The Walt Disney Company is expanding its real estate brand, announcing plans Wednesday to develop residential “telling stories” communities across the country where fans will be able to live, make friends and enjoy the magic of Disney in their daily lives.
The company said in a press release that the first developments, dubbed Cotino, will take place in Rancho Mirage, Riverside County, near where the Walt Disney Co founder once owned a home. Additional locations are also being explored.
“As we prepare to enter our second century, we are developing exciting new ways to bring the magic of Disney to people wherever they are, expanding storytelling into storytelling,” said Josh Damaru, president of Disney Parks Division, in the statement.
The new communities, called “Storyliving by Disney,” will be open to all ages, with some neighborhoods designated for residents 55 and older. Trained Disney staff members will manage the community associations, and Disney will provide access to “curated experiences” through club membership, including health programs, live entertainment, and cooking classes.
The Cotino community will surround a “large 24-acre oasis of clear turquoise water” and include estates, single-family homes, and condominiums. An optional club membership will grant access to a waterfront club, a club-only beach area, and recreational water activities.
The project also has approval for a mixed-use area including shopping, dining and entertainment, a beachfront hotel and a professionally managed beach park accessible to the public with a day pass. Disney is collaborating with Arizona-based DMB Development, which specializes in communities planned for the project.
The Disney theme park “Imagineers” will help develop communities and explore “the richness of each locality to inspire the storyliving theme by Disney communities,” Michael Houndgen, executive producer for the company’s theme parks research and development division, said in a statement. .
Disney’s previous forays into residential real estate include the mainly-planned Celebration City, Florida, in the 1990s and high end Homes in resort-like communities near Walt Disney World. Epcot theme park was originally designed by Walt Disney as a corporate city with commercial and residential areas.
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