Shortly after Host Hotels bought Orlando’s Four Seasons Resort in 2021 for $610 million cash, they dropped another $30 million to secure an adjacent vacant 5-acre parcel with future development in mind.
Plans weren’t known at the time of the record-breaking transaction, but an application submitted to Orange County in late June gives a sense of what could be coming to this empty parcel within the gated resort community that includes a five-star hotel, golf course, water park, and a Disney-owned private neighborhood of multi-million dollar mansions called Golden Oak.
The Maryland-based hotelier — which owns 78 upscale hotels containing approximately 42,300 rooms worldwide — is seeking to change land-use entitlements for parcel A to allow for residential uses other than timeshares. A county staff report says the change, if approved, would clear the way for both single-family and multifamily development.
“Currently, Parcel A only allows time share units,” Doug McDowell, a county planner, told GrowthSpotter.
Planning and landscape architecture firm LandDesign filed a change determination review with the county on behalf of the property owner on June 11. The item is scheduled to go before the county’s technical review group on July 20.
Representatives with Host Hotels were not immediately available for comment.
The Four Seasons Resort sits within the Northeast Resort Parcel Planned Development, which sprawls across 427 acres near Disney theme parks.
It includes Disney’s prestigious Golden Oak community, which is home to some of the most expensive real estate in Orlando. The Host Hotels land abuts the Four Seasons Private Residences, an enclave within Golden Oak where homeowners have access to the resort amenities and services. Some homes in the private community are built with two kitchens — one for the owner and one for the hotel staff to create catered meals or deliver laundry and fresh flowers.
All of the lots within the Four Seasons section are sold, so the only available homes are on the resale market.
Keith Renner, a real estate agent with Nectar Real Estate, has one of these listings — a two-story, six-bedroom, nine-bathroom Italianate villa spanning 8,214 square feet currently listed for $16.4 million.
He said the estates within this resort community are in high demand. He understands why there are plans to add more buildable lots.
“Golden Oak has been wildly successful,” he told GrowthSpotter. “There’s a feeding frenzy for these properties.”
It’s due to a combination of factors, he said: The resort environment, the hot Central Florida market, and the property’s proximity to a popular Orlando destination.
“Four Seasons properties across the globe are very popular because of its world-class amenities, and then when you add Disney on top of that, it’s a really powerful combination,” he said. “The general public has responded.”
Noting that Golden Oak is now a resale market, with new homes no longer available, he said there’s a need for more options.
“I don’t know what (the hotel owner) is going to build, but there is demand and I think they will sell, absolutely,” he said.
The Northeast Resort Parcel PD currently has existing land use entitlements for 373 single family dwelling units (detached or attached), 200 multi-family residential units, and 60 timeshare units, according to county records.
While it’s not yet known how many residential units Host Hotels is looking to add to the vacant parcel, county staff said in a July 13 report that the change determination request before them appears to be consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan.
“Consistent with the resort focus, commercial and residential uses immediately adjacent to the hotel will be developed in a design concept that integrates time-share and residential uses (both single-family and multi-family) with the adjacent hotel resort to create a unified resort development area,” a county report reads. “The design standards approved for this area are intended to ensure the walkability and ease of transition between the resort-related uses and amenities.”
The report states that additional waivers are included in the approved land-use plan in order to provide the desired integration between the resort, commercial, and residential uses within the PD and also to ensure compatibility and access to the adjacent hotel and golf resort.
“Future development should abide by these standards,” the report says.
Meanwhile, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando is Central Florida’s only AAA 5 Diamond rated luxury resort. It sits on 289 acres at 10100 Dream Tree Blvd. and provides complimentary transport to four Disney theme parks and Disney Springs. In addition to its 18-hole golf course and golf club, the resort features five pools, three tennis courts, a 13,000-square-foot spa, and a 5-acre water park and entertainment area called Explorer Island.
The proposed Land Use Plan includes development standards for four single family detached housing types: estate homes, courtyard villas, cluster villas and village homes.
Estate homes come with a minimum living area of 2,000 square feet and a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet. Illustrative lot walls and gates as tall as 15 feet would surround homes as high as three stories. The lot would also include a guest lodge, either attached or detached. Lot widths would total a minimum of 70 feet.
The courtyard villas come with a minimum living area of 1,200 square feet and a minimum lot size of 3,600 square feet. Also as tall as three stories, they’ll include a detached side-loaded garage and courtyard features. Lot width would be a minimum of 40 feet. The village homes are also permitted on 40-foot lots, but they would include an attached front-loaded garage.
The cluster villas would come as tall as three stories with a minimum living area of 1,200 square feet and a minimum lot size of 3,600 square feet. Cluster villas would also come with a decorative wall in front of the property and neighboring units would share driveways. Lot width would be a minimum of 20 feet.
Site plans also provide townhome concepts with 5-8 unit buildings and 2-4 unit buildings. Townhomes would sit on a minimum lot size of 2,800 square feet with a minimum square-footage of 1,200 square feet.