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Kissimmee resort Westgate Town Center in negotiations for Crystal Lagoon amenity

Kissimmee resort Westgate Town Center in negotiations for Crystal Lagoon amenity
Westgate Town Center has applied for a permit with the South Florida Water Management District for a Crystal Lagoon amenity surrounded by eight new timeshare buildings. Resort officials said they are in negotiations with Crystal Lagoons but haven't signed a contract. (sf)

Westgate Resorts is in negotiations with Miami-based Crystal Lagoons USA to build a swimming lagoon as part of the next development phase at Westgate Town Center Resort & Spa in Kissimmee, COO Mark Waltrip told GrowthSpotter on Monday.

Westgate filed an application with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) for an expansion phase that would include the Crystal Lagoon, surrounded by eight new timeshare buildings and associated parking. Although the body of water was described as a stormwater pond, Waltrip confirmed it could be a crystal lagoon.

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The project has already been designed and engineered. Resort officials are doing the cost-benefit analysis to determine whether to move forward.

"It's a very expensive amenity, and we're trying to decide whether it makes sense to move forward - especially since we just opened our new water park," Waltrip said. He expects a decision by Westgate in the next 60 days.

Most Crystal Lagoon amenities are between 5-10 acres, and Waltrip said they cost around $500,000 per acre. Westgate has already invested $20 million in the first of the eight proposed timeshare towers.

"We built the first 172 units in that phase," Waltrip said. "That brings our total to just over 3,000 units, or about half of entitlements."

The resort is also building a 40,000-square-foot restaurant complex with a mix of fast food, fast-casual and sit-down restaurants. "We're growing very fast out there," Waltrip said.

Crystal Lagoons will open its first U.S. lagoon this summer in Pasco County. The Company has two announced projects in Kissimmee and at Lake Nona, but CEO Uri Man told GrowthSpotter the company was in negotiations for five more metro Orlando locations.

Man said on Monday the Crystal Lagoon would add "tremendous value" to the Westgate property despite its close proximity to other lagoon amenities.

"The projects are all different based on what's surrounding the project," he said. "The Tavistock project will be all single-family homes, the Kissimmee will be rental apartments. We have over 50 projects in Chile - and that's a small country with a cold climate - and we haven't reached the saturation point."

The project's architect is General Design Inc. out of Branson, Missouri, civil engineer is VHB, Inc., geotechnical engineer is Universal Engineering Services of Orlando and surveyor is Hanson, Walter & Associates, Inc.

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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