First, there was Spruce Creek, which applied the golf community model to private aviation and created the fly-in community. Now, a Daytona Beach, Fla., company has taken the fly-in community concept, applied it to the office park premise, and produced plans for the World Jetplex on the grounds of Daytona Beach International Airport. The ultimate goal of this company, Lynch Corporate Services, is to create airport-based villages where residents can live and work within walking distance of their aircraft. The initial phase of the Daytona plans calls for the construction, on a 40-acre lot, of 44 private hangars with either attached office space or 600- to 1,000-square-foot lofts within the hangars. The largest of the World Jetplex units will include a 7,200-square-foot hangar and an attached two-story office building with 3,400 square feet of floor space. The estimated price for such a unit will be from $1.2 million to $1.5 million. LCS expects to begin the $80 million to $100 million project by next summer and complete it within three years. “People will be able to jump on an aircraft, go to what they have to do, have eyeball-to-eyeball meetings, and get back to the office complex on the same day,” says Bob Brewster, corporate administrator for LCS.
The project’s second phase, which LCS does not expect to finalize until next year, will involve the construction of residential units in a different section of the airport. Because of a land dispute, LCS had to scrap an earlier proposal for what it was calling the World Jet Village, which would have included the construction of some 90 hangars, office space, retail shops, and three 15-story residential towers all on one 100-acre parcel at the airport.
Recognizing that people who are considering living and establishing their businesses on Florida’s coast will be concerned with hurricanes, LCS plans to build the hangars and other structures to withstand 175 mph winds. “People are no longer looking just for roofs,” Brewster says. “They’re looking for permanency of construction. We’ve gotten companies out of Michigan who have committed to moving here because of the type of construction.”
Brewster says that LCS is looking at nine other airports as possible sites for World Jetplexes or World Jet Villages, including two more in Florida, two in more northerly East Coast states, two in Texas, two in Nevada, and one in Colorado. He says such establishments likely will increase in popularity as people become more aware of the value of their time. “People who can afford it are going to abandon airlines altogether,” he says. “If you can take off in a small plane, travel a thousand miles, have a meeting, and be back the same day, the cost of aviation fuel becomes irrelevant.”
Stephen Maloney, president and COO of Aviation Management Systems, an aviation consulting firm in Portsmouth, N.H., wonders if such complexes might offer more convenience than is necessary, but he does recognize their time-saving virtues. “When looking at business, one question you have to ask yourself is, how valuable is your senior management’s time?” asks Maloney. “Do you really want your executives sitting around at an airport getting their shoes sniffed, waiting for planes to get from point A to point B? This idea is a classic example of helping people be as productive as possible. Time is the great equalizer. Once those minutes and hours are gone, you can’t get them back.”
Lynch Corporate Services