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Brazilian developer pushes forward on trio of luxury townhome resorts

Finished townhomes at Magic Village Resort, which should open with 180 units in September that are individually owned, but rented for the owners by the resort's management firm.
Finished townhomes at Magic Village Resort, which should open with 180 units in September that are individually owned, but rented for the owners by the resort's management firm. (Provided)

After close to a year of construction delays, Magic Development, an Orlando-based developer with Brazilian ownership roots, expects to open its 180-town home luxury resort Magic Village in September. It's the first of three timeshare projects in Kissimmee the company is developing that total a projected $1.23 billion in investment over the next 10 to 15 years.

Located at 3151 Pantanal Lane, two miles from Disney's Animal Kingdom, the 19-acre Magic Village has been marketed to a Brazilian tourism base that has been Orlando's No. 1 source of foreign visitors since 2013.

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All but six of the 180 townhouses being built at Magic Village have been pre-sold to Brazilian investors. Buyers, some of which are Brazilian celebrities and athletes, have paid an average of $400,000 for two- and three-story townhouses with 1,800 to 2,300 square feet that come fully furnished. CND Group, another Brazilian-owned firm based in Orlando, will rent the townhouses for the owners.

Now a $70 million project, Magic Village's time line has been fraught with delays over the past year. Homeowners were originally told the first phase of townhouses would open in November 2014.

That soft opening has been pushed repeatedly over the past year due to redesigns of the property's clubhouse and changes to initial townhouses, with September of this year the latest projected opening, said James Mincy, director at Magic Development.

"The delays have mostly been design changes, but they were all great improvements for the project," he said.

Contractors on the Magic Village project have included Oviedo-based Jordan Construction & Development as general contractor, Boyd Civil Engineering, and Scott + Cormia architects.

Founded locally in 2007 by Brazilian investment banker Rodrigo Cunho and business executive partners, Magic Development cut its teeth in the Orlando real estate market over the past seven years on smaller residential and commercial developments in Orange and Osceola counties. The company still owns some office properties in Orange County, Mincy said.

MAGIC VILLAGE: THE SEQUEL
Magic Village 2, a 31-acre site at 2950 Reedy Creek Blvd. near the first project, is being prepped for a 300-town home development with a budget forecast of $165 million.

At nearly double the size of the first development, Magic Village 2 will feature two clubhouses and multiple pools. Contractors on the second development are likely to be carried over from the first, Mincy said.

The Magic Village 2 property's rezoning from Planned Development to Commercial Tourist goes before Osceola County's Development Review Committee for recommendation on May 20, followed tentatively by the Planning Commission on June 4, and the Board of County Commissioners on June 15.

Pre-sales could begin in June, with units similar in size to the first project and the same $400,000 price point, Mincy said. Magic Development expects to break ground in June but awaits rezoning approval and has yet to submit building permit applications.

A TRILOGY: MAGIC PLACE
The company's third and largest project is Magic Place, a mixed-use timeshare and retail development planned for 87 acres of undeveloped land on U.S. 192, west of SR 535.

Projected at $1 billion in investment over the next 10 to 15 years, Magic Place is being pitched as a 2,000-unit luxury timeshare resort spread across six towers, with 300,000 square feet of retail and dining space bordering U.S. 192.

As with the two Magic Village projects, Magic Place will be marketed to Brazilian investors for sale and timeshare rental. Magic Development is financing all of the developments on its own, Mincy said.

Retail space at Magic Place will be the initial focus of development, along with a man-made lake that will separate two sides of the property, with water taxis to move guests between the resort and commercial area.

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Magic Development is working with brokerage firm Continental Real Estate Companies for pre-leasing tenants of the 300,000 square feet of retail space. Conceptual designs for Magic Place have come from Scott Architecture, with engineering from Boyd Civil and Poulos & Bennett, Modica & Associates (environmental studies) and Tenstar, an adviser on the design and management of fractional ownership developments.

Magic Place will be rolled out in six phases for up to 15 years, with phase one featuring six retail parcels and one 100-unit resort tower at an investment cost of $150 million to $200 million, Mincy said.

The 87 acres, now zoned Agricultural, must also be rezoned Tourist Commercial. Osceola County staff are currently reviewing amendment requests for the site's comprehensive plan and zoning map but haven't scheduled the application for public hearings or the Development Review Committee yet.

Mincy expects to begin requesting permits for roadway and infrastructure construction for the site as soon as June and could break ground in September. That time line may be delayed based on the pace of rezoning approval.

The company is interviewing road work contractors now for Magic Place and is in the process of selecting a general contractor, Mincy said.

"We're in talks with a few big flagship hotel brands (for Magic Place timeshares), so the final look of the project will depend on how that search evolves," he added.

Editor's Note: The architect on Magic Village was corrected to reflect Scott + Cormia. 

bmoser@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5685

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