TORONTO, ONTARIO (Sep 15, 2011) — Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has entered into a joint venture with Silverstein Properties and Dune Real Estate Partners to develop a 444-room luxury resort at the Walt Disney World Resort. Construction is set to begin on what will be the largest Four Seasons resort in the world this December, with a target opening date in 2014.
“Four Seasons had the unique opportunity to purchase a fantastic site at the Walt Disney World Resort,” says Kathleen Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Then, we partnered with Silverstein and Dune, some of the world’s most astute players in real estate to develop the project, which enabled financial commitments to be secured and the project to move forward. We are also delighted to work with The Walt Disney Company, which shares our vision for a family vacation experience unlike any other.”
Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world’s leading luxury hotel brand, acquired the land from Disney in August 2008, and will retain a 30 percent ownership interest in the project in addition to operating the resort.
Four Seasons has been working closely with New York-based Silverstein Properties, one of the nation’s most respected real estate development, ownership and management organisations, since July 2009. Silverstein advanced the design and master plan for the new resort in consultation with Four Seasons, including acquiring necessary approvals, assembling and directing architectural and engineering teams, and negotiating the construction contract with Turner Construction. This effort enabled financing to be secured.
“We are very pleased to be working with Four Seasons on this exciting project,” says Larry Silverstein, president and CEO, Silverstein Properties, which will continue to oversee resort development and construction. “It’s a great design in a great location, and we’ve assembled a great team who are going to make this resort a reality in a few short years.”
New York-based Dune Real Estate Partners, a highly regarded real estate private equity fund led by Daniel Neidich, is the majority investor.
“The opportunity to partner with Silverstein and Four Seasons, both distinguished leaders in their respective fields, has given us the confidence to make a significant investment in a new development,” says Neidich. “This is an irreplaceable asset – a rare opportunity in a remarkable location, with a prestigious brand that we believe will provide attractive returns to our investors for many years to come.”
Mexico City-based Grupo Financiero Inbursa has agreed to provide USD 190 million in construction financing for the project. Grupo Financiero Inbursa is one of the largest banks in Mexico, and this is their second large construction loan in the US.
“Four Seasons continues to seek out innovative partnerships with like-minded individuals and organisations who share our vision,” says Scott Woroch, executive vice president, worldwide development, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Despite the difficult financing environment brought on by the global economic downturn in the last few years, the development concept we created with our partners for this unique site attracted debt and equity sponsorship, and is now moving forward.”
About Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
The development will include a 444-room Four Seasons resort plus up to 40 Four Seasons Residence Club units and up to 90 Four Seasons Private Residences. Within the resort will be several dining venues including a rooftop restaurant with Magic Kingdom views; a 14,000 square foot (1,300 square metre) spa with 18 treatment rooms; a fitness centre; three pools and a “lazy river”; sports facilities including tennis courts, basketball court and climbing wall; two recreational centres for children, teens and families; and approximately 37,750 square feet (3,500 square metres) of meeting and event space plus a business centre. The development will encompass the existing Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Ridge 18-hole championship golf course, which will be renovated and subsequently managed by Four Seasons. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is an enclave located within the Golden Oak residential community, created and master-planned by Disney.
About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Four Seasons is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. From elegant surroundings of the finest quality, to caring, highly personalised 24-hour service, Four Seasons embodies a true home away from home for those who know and appreciate the best. The deeply instilled Four Seasons culture is personified in its employees – people who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service. Founded in 1960 by its Chairman Isadore Sharp, Four Seasons has followed a targeted course of expansion, opening hotels and residences in major city centres and desirable resort destinations around the world. Currently with 85 properties in 35 countries, and more than 50 projects under development, Four Seasons continues to lead the hospitality industry with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding.
About Silverstein Properties
Silverstein Properties, Inc. (SPI) is a privately-held, full-service real estate development, investment and management firm based in New York. Founded in 1957 by President and CEO Larry Silverstein, the company develops and acquires office, residential, hotel and retail properties. On behalf of principals, investors and financial partners, SPI has developed, owned and managed more than 35 million square feet (3.2 million square metres) of commercial, residential and retail space.
SPI has USD 10 billion worth of development activities underway, including rebuilding the commercial office space at the World Trade Center, one of the largest public-private developments ever undertaken. The company recently developed and opened Silver Towers, the largest residential rental development in New York. The company has been recognised as one of the “Best Places to Work in New York City” by Crain’s New York Business for the past three years.
About Dune Real Estate Partners
Dune Real Estate Partners LP manages the Dune Real Estate Funds, which were launched in 2005 to make opportunistic investments in a broad range of real estate-related assets, portfolios, joint ventures and operating companies worldwide. The funds have more than USD 1.5 billion under management and generally target distressed opportunities, underperforming and undervalued assets and portfolios, and value creation opportunities. The principals of Dune Real Estate Partners have an average of more than 24 years of real estate experience and together provide differentiated broad-based global relationships and investment expertise.
About Grupo Financiero Inbursa
Grupo Financiero Inbursa was established in 1965 in Mexico, and is active in banking services, pension and investment fund management, operating as a brokerage house, debt and equity issuance, a wide variety of insurance products, financial and pure leasing services, and equity investments.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Sorya I. Gaulin
Director, Corporate Public Relations
+1.416.441.4767, mob: +1.416.301.4012
SOURCE: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts