Groundbreaking held for hotels at Disney

Flamingo Crossings to feature 2 Marriott hotels

ORLANDO, Fla. - Developers broke ground Thursday on two Marriott hotels in Flamingo Crossings, the western area of Walt Disney World.

Power lines and street lights line the well-paved roads along Flamingo Crossings Boulevard in Orange County, but there are very few cars and no buildings.

The Disney-owned property just outside an entrance to Disney World, at the intersection of Western Way and State Road 429, has sat empty since 2007, when Disney first announced a major retail, dining and lodging project.

Local 6 has learned exclusively that Disney has restarted plans to develop "Flamingo Crossings," beginning with two well-known hotels.

JL Properties, Inc. is planning to develop Springhill Suites by Marriott and Towneplace Suites by Marriott on 10 acres of the property.

According to Marriott's website, Springhill is as an upper-moderate all-suites hotel at a great value. Towneplace "provides simple, quality surroundings" and is described as value-conscious and no-frills for the extended-stay visitor.

Disney originally announced it would develop Flamingo Crossings after the western beltway was completed. At a press conference in 2007, Disney showed off artist renderings of what Flamingo Crossings would eventually look like with lodging, shops and restaurants. But then the economy crashed and the weed-filled lots off the newly-paved roads sat empty for years.

"Flamingo Crossings is a Disney master-planned, value-oriented tourist district that will combine third-party branded lodging, retail and dining," said Marilyn Waters of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in May. "We are pleased that the project continues to move forward with interest from well-known brands and hotels."

The project is slated to open January 2016 and is expected to create 125 full-time jobs.

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