Mouse house: Disney to build homes in US

Company says it will break ground on a new residential real estate project in Rancho Mirage, California

Guests stroll along Main Street at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Florida. AP
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With a new range of residential communities, Disney says it is moving beyond “storytelling” and into “storyliving".

The Burbank, California-based theme-park and entertainment company announced on Wednesday that it plans to develop a string of real estate projects around the country, beginning in Rancho Mirage, California.

The new residential development business will be called “Storyliving by Disney”, the company said in a news release.

Plans are under way for the first project in the desert community, which is near where company founder Walt Disney once owned a home. Additional locations in the US are also being explored, the company said.

The Rancho Mirage project, called Cotino, is being built in collaboration with Arizona-based DMB Development, which specialises in planned communities.

The 24-acre project will include at least one section for residents aged 55 and older and home buyers will have the option to choose from estates, single-family homes and condominiums.

Disney said its communities will be geared towards all ages, but all will include neighbourhoods for those over 55.

Company employees “trained in the company’s legendary guest service” will operate the community association, the company said. Disney will also provide access to “curated experiences”, including wellness programming, entertainment, philanthropic endeavours and seminars.

Imagineers — Disney's term for theme-park designers — will help develop the communities, although it’s not clear how much Disney branding will be present.

“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’s parks division.

Updated: February 17, 2022, 8:54 PM