Dallas-based Dart Interests is advancing plans for a new hotel at the Grand Cypress Resort near Disney.
“We definitely believe it’s time to complete the development of the Grand Cypress holdings,” said David Pace, president for the company’s Florida operations. He said the new hotel would be a “world-class luxury offering.”
Dart filed a Development Plan with Orange County for the 8-story, 433-room hotel and is still responding to comments from county staff. Last week, the firm went ahead and filed construction plans for the infrastructure related to the new entrance roads and the hotel site.
“We’re doing the infrastructure while we’re in the process of doing deals with third party folks for the hotel flag,” Pace said. “We made the decision, even when Covid showed up, to continue with that. We’re watching as closely as everyone as the recovery of Orlando travel and tourism market continues with the reopening of Disney this week. We think it’s more likely than not Orlando will enjoy a full and robust recovery.”
Pace said the intention is to get the hotel site pad ready for the future development partner. The joint announcement regarding the hotel was initially planned for the first quarter, but was postponed because of the pandemic. “We want to be ready to go when it’s time to pull the trigger on the vertical,” he said. “If we see a speedy recovery, we won’t miss a beat.”
The new entrance road with guardhouse gates would extend from Winter Garden-Vineland Road, north of the existing golf villas.
The hotel development will require some adjustments to the Jack Nicklaus designed links course at Grand Cypress, dubbed the “New Course,” and relocation of the driving range, Pace said.
At full build-out, Grand Cypress is entitled to have up to 100,000 square feet of retail/entertainment space and more than 900 hotel rooms and 1,500 residences. Pace also confirmed plans for a large central swimming lagoon, which would require more redesign of the golf course.
Last December, Dart filed a Development Plan with Orange County for a 55-acre “Core Village” south of the hotel site. According to the plans, Dart wants to construct 89 resort-style villas east of the proposed swimming lagoon. The section between the lagoon and the core village is defined as “future flats” in the DP and could be a multifamily or hospitality product.