Report Says Disney Plans Big Florida Development

From Associated Press

Walt Disney Co. plans to build a giant commercial office park, up to 6,000 single family homes and the largest shopping mall in central Florida, a newspaper reported.

The development, which would be Disney's first on its Osceola County property, would be built on 4,400 acres straddling Interstate 4, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Orange and Osceola county officials who were briefed about the plans last week told the Sentinel that Disney was to announce its project at its annual "State of Our World" presentation on Monday.

Disney officials did not confirm the report.

"There's nothing to chat about," Disney spokesman John Dreyer said. "I hope they've got good crystal balls. I'm not confirming anything. Tell them to come to the show on Monday. Come see the 'State of Our World' and find out."

County officials said they were told that Disney planned up to 6,000 middle-income and executive houses with a starting price of $90,000, the Sentinel reported Saturday.

Plans also call for between 6 million and 7 million square feet of commercial office space, about 1.2 million square feet of light-industrial office and manufacturing space, one or two golf courses and recreation areas, officials cited in the report said.

Several community leaders who have seen the plans said Disney did not present any timetable for construction or dollar value, the paper said.

Disney owns 8,700 acres in the area, of which 40% is swamp, drainage watershed and canals.

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