ORLANDO-Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Inc. has closed a six-month-old deal with Walt Disney World Co. to purchase 400 prime acres in Disney-founded Celebration, FL where it plans to develop a 450-room, $200 million hotel, golf course, 125 timeshares and an unspecified number of single-family residences and town homes. A ground-breaking date hasn’t been set.

Transaction terms weren’t disclosed. But area brokers intimate with the deal tell GlobeSt.com on the dirt commanded a price of at least $500,000 per acre ($11.48 per sf) or an estimated $200 million.

It’s the largest land deal of its kind in metro Orlando this year, according to Orange County real estate records. The planned hotel is Four Seasons’ first in metro Orlando.

“This project will contribute significant value to Central Florida, bringing additional commercial, home construction and unique luxury accommodations that will add to the area’s real estate tax base and contribute to local resort and sales tax collections,” Reader says in the statement.

Another Celebration official, Matt Kelly, Vice president/real estate development and operations, says in the statement, the Four Seasons deal is “the latest signal that Celebration is developing into an outstanding commercial location and represents a substantial and exciting opportunity for Central Florida.”

Celebration plans to develop two million sf of office space in existing Celebration Place and along Celebration Boulevard. The company has completed 850,000 sf of class A office.

The planned hotel site is about one mile south of World Drive on Celebration Boulevard, near Disney’s 30,000-acre empire, a location Four Seasons’ chairman/CEO Isadore Sharp finds favorable to a successful investment.

“The Orlando area is an excellent destination and we have been looking for the right opportunity and partner there for some time,” Sharp says in the Celebration Co. statement. “The resort project will be a valuable addition to our portfolio, particularly because we can also offer the Four Seasons lifestyle through the (timeshare) Residence Club and homes that art part of the project.”

The new hotel would increase the total number of hotel rooms in the 10-year-old northern Osceola County city to 1,539. Reader had previously asked Osceola County commissioners for approval to increase Celebration’s hotel portfolio to 2,039 rooms from 1,039 rooms.

Central Florida has about 113,000 hotel and motel rooms, second largest inventory next to Las Vegas, according to local chamber of commerce officials. Disney alone has developed about 22,000 rooms in 19 nearby hotels since opening the attraction in 1970.

The Four Seasons project will be competing with two other nearly completed nearby enterprises–the 1,000-room JW Marriott Hotel and Marriott’s 584-room Ritz Carlton, both off John Young Parkway in south Orange County. Average daily room rates at Four Seasons hotels are $330, according to Smith Travel Research Inc. of Hendersonville, TN.

Four Seasons’ single Florida property is the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach in Palm Beach, FL, a AAA Five Diamond and Mobile Five-Star property. In the prepared statement, the 41-year-old, Canadian-based hotel company calls itself “the world’s leading operator of luxury hotels,” managing 56 properties in 25 countries.

This year, Four Seasons opened its second property in Tokyo, in the center of the Marunouchi district, as well as properties in Shanghai and Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. The company has 20 new hotel projects under development in undisclosed key global locations, according to the statement.

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