Disney and its ambitious new real estate project

Storyliving by Disney is the company’s recently announced ambitious new real estate project. Leaders describe it as “vibrant new neighborhoods that are infused with the Company’s special brand of magic. These master-planned communities are intended to inspire residents to foster new friendships, pursue their interests and write the next exciting chapter in their lives—all while enjoying the attention to detail, unique amenities and special touches that are Disney hallmarks.”

This residential development plan is in charge of the theme parks division and will be planned by the Disney Imagineers team, who will build a small city in which fans will find themselves surrounded, on a daily basis, with the special magic of the brand. For their part, the company’s employees will be in charge of the operation of the community associations.

Cotino, storyliving by Disney

Cotino is the name of the first planned community, a project that will be developed where Walt Disney lived, Rancho Mirage, in the Coachella Valley, California, on a 618-acre site and supported by DMB Development.

An impressive 24-acre lagoon, which acts as a “great oasis,” is the center of this condominium that will have residential houses, an exclusive neighborhood for people over 55 years of age and a mixed-use district in which inhabitants will be able to access shops, restaurants, and even a beachfront park and hotel.

In addition, the company will develop a series of clubs in which residents can actively participate in “curated experiences, such as wellness programming, entertainment ranging from live performances to cooking classes, philanthropic endeavors, seminars and much more.”

“As we prepare to enter our second century, we are developing new and exciting ways to bring the magic of Disney to people wherever they are, expanding storytelling to storyliving,” said Josh D’Amaro, president of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “We can’t wait to welcome residents to these beautiful and unique Disney communities where they can live their lives to the fullest.”

This is not the company’s first effort to enter the real estate market. In 1960, Walt Disney himself was in charge of a project known as EPCOT, Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, which had to be shelved after Disney’s death in 1966.

Between the 1980s and 1990s, the company once again devoted efforts to the development of a residential community, this time erecting the small town of Celebration, Florida, in 1996, to generate a sense of nostalgia among its inhabitants. In 2004, Disney sold much of its stake in the project to a private firm, amid criticism of poor construction quality, excessive repair costs, and a lack of population diversity.

Golden Oak, the community Disney still operates in Florida, is considered the option for fans of the brand with higher incomes, where a property can cost between $1.5 million and $10 million.

Cotino is being developed with the support and expertise of DMB Development, a firm highly regarded for the development of large-scale planned communities in the U.S.

“Cotino represents the creativity and operational excellence of Disney, combined with the extensive experience in community development of DMB Development,” said Brent Herrington, CEO of the company, who also stressed that they are “delighted to collaborate with Disney in this new and innovative concept.”