Disney will build residential neighborhoods as part of the Storyliving project
Los Angeles (CNN) — The Disney Company announced on Wednesday its intention to create several residential neighborhoods across the United States, the first of which should open this year in Rancho Mirage, California.
Pricing has not been announced, although the spokesperson said home prices will be set by the homebuilder, taking into account market conditions.
The property outside of Palm Springs will be developed with DMB Associates of Arizona.
In addition to planning condominiums and single-family homes, Disney plans to have a mixed-use neighborhood open to the public, complete with shopping, dining, entertainment, a hotel, and a beach park. Certain neighborhoods will be designated for residents 55 and older.
This rendering shows the proposed “downtown” of Cotino, where shopping and dining offerings are planned.
Storyliving by Disney
Disney employees, who the company calls “cast members,” will manage the properties and organize programming and experiences for residents.
But you won’t find Mickey Mouse here. And there are no planned discounts or perks tied to theme parks or Disney merchandise. Instead, residents will find water recreation, cooking classes, wellness seminars, or philanthropic projects.
All of this, of course, comes at a price. Residents would pay a homeowners association fee, as well as a voluntary club fee, the prices of which have not been announced.
Other Disney residential developments
The company has already created planned residential communities: a community in Celebration, Florida, which the company sold to a third party; and Golden Oak on the Walt Disney World property, which the company still operates.
In Golden Oak, single-family homes target Disney fans who want close access to Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney sold the Celebration development in 2004. Some residents later struggled with the new owner over some units and buildings falling into disrepair.
But a Disney spokesperson told CNN that these Storyliving communities would be a complete departure from those previous projects.
She said they had no intention of selling out as happened at Celebration. And while Golden Oak may appeal to theme park fans, Storyliving’s developments are aimed at fans who seek Disney’s approach to detail and experience implemented in everyday life.
A large 24-acre oasis with a professionally managed beach park with water activities is part of Cotino’s proposal.
Storyliving by Disney
This is the first time Disney will attempt to create multiple neighborhoods across the country. Disney Imagineers, known for its creativity in building immersive theme park spaces, will design the neighborhoods to evoke the history and nature of each particular location.
“You can see and feel why Walt Disney himself used to escape to the desert,” said Michael Hundgen, executive producer of Walt Disney Imagineering, in a video about the new project outside of Palm. Springs, an area the Disney founder loved to visit.
Josh D’Amaro, president of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in a videotaped statement that the Disney Company has been known for strong storytelling for nearly 100 years.
“As we prepare to enter the second century, we are developing exciting new ways to bring the magic of Disney storytelling to people wherever they are,” said D’Amaro.
Top image: An aerial rendering of Cotino, a planned Storyliving by Disney residential neighborhood in Rancho Mirage, California (Storyliving by Disney)