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New Disney-area vacation home resort aims to cater to luxury clientele

This rendering shows the preliminary subdivision plan submitted to Osceola County for the 130-acre Park Place Resort. It would contain 130 luxury vacation homes, a high-end hotel and a marketplace along Old Lake Wilson Road.
This rendering shows the preliminary subdivision plan submitted to Osceola County for the 130-acre Park Place Resort. It would contain 130 luxury vacation homes, a high-end hotel and a marketplace along Old Lake Wilson Road.(Rj Whidden & Associates)

Osceola County’s latest vacation home resort would offer eco-friendly designs, a park-like setting and unparalleled level of service, according to the development group that filed plans this week on behalf of Park Place Resorts.

Park Place principals Phil Waganheim and Cesar Lopez shared their vision with GrowthSpotter for a 130-unit resort that would cater to a luxury clientele and investor. Waganheim said the company plans to break ground in the fall on the $290 million project about a half-mile north of Reunion West. The site plan even shows a designated helicopter pad for “very high-end clients.”

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“We’ll be able to offer what Reunion does with the large vacation homes, but our level of service will set us apart,” Lopez said. Each home would be assigned a concierge who would meet the guests at their arrival and see to their every need, he said.

The developer intends to utilize the same 9-bedroom floorplan for most of the vacation homes at Park Place Resort. Different materials would be applied to the exterior surfaces to give each a unique appearance.
The developer intends to utilize the same 9-bedroom floorplan for most of the vacation homes at Park Place Resort. Different materials would be applied to the exterior surfaces to give each a unique appearance.(Rj Whidden and Associates)

Each 2.5-story home would sit on a minimum 70-foot-wide lot and would feature either nine or 12 bedrooms. They would come equipped with elevators and parking for 8 vehicles, including a four-car garage with the ceiling height to accommodate a luxury motor coach. Each home design includes a theater room, game room with golf simulator, commercial kitchen and summer kitchen under the lanai.

“The homes will all have identical floorplans, which allows for a quicker build,” Waganheim said. “But we will be able to use different materials for the exterior finishes so that no two homes look alike.”

Smart technology and solar power capabilities would come standard, he added. About half of the homes would be sold to investors. Park Place would retain the rest and would manage resort; investors will have the ability to customize their homes with a selection of curated furniture packages, artwork and themed murals.

The developer plans to construct the welcome center, amenities and models all in the first phase. The company is also negotiating with a hotel company to build a 10-story hotel that would have its own skywalk connection to the resort’s event center and wedding pavilion.

Outdoor amenities at the resort would include a pool, lazy river, splash pad, mini golf, tennis and pickle ball, according to the preliminary subdivision plan.
Outdoor amenities at the resort would include a pool, lazy river, splash pad, mini golf, tennis and pickle ball, according to the preliminary subdivision plan.(Rj Whidden and Associates)

“We hope to have a deal done with the hotel operator so we can be building at the same time,” Waganheim said.

The event center would have its own bar and grill, spa and fitness center. It would have a rooftop lounge for watching Disney fireworks. The outdoor amenities would include a pool, water slide, lazy river, splash pad, miniature golf, tennis and pickle ball. There’s also a dog park, a planned nature trail through the conservation area. The resort would be designed with sidewalks behind the vacation homes, rather than along the interior streets. The pet-friendly resort would also have its own dog park.

Park Place Resorts is working with Rj Whidden & Associates on the planning and entitlements. Hanson Walter and Associates will be the civil engineer. The architect is Alan Wolfe from ARW Architecture.

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The resort concept calls for a 20,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail building anchored by a craft brewery. It would have multiple dining options and a large courtyard with a stage for live entertainment.
The resort concept calls for a 20,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail building anchored by a craft brewery. It would have multiple dining options and a large courtyard with a stage for live entertainment.(Rj Whidden and Associates)

The 130-acre site at the northeast corner of Old Lake Wilson and Sand Hill roads is across from the Mystic Dunes Golf & Country Club and tucked between two new developments in the pipeline. EastGroup Properties has a purchase contract on the 160 acres immediately south of the resort with plans for a 1.5 million square foot flex business park. To the north, Lennar Homes and DeBartolo Development are planning townhouse and apartment communities.

Plans also call for building and operating a 20,000-square-foot marketplace with a large courtyard for outdoor dining and entertainment. Waganheim said the retail center would be modeled after the dining hub in downtown Winter Garden. It would be anchored by a craft beer brewing company, a wine bar and a farmers’ market with freshly grown produce from the company’s on-site aquaponics farm.

Trevor Hall and Emily Franklin with Colliers International represent the seller, Florida Bramingham Inc., which bought the land in the 1980s and worked with engineer Larry Walter on environmental and transportation permitting. “He rode herd on this property for decades,” Hall said. “Larry did a marvelous job working with Reedy Creek Improvement District for the discharge and stormwater permitting issues.”

The seller also donated right-of-way to Osceola County for the widening of Old Lake Wilson Road in exchange for three median cuts and access points to the resort, which made the property more valuable.

“It tees the property up very nicely for some very high-end resort development,” Hall said, noting that the list price for the property was $29.5 million. Park Place Resorts is scheduled to close in about four months.

Wagganheim said he’s never completed a project of this scale, so he partnered with Lopez, a broker for Titan Realty Group, and CFO Wayne Kalish.

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“I finally got to bring on partners that truly understand what we’re trying to accomplish,” he said. “We will have a project that’s pretty successful, and we hope it’s a prototype for future projects.”

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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