Disney dropping a $1 billion Florida campus could spoil other developers

Disney CEO Bob Iger and Disney World Castle in Florida
Nelson Barnard/Getty Images, Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • Disney’s decision to scrap its billion-dollar campus could affect nearby projects.
  • The CoStar Group told the Wall Street Journal that thousands of homes were built after Disney announced its 2021 campus.
  • However, the development group that owns the land says Disney’s decision will not affect it.

Walt Disney’s decision to scrap its $1 billion campus in Orlando, Fla., this month could leave several surrounding development projects in the Lake Nona community scrambling, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Walt Disney purchased the land to build the campus in the Lake Nona community in 2021, but ultimately decided they would not pursue this, The magazine reported on May 18. Hundreds of employees who were about to work on the new campus had already moved to Lake Nona before Disney announced they were abandoning the plan.

Lisa McNatt, director of market analytics at CoStar Group, told the newspaper that when Disney initially announced plans to build in Lake Nona, 2,100 new housing units were built as a result, with 1,200 currently under construction. By comparison, McNat told the magazine, only 750 units had been built in the previous three years.

Representatives for Tavistock Development Co. said: , the group behind Lake Nona, told the magazine only that it was “intended to curate the choice of organizations, innovators, and entrepreneurs that fuel our ecosystem.”

They also told the newspaper that 95% of the multi-family residences in Lake Nona are currently occupied.

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McNatt said Disney’s presence “would have resulted in a strong increase in higher-income jobs that would have benefited the Orlando region as a whole.”

The decision to cancel the plans was part of the company’s drive to cut costs The magazine previously reportedas well as its ongoing political battle with Governor Ron DeSantis, which began after Disney spoke out against a law backed by the governor that would limit discussions of sexual orientation and gender in public schools.

Insider’s Kelsey Vlamis previously reported that if the row continues, Florida could see a significant financial loss if Disney, the state’s second-largest private employer, decides to capitalize on more projects in the state — though that hasn’t happened yet. And The deadline has been reported.

“I think DeSantis has a lot to lose, as this incident made clear, depending on whether he, as a fairly shrewd politician, can somehow put a good face on this,” Richard Foglesong, a leading expert on Walt Disney World history and politics, said. he said from the inside.

Representatives for Disney, Tavistock Development Co, and DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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