Cuvee Ventures And Cuvee Escapes: Combining Return On Investment And Return On Life
The Cuvée Residence, Lanai
Cuvée Ventures and Cuvée Escapes appears to have lived, since 2005, a well-funded, quiet, under-the-radar yet lively existence within ultra high net worth and wealth management communities.
"One third of our investors are private wealth or money managers. Our rental clients are celebrities, internet and retail executives and sports figures." said Larry Mueller, founder and CEO of Cuvée Ventures and Cuvée Escapes in a recent interview, "they really understand money and investment. But they are also at a place in their lives where they want to enjoy, in addition to substantial ROI (return on investment), what I call ROL -- a return on life investment-- as well."
"My idea to create this high-end, travel community began in 2005, where we could start a fund, create a community of accredited investors, and buy high end properties in cash. We would have great leveraging ability because of this, and after we bought them, either we could enjoy them when we wanted, or rent them out through our other company, Cuvée Escapes. We provide all of the extras -- a concierge on property, private chefs, cleaning services, whatever was wanted and needed by the investor family or the renter. That's the ROL of it!"
Both ideas, as both companies, compliment and supplement each other. Cuvée Ventures is a private equity fund /real estate investment group, whose investors enjoy the $5-8 million Cuvée residences purchased by their fund. When not being used by their investors, Cuvée Escapes also rents the homes, for between $3-8,000 per night.
Unlike the basic destination club model, either equity or non-equity based, Cuvée Ventures is a fund-based equity investment group, and rents the properties it owns, when the investor-families are not using them. It is also, according to Larry, 100% debt-free on its investment in real estate.
A few facts and stats: There have been two funds since 2005 that have purchased exceptional residences -- see next page. The investors pay $750,000 for a 1/2 share investment allowing 15 nights per year, and the full share investment, $1,500,000, allowing for 30 nights per year. The investors may stay at any of the residences available. Each accredited investor owns his or her share of the limited partnership that owns the real estate, so all of the investor money is tied directly to the hard asset. In Fund I, there were 17.5 shares and about 20 investors, and
in Fund II, there were 12 shares and about 14 investors.
The Penthouse at The Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
Living Room, Penthouse, Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Colorado
La Terraza Villa in Los Cabos
La Terraza Exterior, Los Cabos, Mexico
Lanai Hawaii Estate. The peaceful sunset on the first page was taken at the Lanai Estate, also.
and last but far from least, 15 Central Park West – SOLD in Jan 2010 for $13.9 million (14th highest sale in Manhattan in Q1 2010) This last sale at 15CPW was one that allowed the original investors a substantial ROI, as Cuvee Ventures had purchased it in a pre-construction phase for approximately $6.5 million.
View from Living Room, 15 Central Park West
Then, came Fund II – closed in November 2010.
Here's what was purchased for Fund II --
Arrabelle Residences in Vail, Colorado – the Cuvee team will be in process of completing the interior design and construction enhancements following the present ski season.
Exterior of the Arrabelle, Vail.
Nouvel Chelsea Building in Manhattan – The Cuvee's interior design and construction enhancements are also underway here. It will be completed at the end of May.
Exterior for the Nouvel Chelsea, New York
Interior Window Wall Living Area, Nouvel Chelsea, New York
Hacienda Beachfront Villa in Los Cabos
Patio at Hacienda Villa, Los Cabos, Mexico
Living Room at Hacienda Villa, Los Cabos, Mexico
The offering of Fund III will take place this Summer 2011, and this fund will purchase four properties – at present, Larry and his team are targeting Napa Valley, the Caribbean, Aspen/or Telluride, and Europe, possibly Tuscany. For each residence, the ratio of investor to home is 3-4 to 1. The goal of the funds is to have 25 active properties and to have five to seven funds, all totaling 100 shares.
"It is accurate to say," Larry concludes, "we have already received many inquiries for Fund III. I have been contacted by four different Limited Partners this past week introducing me to their friends / business contacts/ relatives that have interest in learning about our Fund offering. Our current investors are our best sales people we have since they are so happy and passionate about Cuvée. In Fund III, we expect a significant number of Fund I and II Investors to invest and many have friends/family that are interested and awaiting offering materials. We are targeting 16 to 18 shares for Fund III – some investments will be for a full share and some will be ½ share investments."
In the video below, Larry Mueller further explains the essence of the model.