Orlando Community Obtains $55M in Bond Funding

Westport Capital Partners and BTI Partners are developing The Grove Resort and Spa. Located near Disney World, the property will include condos and recreational amenities such as a water park, restaurants and bars.

The Grove Community Development District, which includes the Grove Resort & Spa Orlando about three miles from Walt Disney World Resort’s Western Way entrance, has obtained $55.3 million of tax-exempt bonds. FMSbonds Inc., based in Miami, facilitated the deal.

The 106-acre Grove Resort has 878 condo suites on Lake Austin. The property is being developed in phases by The Grove Resort and Spa LLC, a joint venture between entities owned by funds managed by Westport Capital Partners LLC, and South Florida-based developer BTI Partners. The first phase opened in March 2017.

The Grove Resort and Spa offers various resort amenities, including a spa, restaurants and bars, and kids’ activity rooms. It will include a water park when fully completed in early 2018. The property’s two- and three-bedroom residences are managed by resort management company Benchmark Hospitality, and are available for sale from the high $200s.

The bond proceeds will fund the construction of a water park, public parking garages and other resort-associated infrastructure. The bonds are backed by special assessments levied on the lands within The Grove Community Development District.

SOUTH FLORIDA REAL ESTATE PLAYERS COMING TO CENTRAL FLORIDA

The deal is part of a much larger trend of South Florida real estate players coming to Central Florida, including Orlando and Tampa, for the value-added investment opportunities. BTI Partners is one, but hardly the only one:  Related Group, Riviera Point Development Group, Lennar Homes, Kolter Group and American Land Venture, among others, are doing the same.

BTI has also invested in Tampa’s Westshore Marina District, where it recently sold land to Related Group and WCI to build rental units and townhomes in the master planned community. The company also has a stake in Davenport, which is south of Orlando, where it’s building out Posner Park near Legoland.