Originally published by Senior Housing News on January 27, 2022
First came Jimmy Buffett — and now, another famous name in entertainment is getting involved in the 55+ senior housing trend.
Last week, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced plans for “Storyliving by Disney,” a master-planned community concept with a variety of neighborhoods, including some for residents age 55 or older.
Though Disney’s early concept also includes housing for a range of ages including older adults, it is no doubt looking to create something at least somewhat similar to Minto Communities’ Latitude Margaritaville brand, which has seen a surge of interest amid the pandemic.
Disney is building its first Storyliving community — dubbed Cotino — in Rancho Mirage, California, where the company said its founder and namesake Walt Disney owned a home. The company also has plans to explore other markets for future development.
While the Cotino community’s development is still in its early stages, the final product will include condominiums, single-family homes and personal “estates,” with at least one section set aside for 55+ residents. Planned amenities include a roughly 24-acre “grand oasis” with lagoons and a waterfront clubhouse, private beach area and Disney programming, entertainment and activities.
Other onsite features include a mixed-use district with shopping, dining and entertainment along with a beachfront hotel and a park with recreational water activities. Disney employees will staff the community, and residents belonging to a voluntary private club will have access to curated experiences including wellness programming, classes and live entertainment and seminars.
Disney is developing the site with DMB Development, “which is highly regarded for its development of large-scale planned communities in the U.S.,” according to the entertainment company.
“As we prepare to enter our second century, we are developing new and exciting ways to bring the magic of Disney to people wherever they are, expanding storytelling to storyliving,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks Experiences and Products. “We can’t wait to welcome residents to these beautiful and unique Disney communities where they can live their lives to the fullest.”
Like Disney, Minto has its eye on other markets for expanding the Latitude Margaritaville brand beyond its current sites in South Carolina and Florida. Those include Texas and other markets farther west.
Given its surge in demand amid the pandemic, leaders with Minto believe the Latitude Margaritaville brand is well-positioned to grow in the future as prospective residents seek out “food, fun, music and escapism” amid tough times. The same tailwinds would likely apply to a future Disney senior housing community.