Dart Interests to Redevelop 1,100-Acre Resort Bordering Walt Disney World in Orlando
ORLANDO, FLA. — Dart Interests has unveiled plans to redevelop Villas at Grand Cypress in Orlando into a massive vacation rental resort and hotel project named Evermore Orlando Resort. The 1,100-acre resort is adjacent to Walt Disney World.
At full buildout in 2023, the 10,000-bedroom project will represent an equity investment in excess of $1 billion. Evermore’s first phase will include nearly 1,500 rooms spread across single-family rental homes, villas, flats and hotel guestrooms. Plans call for 69 houses ranging in size from five to 11 bedrooms.
“Dart is introducing an entirely new hospitality category that will change the landscape of vacation rental homes,” says Christopher Kelsey, president of Dart. “We are creating the first-ever wholly owned, large-scale community of purpose-built vacation rental homes and operating them with hotel-quality standards.”
According to Kelsey, Dart’s approach to this project solves the main problem for vacation renters — uncertainty in the quality of the home. The centralized ownership model ensures the same quality for each residence, as opposed to most other vacation homes that are owned by individuals.
In addition to vacation homes, the complex will also include 76 four-bedroom flats, 41 two- and four-bedroom villas and a Conrad hotel, which is a luxury brand from Hilton. Named Conrad Orlando at Evermore, the hotel will feature 433 rooms, including 51 suites and 10 family suites. Amenities will include 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, numerous dining options, a spa and rooftop deck.
All guests will have access to a 20-acre tropical beach area and Evermore Bay, an eight-acre water amenity by Crystal Lagoons. The surrounding beach areas will feature bars, cabanas, private fire pits and an adventure area with a waterslide, rope swing and various watersports. There will also be a food hall and gourmet market, a resort restaurant with views overlooking the golf course and a two-story boathouse that will host weddings and private events.
Bookings for Evermore Orlando Resort are slated to launch in 2022 with the grand opening expected in summer 2023.
Prior to the pandemic, the Central Florida region reached 75 million annual visitors, according to Dart. Orlando occupancy rates are regularly above 70 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal. Since the onset of the pandemic, the occupancy rates have slowly recovered to about 39 percent as of December.
“Our willingness to go forward with Evermore in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic is testimony to the resilience of the Orlando market, its talented workforce and our unique Disney-adjacent location,” says David Pace, president of Dart’s Florida division.
Dart Interests is a real estate development and investment firm solely owned by the Dart family, which also owns Dart Container Corp. Its portfolio of more than $1 billion is currently invested in real estate projects across seven states. Based in Dallas, the company also maintains offices in Orlando, Charlotte and Houston.
— Kristin Hiller