Tentative plans for the New Orleans-based Regency Hangars to develop a sprawling hangar community at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport have been scrapped, according to the company’s president, citing a lack of local demand for the concept.
Branded as “Regency Hangar Village BTR,” the hangar development—whose conditional approval at the airport was announced by Regency just one month ago—would have been set up like a homeowner association, with the company managing all the infrastructure and operating requirements of the community, including ground lease obligations, structural reserves, insurance and common area maintenance.
However, Regency Hangars President Jay Taffet says his company didn’t collect enough of the 25 reservations needed in order to populate the proposed community. He speculates the marketed sales prices—$89,500 for a basic T-hangar, for example—could’ve been a deterrent, appearing high to aircraft owners more accustomed to renting.
“The gamble that we took was converting hangar renters to hangar owners,” Taffet tells Daily Report. “It was a paradigm shift that didn’t pay off.”
In addition to Baton Rouge, original plans called for piloting the concept in Fairhope and Gulf Shores, Alabama. But Taffet has nixed plans for all three proposed hangar communities, also attributing the other two to a lack of demand.
“These three airports were a good litmus test,” Taffet says. “If these three couldn’t support it, I don’t think any could.”
Instead, Taffet believes Regency will fare better developing individual hangars for interested aircraft owners. Still wanting to position himself as a resource to BTR and the Alabama airports, he plans to offer the company’s hangar project support services at all three, billing Regency’s services as a “turnkey solution to a complicated and tedious process.”
BTR spokesman Jim Caldwell says Taffet had approached the airport with a letter of intent, after which BTR notified him the land was available for such a development. Despite the fall-through, Caldwell still expects lots of private hangar development at the airport, noting BTR’s two existing fixed-base operators—BTR Jet and Signature—are undergoing major renovations, while Williams Jet Center is also under construction.
Taffet says he’s been regularly communicating with BTR officials, adding they’ve been understanding and flexible throughout the process.