop relationships with other wealthy jet fliers while also giving them access to exclusive locations in top markets. Those experiences, Tivnan said, can translate directly into property sales.
“If we take the relationships, the dollars will follow,” Tivnan said. “If you put that relationship at the forefront, it becomes more of a referral than a sales pitch leading to a sale. When you think of the demographic of the folks that we are working with, they don't really want to be pitched. The reason why they're off the grid is so that they're not getting pitched left and right.”