Walt Disney World has designated nearly 80 acres of its land near its famous Central Florida theme parks to build more than 1,300 affordable homes.
The announcement comes less than a week after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would consider repealing a 55-year-old law that allows the company to govern itself after Disney publicly took a stand against the said law. “Don’t Say Gay”.
“Disney has alienated a lot of people now, and so the political influence that they used to have, I think, has dissipated,” DeSantis said at a press conference in West Palm Beach late. March.
“And so the question is, why would you want to have special privileges in the law? And I don’t think we should.
The company unveiled its plans for the new development in Orange County on Wednesday, noting that it is still “in the early planning stages and subject to appropriate approvals.”
The as-yet-unnamed project will be located on Disney-owned land near downtown Flamingo Crossings, located just 15 minutes from Magic Kingdom park, and will be built by a “prominent” third-party developer from affordable housing.
The development is expected to include more than 1,300 units, providing residents with a variety of housing choices, which Disney has promised will be “affordable and achievable”.
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Walt Disney World Resort announced Wednesday that it has designated 80 acres of its land in Orange County, Florida to build more than 1,300 affordable housing units (an artist’s rendering of the future community is shown above )
The new development will be located approximately 15 minutes from Walt Disney World’s famous Magic Kingdom park
Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education Bill last week, which bans classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade — a law violently opposed by Disney
Walt Disney’s ‘Magic Kingdom’: How the 1967 law allowed the company to rule its sprawling Florida estate
The Reedy Creek Improvement District, a semi-private special purpose government, is controlled by Disney.
It was created in 1967 when then-Governor of Florida Claude Kirk, a Republican, signed into law the Reedy Creek Improvement Act empowering it to regulate land use, enforce building codes , treating sewage, controlling drainage, maintaining utilities and providing fire protection at Disney. World.
The district is governed by a Board of Supervisors selected by its 19 landowners, the largest and most influential of them being Disney World.
The district has the power to tax land and use the revenue to provide essential public services and to operate and maintain all public roads and bridges.
Such private governments are not uncommon in Florida, which has more than 600 community development districts that manage and pay for infrastructure in new communities.
If 1967 is repealed by GOP lawmakers, Disney World ownership will fall under the control of Orange and Osceola counties.
“The lack of affordable housing affects many people across our country, including right here in Central Florida. With this initiative, we are lending a hand to make a real and meaningful impact in our community by tapping into the best of our company’s strengths,” said Jeff Vahle, Chairman of Walt Disney World Resort. “This is the right opportunity and the right time to act.”
Last week, Florida House Rep. Spencer Roach tweeted that lawmakers had held two meetings to discuss revoking the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which he said “allows Disney to act as its own government,” following Disney’s stance against the new law.
Spencer, a Republican, added, “If Disney wants to embrace the woke ideology, it seems appropriate that they be regulated by Orange County.”
The 1967 law, which was signed by then-Governor Claude Kirk, a Republican, created the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which encompasses approximately 25,000 acres in Orange and Osceola counties.
The district is governed by its 19 landowners, the largest of which is Disney World. It is responsible for overseeing land use and providing essential public services, including fire protection, emergency medical services, water, electricity and sanitation services. The district also operates and maintains all public roads and bridges.
The new homes would be part of the Flamingo Crossings shopping complex in Orange County and would be located near schools, shops and restaurants, according to plans.
According to Disney, the low-cost accommodations will be available to “qualified applicants” from the general public, including its employees, known as “cast members.”
No other details were immediately available, including the cost of the new homes.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings welcomed Disney’s announcement.
“We want to move the needle, we want to see additional workforce housing closer to where people work and live, so we know that’s going to be a critical part,” he said. he declares. “There will be workers who live in this area who will be closer to where they work.”
Disney is not new to building residential communities in Florida, with the town of Celebration being arguably the most famous example.
The planned town in Osceola County was founded by Disney in the 1990s and handed over to its residents.
More recently, Walt Disney World Resort built a luxury residential community called Golden Oak, a sold-out development with a private clubhouse and a range of amenities, including golf.
Residents of the future community will have access to retail and restaurants in downtown Flamingo Crossings (pictured)
Walt Disney World Resort recently built a luxury residential community called Golden Oak in Florida
Earlier this year, Disney announced plans to develop Cotino, a 1,900-unit residential community in Southern California (artist rendering)
In February, the company, which also operates Disneyland in California, unveiled a development plan for Cotino, a 1,900-unit residential community comprising single-family homes and condominiums in Rancho Mirage, Southern California. Shops and a beachfront hotel will surround a 24-acre lagoon. Certain neighborhoods will be reserved for residents aged 55 and over.
Central Florida is in the throes of a housing crisis caused by a combination of rising property taxes and inflation, and not enough apartments to meet growing demand, reported ClickOrlando last month.
Parts of Orlando have seen rents jump 40% from a year ago.
Across Florida, rents are up about 30% since 2021.