Reunion developer introduces new condo hotel plan at golf resort

The master developer of Reunion Resort appears to have scrapped plans for a 300-room conference hotel at the resort in Osceola County in favor of a new pedestrian-friendly condo development.

Encore Capital Management filed a new Preliminary Subdivision Plan (PSP) for the 46 acres that span both sides of Tradition Boulevard, just east of the Interstate 4 overpass. The parcel surrounds the resort's first water park. 

The PSP, designed by Dave Schmitt Engineering, shows a total of 72 condo buildings, each with four units, for a total of 288 units.  A 24,000-square-foot clubhouse and outdoor amphitheater separate the condos from the off-site parking lots, which abut I-4. A network of trails and golf cart paths wind through the complex, connecting it to the neighboring villas and golf course.

The plan doesn't specify if the project would operate as a condo hotel, but the off-site parking lot suggests it would. Officials with Encore did not respond to requests for comment this week. 

The plan was submitted in late August and is still under review by Osceola's planning staff. It replaces a PSP that was filed in 2015 and withdrawn last year for a hotel on the parcel north of the water park.

That plan called for a 300-room hotel with attached 62,314-square-foot conference center and sound stage. The water park would have been expanded with water slides, a splash park and other amenities comparable to the Encore Club at Reunion West.

At the time, Project Manager Jim Bagley told GrowthSpotter the company was considering the hotel in an effort to expand beyond its vacation home roots.

"We were missing an opportunity with business travelers who still wanted to experience the resort but didn’t need all the space they get in a vacation home," he said in 2016.

Since that time Osceola County entered into negotiations with Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which owns and operates the Reunion Grande, for a 200-room addition at the hotel, along with an expanded spa and meeting space.

Salamander was seeking $30 million in Tourist Development Tax earlier this year to help pay for the expansion. County Manager Don Fisher told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday that those discussions are stalled.

Another Reunion project that appears to be stuck in neutral is Feltrim Group's luxury condo project, Crescent at Reunion Resort & Club. Feltrim closed on the property and applied for building permits last year for the 88-unit development, but it has yet to break ground.  

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

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