Lauderdale firm to open resort units near Disney in 3 months

Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners and another developer plan to open the first units at their resort development near Walt Disney World early next year.

BTI Partners and Connecticut-based Westport Capital Partners LLC expect to open the first 184 units of the 878-unit project in western Orange County, called Grove Resort & Spa, on February 16.

The resort will have a mix of rental apartments and condo-hotel units with two floor plans: two bedrooms with two bathrooms, and three bedrooms with three bathrooms. The two-bedroom units span 1,338 square feet and the three-bedrooms 1,614 square feet.

First-phase amenities scheduled to open in February along with the first 184 units are a swimming pool and spa, a lounge and two bars. Other first-phase amenities scheduled to open next year include a six-acre water park in late spring.

The Orlando-area resort property, formerly a timeshare development known as Grand Palisades, is substantially built on more than 100 acres at 15665 Grand Palisades Boulevard next to Lake Austin. But it never has opened.

A previous developer with financial and legal problems suspended work on the development.  BTI Partners and Westport Capital paid $69 million for the property at a 2014 auction and last April started to renovate it.

Kevin Mays, director of development for BTI Partners, told the Orlando Business Journal that “we acquired the property, then figured out its best use. Building exteriors were already complete. We repainted, added balconies, and all the guest spaces had to be designed and built along with the guest units.”  [Orlando Business Journal] — Mike Seemuth