Developer proposes huge entertainment complex near Disney – Orlando Sentinel

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One of the worst blighted areas in Orlando’s tourism corridor could be transformed into a sprawling new entertainment district called Ovation with luxury hotels, dining and attractions, including a 175-foot-tall Ferris wheel that can be seen from Interstate 4.
“It’s going to be very cool,” said Bill Shewalter, vice president of development for Meyers Group, which wrapped up more than two years of planning to create the Ovation master plan on a 77-acre abandoned hotel site at the I-4 interchange with U.S. Highway 192 in Kissimmee.
The developer filed the site plan with Osceola County earlier this week for a compliance review. It’s the first step for projects in the county’s W192 tourism corridor. Shewalter told GrowthSpotter that Meyers plans to develop the entire project in one phase.
Owned by Fortuna Realty in New York, the one-time Hyatt resort is in a prime location across from Celebration and just minutes from Disney World.
“It’s a location and a project that seems to attract all the big names that you want versus kind of what’s currently available in Orlando — and there’s a lot of good stuff, but nothing quite like this,” Shewalter said.
Development plans starting to gel for long-abandoned Orlando Sun property

The Aventura-based developer has been under contract for the property known as Orlando Sun since 2022 and has refined the concept based on feedback from Osceola County. For one, they eliminated the 1,150 multifamily units from the earlier plan and have proposed instead three hotels with a combined 675 keys, two parking garages and close to 700,000 square feet of dining, signature retail and entertainment uses.
“That’s what the county wants,” Shewalter said, adding that Osceola’s costly school impact fees and parking requirements factored into the decision to scrap the apartments.
The main complex would consist of two rows of buildings linked by a central promenade with landscaped planters, event lawns and shade pavilions. Most of the parking would be provided by two garages on the outskirts of the project that can accommodate about 4,200 vehicles.
The northern tip of the project would include a Ferris wheel about half the size of the one at Orlando’s Icon Park and a large attraction or retail operation.
The tallest building at the corner of the project would be a full-service hotel with 350 rooms. Shewalter said it would be at least four stars. The other two hotels would be select service, three-star hotels with 150 and 175 rooms.
The master plan by Rj Whidden & Associates calls for 182,000 square feet of restaurants plus 186,000 square feet of cocktail lounges and bars. Many would be along the south side of the promenade with terraces overlooking a 4-acre pond that buffers the project from the highway.
The tenant mix at Ovation will include some family-friendly uses, but overall the vibe is “more grown up” and will feature the “hottest, latest new restaurants,” Shewalter said.
“There’s a lot of brands coming in from some of the bigger cities on the eastern seaboard,” he said. “And we were able to attract a number of great brands from New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Nashville.”
The property has long been considered one of the biggest eyesores on Kissimmee’s W192 tourism corridor, and it has been a priority for the county to see it developed to its full potential.
County Manager Don Fisher said, “the county is encouraged that a developer is considering to create such a high-quality project on such a high-profile property.”
This is the second new entertainment district announced this year for the Orlando tourism corridor. In January, AIC Hotel Group, which is affiliated with Nobu Hotels, filed preliminary plans with Orange County for a 44-acre resort district on vacant land just east of Disney Springs.
The conceptual plan calls for four hotels with a combined 1,934 keys and a retail/dining/entertainment center comprising 16 restaurants with seating for 2,600 diners and an entertainment venue with a capacity of 1,625 guests.
Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at or (407) 420-6261. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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