Global luxury brokerage Engel & Völkers has opened up a new shop location in the Caribbean on the island of St. Martin, which will service both St. Martin and St. Barth, the brokerage announced on Monday.
License partners Victoria Mas and Gregory Druart are leading efforts at the new office, Engel & Völkers St. Martin, which is located on the island’s French side in Baie Orientale, directly on the beach. A press release from the brokerage noted that Engel & Völkers also plans to open additional shops in the region in the future, including on the Dutch side of the island and on St. Barth.
“I am thrilled to expand our presence in the Americas to include St. Martin and St. Barth,” Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas, said in a statement. “The islands have long been an international resort destination, and paired with Victoria and Gregory’s collective expertise in both navigating the local real estate market as well as in cultivating luxury client experiences, I am confident that the market here will thrive as part of our global brand and network of collaborative, discerning real estate professionals.”
Home of the SXM music festival, St. Martin is also well-known for its gastronomy and 37 beaches. Also known as the “friendly island,” St. Martin is prominently influenced by European culture, with the northern side of the island a French territory and the southern side a Dutch territory.
The northern side offers a more “traditional seaside stay experience,” Engel & Völkers’ press release notes, while the southern side has a vibrant nightlife scene with bars, clubs and a casino. Meanwhile, the housing stock ranges from luxury beach villas to one-bedroom apartments on both sides.
St. Barth is about 20 miles south of St. Martin and has a tendency to draw celebrities and other high-net-worth individuals with a very high-end luxury real estate market.
Both markets offer ample tax benefits to potential investors, including no taxes in St. Barth and no housing or inheritance taxes on the Dutch side of St. Martin. Additionally, both islands are accessible via direct flights to and from the U.S., Canada and Europe.
“The real estate experience in the Caribbean is long overdue for a modern refresh,” Mas said in a statement. “One that understands and is able to cater to the evolving needs and preferences of sophisticated clients from all over the world. And quite simply, to reach a luxury market, you need a luxury brand. Engel & Völkers provides that fresh, forward-thinking approach to real estate, while at the same time, is already synonymous in the minds of our clientele with personalized, luxury real estate service.”
Mas, who is a native of France, has a decade of luxury real estate experience that she brings to the new shop. Prior to launching a real estate career, she refined her experience dealing with high-end clients in a role at a private jet company. Then she worked in a marketing role for an international luxury brand in Dubai for a few years before transitioning into real estate in St. Martin.
Druart, meanwhile, has been involved in a number of successful business ventures internationally over the course of his career, including in the south of France, Moscow, Guangzhou and the Caribbean.