Disney-intern housing proposal totals $615M, 75-year land lease on table

Bill Zimmerman
GrowthSpotter

A proposal for new student housing and education space for Disney’s College Program and other intern programs on two parcels at Flamingo Crossings Town Center details more than $615 million worth of development by Texas-based real estate investment trust American Campus Communities.

The land south of Western Way and west of State Road 429 would stay under ownership of a Disney Corp. subsidiary, according to material presented to potential investors of publicly traded ACC, which filed a geotechnical report with South Florida Water Management District this month.

A 25,000-square-foot Disney Education Center for the Walt Disney World interns would be built on site, offering college coursework. ACC seeks a 75-year land lease with full rights of ownership to the buildings, management by its own affiliate, financing and transfer positions and other conditions, including access to a back-up market of Disney World cast members, as part of the proposal. A lease on the land was executed during Q2 while the project continued planning and feasibility work, the company told investors; the agreement was non-binding, according to Globe Street. 

Amenities for residents, which also could come from Disney International Program and Disney Culinary Program, would include two fitness centers, four pools and “numerous” event spaces indoors and out, all totaling 50,000 square feet of space. A floor plan for four-bedroom, two-bathroom units is depicted, as well as a two-bed, two-bath design with two beds in each bedroom; in both plans, kitchen-bartop seating accommodates dining and all bathrooms have a pair of sinks. Parking and security would be available on site and dedicated bus lanes are part of the development’s design.

Construction would begin next month and would take place in 10 phases through May 2023 for the project, which would fall under ACC’s American Campus Equity program.

Disney in 2015 started laying groundwork for development of the property, and an affiliate near the start of the year proposed 1,320 apartments on the 53-acre eastern parcel that can include studio units as small as 350 square feet.   

Through an affiliate, Disney also in spring proposed 1,291 apartments on the 58-acre western parcel. Comment from ACC and from Disney Corp. was not immediately available. 

Established in 1981, Disney’s internship programs currently houses participants east of Interstate 4 in the Lake Bryan area, according to ACC. Disney hires an estimated 12,000 students annually for its internship program, the Orlando Sentinel reported in 2015.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bzimmerman@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5427 or @zmediaworks. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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