In a place like Orlando, where 17 million people visit the Magic Kingdom every year and some 66,000 employees owe their paychecks to a certain mouse, real estate lives in a bubble that almost never pops. Parent company Walt Disney World Resorts cashed in on this opportunity with its 1996 launch of Celebration, a planned community with everything from monthly rentals to $4 million, single-family homes.
Now, Disney has targeted a higher-end market with Golden Oak, a new resort community with single-family homes priced from $1.5 million to $8 million or more. The private, gated community, lying just a few minutes from the Magic Kingdom, will include a golf course, clubhouse, walking paths, park, private lake and even a Four Seasons Resort for out-of-town guests.
The complex broke ground in 2010. Homes come in three styles — “Village,” or Mediterranean-style homes on sites up to one-quarter of an acre; “Estate,” which offers a mix of styles including Tuscan, Spanish Revival, Venetian, Italianate, Dutch Colonial and Island Colonial, on approximately one-half-acre home sites; and “Grand Estate,” ample homes on sites up to three-quarters of an acre. The residences come with elegant touches such as wine storage and elaborate entertainment systems.
Owners at Golden Oak receive free, door-to-door transportation and VIP passes to Disney’s sprawling metropolis of theme parks. For an added fee, Golden Oak residents can enjoy exclusive events at the theme parks (think “brunch with lively performers in Mickey and Minnie costumes”). Golden Oak owners also will have discounted greens fees at the five Disney golf courses, along with a Tom Fazio golf course in their own neighborhood.
“Golden Oak is a place where families can come together and make memories for generations to come,” said Stacey Thompson, publicity manager for Disney Destinations. “And Disney World is right at their doorstep.”
Mexico’s Hidden Jewel
LaTour Hotels and Resorts, which offers personalized luxury hospitality management services for four- and five-star properties worldwide, has announced the opening of Celeste Beach Residences, Resort & Spa, located in Huatulco, Oaxaca, the hidden jewel of Mexico.
The 21 residential condominiums, ranging in price from $930,000 to $1.44 million, are grouped in seven buildings, all with beachfront views on the perimeter of an ocean cove with 600 feet of private beach.
“Celeste Beach Residences, Resort & Spa has been created to offer owners an escape from life’s daily demands, a community where people can relax, unwind and forget about the stresses that come with everyday life,” says Sean Zimmerman, founding partner of SIA Living, the property’s sales and marketing partner.
Including amenities and activities such as access to a golf course, a wine lounge, a beachfront pool and boating trips, the community’s condominiums in the lush coastal terrain of Mexico measure an average of 2,384 square feet and are offered in two- to three-bedroom suites.
A Massachusetts Pleasure in The Pinehills
Within the Massachusetts town of Plymouth, The Pinehills is an award-winning community filled with modern-day customization and convenient village amenities.
The development, once named Best Master-planned Community in the U.S. by The National Association of Homebuilders, offers a broad range of living choices — including the Fresco home by The Green Company, which was titled the Best in American Living Home of the Year in 2010.
According to Donna Tefft, The Pinehills director of sales and marketing, the two- to three-bedroom Fresco homes are designed around a courtyard with the benefits of both outdoor and indoor living combined. Out of four possible Fresco plans, the homes can range from 1,441 to 2,301 square feet.
The community’s cottages also are stepping into the spotlight. The Summerhouse Cottages neighborhood of The Pinehills was selected as the location for HGTV’s Green Home of 2010. Managing Partner Tony Green explains that the “Beechwood with Tower” cottage had an impressive HERS score of 59, meaning the home uses 59 percent of the energy of a standard home of its size.
Residences range in price from $300,000 to over $2 million; The Pinehills only plans to develop 3,050 residences on 1,000 of the 3,200 acres, adding to the manicured views.