Scottsdale Pilot Selects a Luxury Volare Hangar at Pegasus Airpark

  • story by David M. Brown
  • photos by Kevin Schellhorn
  • posted on 11/2023
  • posted in: Feature Articles

Scottsdale resident Troy D. recently purchased a luxury Volare Hangar at Pegasus Airpark in Queen Creek, about 40 minutes from Phoenix in the East Valley. He’s flying extra high, waiting for the space to be completed while he awaits the arrival of his new Diamond DA62 in 2025.

Equity 1000 LLC, owned and operated by John, Tarja and Johnnie Panfil, has partnered with Boomerang Capital Partners LLC in Mesa to build the premium Volare Hangars. Here owners store their planes, helicopters, collectible cars and other treasures while spending time with friends, family and business acquaintances.

“Equity 1000 is a local family-owned equity firm that utilizes our various backgrounds in business, construction, energy management, consulting, contracts, accounting, investments and real estate development,” says John, a longtime Valley resident and real estate investor/developer. “We identify, strategize and implement opportunities as a macro-developer with a focus on commercial and aviation-based real estate.”


Volare comprises 34 premium and upgraded executive hangars, 60-by-60 square feet to 80-by-80 square feet, built in two phases; Pegasus is a gated aviation- and equestrian-focused community surrounding the private airport’s paved runway, 5,124 feet by 80 feet. Both phases of Volare Hangars are under construction and only a few months away from occupancy.

The development completes the last rows of hangars as originally planned in 1998 and finishes the south entrance into the airpark. In addition, Volare will also improve the view from Empire Road. “Most importantly, it will provide storage for more aircraft that will now call Queen Creek home,” says John.

Phase 1 is almost sold out; these units are expected to be complete around December, Johnnie says. These two south buildings facing Empire road have canopies and subtle architectural design cues to represent the wings of the legendary Boeing B-52 bomber “Stratofortress” that has been in service by the U.S. Air Force for more than 60 years. “The final design of these streetside executive hangars was driven by the creative input received from both the community and town to ensure an aesthetically impressive entrance into the airpark,” he explains.


On May 2, more than 40 people joined the development team, their partners and contractors as they listened to Mayor Julia Wheatley and Vice Mayor Jeff Brown celebrate the construction of the 34 hangars.

Phase 2 hangars became available to purchase a few months ago; they are expected to be finished around February. These eastside units match the square footage and contemporary design of the Phase 1 hangars.

“Volare Hangars are built with passion and pride to deliver the best possible facility and amenities for storing present-day aircraft as well as being prepared for the future EVs and hybrids,” explains Johnnie.


The Joys of Private Hangars at Private Airports

The hangars on the north side are pre-engineered metal construction for the exterior and demising walls. They include features such as premium hydraulic hangar doors; three-phase power supply; plumbing to install restrooms and/or appliances; fully insulated ceiling/walls; and additional roof structure ready for future HVAC systems. Buyers can build out “man caves” or small personal offices and restrooms in addition to storing aircraft.

Larger executive hangars along Diana Way use commercial-grade CMU block construction for the exterior and demising walls, enhancing the look and sound attenuation. These units have dedicated street addresses with private driveways that have 14-foot-by-14-foot hydraulic RV doors; large patios that include 10-foot-tall commercial-grade sliding doors which can be folded completely to one side; and a separate 8-foot-tall glass front entrance door. The hangars also have greater flexibility in potential uses, including building out a portion of the interior into a residence.


During his weekly search earlier this year of hangar opportunities in the Phoenix area, Troy met John at Pegasus Airpark in June 2023. They toured, discussing the project, and visited other Queen Creek locations. Later, he met Johnnie. “By the end of the day, I felt confident in a decision to move forward with a purchase of a Volare Hangar for my aircraft and cars,” he says. He is also searching for a Cirrus SR22.

In addition to the qualities mentioned, he likes Volare’s PEMB steel construction; the fully insulated and paneled walls/roof; utilities hook-up; and a fortified roof structure to support the HVAC.

Security is central. Pegasus Airpark is a gated community, and both Jet-A and AVGAS fuel are on site with discounted pricing for owners. In addition, Pegasus is 7,000 feet below KPHX Class B airspace, with fewer flight restrictions than other local airports.


Equity 1000 and Boomerang also partnered with Trust Bank which is extending 50-percent LTV financing to qualified Phase 2 buyers, as it did for the initial phase. “Many pilots have experienced the lack of lenders willing to finance hangars, and the LTV provides our buyers with a rare opportunity to use it for the purchase of these hangars,” John says.

A passion for flying and for family spurred the project. “‘Volare’ means ‘to fly’ in Italian,” John says. “My mother came from Italy when she was 14 years old, so we’re keeping those beautiful memories alive using the name. She had Dean Martin as her phone’s ringtone, and when someone would call, the famous song, “Volare,” would play.”

John and Johnnie were searching for a hangar in Pegasus before coming across the opportunity to develop the vacant land and provide high-end hangars to the rapidly growing general aviation market, which is experiencing a significant shortage of places to store aircraft, according to industry data and FAA’s congressional hearings, explains Johnnie.


Most airports are owned by municipalities, which have strict requirements they must meet for FAA funding. “Public airports receiving funding from the FAA are required to have ground leases on hangars located within the airport, and, once the initial term and any renewals are over, the airport authorities can take ownership of the hangar, so at most airports hangars are only available with limited ownership rights due to ground leases that come with strict rules and restrictions, unlike private airports,” explains John.

However, private airports, such as Pegasus, provide greater ownership rights without any ground leases; they are managed and maintained by a community association as they do not receive funding from FAA. Therefore, with fewer restrictions on how the hangars can be used, you can also store cars, RVs, boats and other equipment without any issues.

“You own the hangar fee simple, forever allowing it to be passed down for generations and to appreciate in value without the diminishing returns caused by ground leases,” he says. “You can also modify and make improvements to the interior of the hangar without concerns of an authority taking ownership of your hangar or kicking you out.”


Their client, Troy, says: “The Volare team have been great partners in all phases of the purchase. I am most appreciative of the communication, the time spent explaining the project and area details. Pegasus Airpark is a community of aviation fans. And, I have seen so many new investments in Queen Creek and great amenities. I am excited for completion and looking forward to meeting the Pegasus Airpark community.”

Queen Creek’s Development Services Director Brett Burningham notes that the municipal relationship has also been collegial. “Volare is a unique mixed-use project that supports the high aesthetic standards of the town,” he says.

John adds, “The town of Queen Creek has been great to work with throughout the entire development process, which included everything from conceptual design review, rezoning, permitting and construction. Everyone, from their staff at the front desk to the planning department, engineers, council members, inspectors, vice mayor and mayor, has been extremely helpful and are passionate about improving and maintaining their community. As Queen Creek residents ourselves, we are excited for the future of this town and look forward to working with them again.”

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