Magic Development received its construction permit Tuesday for the first phase of its $1.7 billion Magic Place by Pininfarina resort, and will start clearing the site within three weeks, executives told GrowthSpotter.
Magic CEO Rodrigo Cunha said the mass grading and roadway construction should take about five months. After that, the developer can go vertical on the first of five residential towers and 80,000 square feet of retail, for a total investment of more than $180 million.
"Most likely we're going to move our office and sales center to Magic Place, as well," he said on Tuesday.
Magic partnered with famed Italian design firm Pininfarina to lead the conceptual design, architecture, landscape and interior design for the 87-acre project, which would be the region's first luxury-branded resort.
"It will be iconic," Cunha said. "Pininfarina will put their mark on the retailers, as well. Everything will be built according to their drawing and design. The interior buildout doesn't change."
The five residential buildings, each with a pair of towers, would be the tallest structures on the W192 corridor and have a combined 1,850 units. Cunha said Magic is finalizing negotiations with a national hotel brand to manage the first 250-unit tower as a hotel.
"The tower should be completed by 2020," Cunha said. "It's a two-year construction project. The retail will go faster -- we expect to have a grand opening by late 2018."
Cunha said Magic hasn't signed any retail tenants yet, but is confident they'll come in time.
"The tenants should start popping up the moment we start clearing the land," he said. "We have the best location in Osceola County, so we have no issues whatsoever with leasing."
Magic has hired contractor JHMC for the site prep and infrastructure work for Phase 1, which comprises 25 acres on the eastern side of the project. The master plan also calls for multiple parks and sculpture gardens.
Project Manager Hector Lizasuain said horizontal construction costs for Phase 1 will come to about $3.8 million, and site work will take about five months. The second phase will include two more towers and additional retail along W192.
Magic Place is the largest of Magic Development's four Kissimmee-area projects. Magic Village Resort opened in 2015, and the developer has nearly sold out its $73 million Magic Village 2 Resort, per executives. Now the developer is pre-selling Magic Reserve, a 76-unit condo/timeshare project adjacent to Magic Village 2.
Cunha said the Magic Place hotel deal will allow the company to wait before pre-selling the units in Phase 2.
"We don't plan to sell it anytime soon," he said. "We don't want to cannibalize Magic Reserve."
Editor's Note: This story was updated on Aug. 2 to correct the name of Magic Development's site contractor.