A September 2021 Memorandum of Repurchase Option sheds light on just how much time Disney has to develop the Lake Nona property previously carved out for a headquarters campus for its theme park division. As we previously reported, Disney has planned to cancel the development of an estimated $1 billion project in Lake Nona, citing “changing business conditions” among the reasons that they have decided to not move forward with the project.
The question then becomes: what will Disney do with the 60-acre Lake Nona project? Back in December 2021, we took a look at the extensive work Disney was doing to prepare the site for construction. Documents filed with Orange County show that Disney can’t hold on to the property forever though, and they will be forced to sell or develop the land by late 2028.
According to an agreement between Disney’s Dynamic Campus LLC and Lake Nona Property Holdings LLC, Disney has to hit certain construction milestones to avoid a repurchase option. The two milestones are:
- At least 250,000 sqft of gross interior building area by September 2028
- At least 500,000 sqft of gross interior building area by September 2031
If either of those construction milestones is not achieved, Disney must offer to sell the property back to Lake Nona Property Holdings LLC at the purchase price.
Disney has only said that the plans to move forward with the Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products campus have been canceled, but they have not made any announcement about what, if anything, they plan to do with the land. It’s possible that Disney could develop the land at a later date should business conditions improve.
In our opinion, the Lake Nona debacle will be looked back on as a significant development in the history of Walt Disney World. Disney was on the precipice of moving its theme park creatives to a campus just 25 minutes from Walt Disney World. At the risk of sounding too dramatic, this relocation could’ve changed the course of Disney World’s history. Putting 2,000 of the top theme park creatives and executives just minutes down the road from Walt Disney World would’ve forced a focus on the property, unlike anything we may ever see again.
As for the actual future of Walt Disney World, that remains to be seen. Currently, top executives like Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro and Walt Disney World President Jeff Vahle are trying to balance publicly optimistic messages with the reality that the business environment for Disney in Florida is unfavorable.
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!