UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 22, 2016 7:59 PM — Durham-based conglomerate The Guess Corporation has targeted Orlando among the first 15 markets where it plans to launch a chain of ultra-luxury fuel station/convenience stores in the next year dubbed GP Club, modeled as country clubs with annual memberships, the company announced on Sept. 2.
The GP Club would be separate from the new chain of GP Express fuel station/convenience stores, for which the company is seeking 25 7-acre sites in Greater Orlando, as well as new restaurant affiliate The Guess Bread Company that would be developed alongside some of those GP Express sites.
GP Club would serve consumers who have applied for and become members, predominantly households with a net worth exceeding $50 million, the company said. It's a limited client base, but one The Guess Corporation thinks Greater Orlando and Florida can supply.
"We pay very close attention to the concentration of private banks, professional sports teams and other wealth-related factors (in target markets)," said Cutie Shrestha, senior executive vice president and chief development officer, in an emailed response to questions. "Orlando is the ideal market and has the elite clientele we are seeking for GP Express, and our research and experience indicates that the ultra-rich consumer likes exclusivity and will pay a premium for it."
The GP Club chain would be launched through the company's petroleum unit, Guess Petroleum. It would be an ultra-luxury brand for the ultra-affluent, while GP Express would be a luxury brand for affluent consumers, the company said.
Based on renderings released Friday, GP Club would feature a mansion-style four-story building with a separate fueling area. The buildings would include a restaurant, business center, meeting rooms, suites for sleeping and resting, a medical clinic, and retail among other amenities, the company said.
Members would be greeted by a valet upon arrival, with a concierge to assist them. There would also be an on-site swimming pool and water park for members' use.
Design for GP Club was provided by Orlando-based architects Scott + Cormia, which will also handle construction project management, the company said.
An annual membership fee would be paid for GP Club, giving members access to up to 250 clubs the company said it plans to build globally over the next 36 months.
In the United States there will be an estimated two GP Clubs per state, with Orlando and Coral Gables two of the initial 15 focal markets named by the company on Friday.
The company hired global real estate firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to manage site selection in Orlando and other markets (Dean Tselepis is managing the account). Sites for GP Club should be 7 acres, given outdoor amenities and the large building size, and ideally sit near major highways for easy access by traveling members, Shrestha said.