MIAMI, Florida – John Turchin’s office is covered with everything from pictures of Hollywood celebrities and sports stars to a Native American head dress. Overlooking Sunset Harbour Yacht Club in Miami Beach, it puts an exclamation point Turchin’s self-described persona as a “lifestyles’’ creator.
“I’ve always been ahead of my time in doing unique things,’’ said Turchin, chief executive officer of Turchin Companies, one of the Southeast’s more successful construction and development companies.
Indeed. Begin in the 1970s, when he managed many Turchin Companies’ Miami Beach high rises. In the 1980s, Turchin and his brothers opened Club Nu on Miami Beach. With its 24/7 party atmosphere and high-profile celebrity guest list that included Bianca Jagger, Mickey Rourke and Eddie Murphy, Club Nu was the definition ‘80s South Beach lifestyle.
“Everybody who was anybody was there,’’ Turchin said.
In the 1990s, Turchin took control of the Turchin Companies, founded by his grandfather in 1927, following the retirement of his father, Robert. Robert Turchin, who died in 2013, collaborated with the likes of Morris Lapidus – father of the “Miami Modern’’ hotel architecture – to basically build post-war Miami Beach.
In the 2000s, Turchin turned to his 1970s memories of family vacations in the North Carolina Mountains and purchased 1,350 acres near Banner Elk that he developed into The Lodges at Eagles Nest, now one of the Southeast’s top communities.
In 2017, the Turchin family acquired an 85-acre farm – called Horse Shoe Farm – in the highlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains less than 20 minutes from downtown Asheville. Located along the banks of the legendary French Broad River, Horse Shoe Farm opened in 2018 as a luxury retreat, featuring eight individual homes for up to 50 guests; an outstanding spa experience in an authentic renovated barn; concierge service for all guests’ needs; stables and equestrian facilities; personal growth and wellness amenities and classes; and private event spaces for weddings, family gatherings, and retreats.
The Farm has more than a dozen buildings, including the eight homes. For example, the Silo Cookhouse is the Farm’s main gathering spot. Among the buildings, the Silo features indoor and outdoor dining, a lounge and full commercial kitchen. The Sanctuary, with views of Mount Pisgah, hosts yoga workshops and daily group meditations.
“All the buildings were there, but we renovated and re-purposed them,’’ Turchin said. “It had been a private estate whose owner had a big car collection. He had every model Corvette ever made. It was a working farm before that.’’
Horse Shoe Farm doesn’t offer its own golf course, but the western North Carolina mountains are loaded with golf opportunities.
Among the top public courses are Etowah Valley Golf & Resort in nearby Etowah. Edmund B. Ault designed the course on the former plant site of the Moland-Drysdale Corporation in 1964. Moland-Drysdale manufactured the area’s famous Etowah Brick, which was shipped throughout the eastern half of the United States.
The Donald Ross-designed Asheville Golf Course – one of the oldest courses in Western North Carolina – is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Only around 6,400 yards from the tips, it’s a classic Rossian layout that depends accuracy over power, particularly on the back nine.
With its emphasis on wellness and family and under the daily operation of Turchin’s son, Jordan, Horse Shoe Farm is the antithesis of the ‘80s Miami Beach “party never ends’’ lifestyle.
“We’ve gone through the club world,’’ Turchin said. “I’m bringing those people here who were there 30 years ago. We’re no longer partying. We have grandkids now.
“We’re much more interested in quality of life. We’re obsessed with eating well and exercising and staying young. I’m trying to pass on that quality to people and leave them with a place they can come back and visit. They can turn off the switch when they are there.’’
To that end, Horse Shoe Farm brings in yoga instructors and personal chefs to provide for guests’ needs. The Farm’s overnight accommodations can be rented for as few as two nights to unlimited stays Want the entire Farm? It’s $6,500 per night.
“We recently had a family of 50 for an entire week,’’ Turchin said. “We brought in chefs based on what they wanted to eat. There was even a complete pizza oven. Every day we brought them a complete culinary experience, instead of them going out to get one. They re-booked for two years from now.’’