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Hotels & Hospitality Development News in Central Florida

Reunion Resort owner dusts off expansion plans for up to 1,200 units

Kingwood International Resorts bought the Reunion Grande and its three championship golf courses in 2019.

Kingwood International Resorts appears to be dusting off expansion plans it announced more than three years ago when it acquired Reunion Resort, one of the region’s premier golf destinations.

The Atlanta-based golf resort operator acquired the 360-room Reunion Grand hotel, its three championship golf courses and amenities in 2019. While the total purchase price of the combined assets was undisclosed, the buyer did take out a $32 million mortgage at the time of the sale.

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The deal also included undeveloped land within the resort property, and at the time Kingwood announced plans to make significant investments in Reunion Resort. Those plans included the addition of 1,200 rental accommodations and a new 400-room hotel with convention and meeting facilities to enhance the resort’s condominium and private home rentals.

About a month ago, Kingwood President Richard Nasser posted on a construction bidding site operated by Dodge Data & Analytics that plans were in the works for up to $85 million in new construction at the resort. The project could entail a mix of 1,200 apartments, timeshares and/or condominiums. The site notes that the project was first posted in May 2019, which would have been a few months after the closing. Michael Mancke, VP Resort Division for Kingwood, previously told GrowthSpotter the 1,200 figure included building rights for other developers.

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Encore has filed plans for a new hotel next to its Encore Club and water park at Reunion West.

It also said the project is in the pre-development phase and that an architect has not yet been selected. The construction timeline is noted as within five years.

“A new condo project at Reunion makes good sense,” Pozek Group founder Ken Pozek told GrowthSpotter. “Condos do so well in Reunion from a rental perspective. There’s only so many people who can afford a 10- or 15-bedroom home.”

Pozek said he gets calls from all over the world from people who want to invest $250-450,000, and a condo in Reunion hits that sweet spot — especially if the unit includes a social membership that grants access to the resort amenities.

Executives at Kingwood could not be reached for comment. And Osceola County has not received any permit filings or a pre-application meeting request for the project. But development activity is taking place in Reunion by other entities. Lead developer Encore Capital Management is wrapping up its final phase of Spectrum+ at Reunion, a 296-unit condo and townhome resort surrounding the original water park on Tradition Boulevard. Kingwood expanded the water park in conjunction with the Spectrum+ project, but the other development activities were put on hold due to COVID.

Encore and LGI Homes are building phases 4 and 5 of Reunion Village, a residential neighborhood north of the Reunion Village town center and medical campus. Orlando Health opened a 12,000-square-foot Free-Standing Emergency Room there in May.

Crescent at Reunion is approved for 88 condo units. The project, shelved since 2016, was sold to a new developer in June for $3 million.

In July, Encore filed construction plans for a new hotel adjacent to the resort’s Encore Club and waterpark on Fairfax Drive just west of Old Lake Wilson Road. The plans by NDM Hospitality, which manages the club and Rentyl vacation home business at Reunion, Bear’s Den and Margaritaville, seek approval for a 90-room hotel with a reception hall and an expansion to the club and water park, which were built in 2015 at the cost of $18 million.

In June, Doral hotelier Alex Nahabetian acquired undeveloped portions of the Crescent at Reunion condo community on Mourning Dove Circle for $3 million and recently filed a Site Development Plan to complete the buildout of the community. The site plan consists of six new buildings totaling 88 units with detached garages. The project has been on the drawing board since 2016 and has changed hands three times since then.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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