A Chicago-area company led by real estate developer and advisor Kimm Dodaro is under contract to purchase land west of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.
Dodaro leads a company called the Walter Joseph Group, which specializes in helping charities accept gifts of real estate. The firm also offers private real estate planning and land development consulting.
According to a Land Use Plan application, Dodaro is looking to develop up to 260 short-term rental units, plus a nine-story hotel with a maximum of 240 suites, through a company she manages called Walter Blake Inc.
The entity is carving out about 119 acres from Columnar Investments’ roughly 250-acre property assemblage north of U.S. 192 and west of Avalon Road.
Columnar, a major property owner and developer in Horizon West, is behind the Ovation community in Village I, which consists of eight neighborhoods of single-family homes, townhomes, offices and three schools.
Sean Froelich, Columnar’s Florida division partner, told GrowthSpotter the land under contract allows for a number of uses including timeshare units and short-term rentals due to its growth center land use zoning.
He said RJ Whidden and Associates, Inc. is working with Dodaro to incorporate some surrounding smaller parcels into her proposed planned development called Grand Luxx.
Froelich told GrowthSpotter the developer wants to bring a resort-style community to the area, but plans are still very preliminary at this time.
The property sits a little less than five miles from Walt Disney World’s western gate. It lies east of the Orange/Lake County border and west of the Grove Resort and Water Park, owned by Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners.
Over the last couple of years, BTI has invested millions in renovating and restoring the resort. Since taking control of the property, the developer has added a large arcade and seven-acre water park that includes two FlowRider surf machines, water slides, a kids’ water activity area and lazy river.
Last year, GrowthSpotter reported of its plans to bring an additional 160 condo-hotel units on five acres of land just north of its resort, along Grove Blossom Way. The addition pushes the total unit count of Grove Resort & Water Park to 1,038.