Hotels & Hospitality Development News in Central Florida

Malaysian oil company subsidiary sparks up plans for long-time vacant land near Disney

Entities tied to Darton US Holdings are seeking to combine parcels E4, E6 and E7 into the Ten Acres International Orlando PD (starred). The combination would add roughly 20 acres and 478 hotel rooms for a total of 850 hotel rooms.

Orlando-based Darton US Holdings, an investment vehicle for Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas, is reworking development provisions on vacant land it owns by the Disney theme parks and attractions for possible sale and future construction.

GCB Associates LLC, a company led by Darton US Holdings president Chris Liew, just submitted plans in Orange County seeking to largely expand the Ten Acres International Orlando Planned Development, located directly east of I-4 and north of the Orange – Osceola County line.


The request, which combines three parcels from surrounding 840-acre World Gateway PD, would add roughly 20 acres and 478 hotel rooms entitlements to the Ten Acres International Orlando PD for a total of 850 hotel rooms.

Attempts to reach Liew and business partner Robert Paymayesh with Orlando-based civil engineering company PE Group were unsuccessful.


For years, the 10-acre square parcel was excluded from the World Gateway PD and subsequent Development of Regional Impact area. Currently, the 840-acre DRI has entitlements for up to 5,820 hotel rooms, 240,000 square feet of retail space, 25,000 square feet of restaurant space, 294,216 square feet of office space and 2,064 multifamily/timeshare units.

Completed developments within the PD include the Damai At World Gateway resort, which features 102 townhome short-term rentals, the 252-unit Palms at World Gateway apartments at 9000 Ave. Pointe Circle and the 408-unit Camden World Gateway apartment complex, developed by Trammell Crow Residential in 2000.

The World Gateway PD was established before a company tied to Darton US Holdings acquired the 10 acres in 2014 for $690,000 from a trust led by Clara McPhail.

Before the purchase, Paymayesh amended its Land Use Plan from its previous agricultural use, so Darton US Holdings may sell the property with entitlements to allow for tourist/commercial uses. The LUP, unanimously approved by Orange County commissioners in 2011, allows for 478 timeshare units, or 478 hotel rooms or 118,157 square feet of commercial uses.

The property sits across from the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, on the eastern side of I-4. Disney Springs, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot are less than 10 minutes away.

In 2019, an entity tied to the global investment firm KKR paid about $47 million to acquire the nearby World Gateway apartments from a joint venture between the Carroll Organization and the Bluerock Residential Growth.

Another major property owner within the World Gateway PD is Xentury City.

In 2018, GrowthSpotter reported that the developer tapped CBRE’s Robert McEwan to market individual lots within its property on Osceola Parkway and International Drive to potential luxury hotel developers.


Xentury City’s parent company, Xenel, is a billion-dollar multinational corporation based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia that has dealings in real estate, oil, gas and other industries.

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