"First we brought in the famous Italian design firm Pininfarina, and now we brought in one of the most respected retail leaders in Crossman & Company," Magic Development CEO Rodrigo Cunha said on Friday. "Together, we will be reinventing the skyline and the tourism industry in Kissimmee for years to come."
Magic Place is approved for 250,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, with the first 80,000 slated for Phase 1. The first of five residential towers, and Magic Development's new corporate office and sales center, are also included in Phase 1.
Project Manager Hector Lizasuain said Magic will start clearing the site on Oct. 9. Pads and outparcels should be ready by May 2018.
John Crossman told GrowthSpotter the strategy for Magic Place will be to find a mix of restaurants, retailers and service providers that can complement -- not compete -- with Disney properties.
"It's all about Disney," he said. "It's about servicing the Disney consumer -- not trying to repeat what Disney is doing. It's trying to augment what Disney is doing."
Crossman said his firm will be looking for a mix of national, regional and local tenants who are committed to the local market and buy into the developer's vision.
"I love retailers that are experiential," he said. "They know how to treat locals, and they know how to treat tourists."
Lizasuain said Magic executives are just beginning to work with the design team from Pininfarina to master-plan 364 acres immediately south of Magic Place that the company bought earlier this month.
The developer plans to link the stormwater ponds on the two properties to make them a cohesive project, known as Magic City, with water taxi service at multiple locations.