Developing Miami: Investment opportunity in condo hotel minutes from Disney

by Melanie Kalmar

The Grove Resort and Waterpark, photo by Roberto Gonzalez

At nighttime, The Grove Resort & Water Park – Orlando’s newest vacation home resortoffers a front-row seat for one of Orlando’s most magical moments: the fireworks display at Walt Disney World. The Grove’s proximity to the theme park, which draws 72 million visitors every year, makes investing in The Grove residences one of Orlando’s best options for buyers. The resort-style vacation home destination offers owners the chance to offset ownership costs by placing the exquisitely furnished condominiums in the hotel rental program.

Since opening in 2017, The Grove has seen a continued increase in occupancy, reaching a stage where the hotel is often sold-out. The high demand for hotel nights at The Grove is great news for the owners looking to generate revenue. The short-term/hotel rental program is operated by Benchmark Resorts & Hotels®, a top-ranked international hospitality management company of resorts, hotels and conference centers. Benchmark, a global hospitality company, has been a leading US-based hospitality management company for nearly 40 years.

“Orlando is experiencing a demand for highly amenitized, easy to manage vacation home resorts,” said David D’Ambrosio, executive vice president of BTI Partners, the developer of The Grove. “When buyers are away, they can leave the rental management to our professionally managed and staffed hotel program, taking the stress out of owning a vacation home.”

The fully finished condominiums range from 1,250 square feet to 1,550 square feet and are priced from the $300,000s to the $400,000s. Each residence has all the comforts of home: a kitchen well-equipped for cooking and eating in, a full-sized washer and dryer, separate dining and living areas, and an abundance of toiletries. The condominiums include access to three swimming pools, an onsite spa, fitness center, high-end restaurants, large-scale grab-and-go market with seating, lakefront pier for watersports, three bars and lounges, and a children’s art room. Yet, the most impressive amenities at the resort include the $20 million Surfari Water Park, and Flip Flop’s Family Fun Center, a 6,300-square-foot game room. The water park offers an interactive water structure with multiple slides, a lazy river stretching nearly 700 feet, and a dual-rider surf simulator offering an adrenaline-rush for surfers of all ages and skill levels. Flip Flop’s features 65 state-of-the-art arcade and video games, virtual reality, kiddie rides, and seven-hole glow-in-the-dark miniature golf.

Welcoming third-party brokers

The Grove Resort & Water Park works very closely with third-party real estate agents. Its developer, Fort Lauderdale-based BTI Partners, pays 10 percent commissions to realtors who bring buyers. Thanks to teamwork, they have helped The Grove sell out Phase I in record time. Phase II is two-third sold-out, and we are about to launch sales of the final phase. The Grove is expected to sell out within 18 months. To better serve buyers from all over the world, our sales team members are fluent in multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese.

A name you can trust

BTI Partners has delivered superior residential and commercial real estate developments across Florida for 60 years. BTI Partners and its institutional partners are behind some of the largest developments rising in Orlando, Tampa, and South Florida. Ranging from mixed-use master-planned communities and luxury vacation homes to single-family home enclaves, BTI Partners projects are recognized for rejuvenating neighborhoods located near world-famous attractions, employment centers, and on Florida’s waterfront.

When it comes to operating the hotel, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® features the finest in preferred accommodations, exceptional food & beverage, recreation, and superior meeting facilities throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Renowned for enchanting destinations, incomparable service, and for creating unforgettable memory-making experiences, Benchmark is a true asset to the owners and hotel guests.

“Benchmark makes sure our owners don’t have to worry about a thing but, more importantly, makes sure the market value of the residences keep growing. That’s a huge advantage over Airbnb and communities with multiple property owners who try to undercut each other on price and deflate values,” D’Ambrosio said. “At The Grove, Benchmark controls the pricing and guest experience.”

Don’t take our word for it

Real estate broker Jean Gillen, owner of Orlando-based Gillen and Associates, has sold more than 80 residences at the resort and experienced firsthand what makes The Grove stand out from other vacation home destinations.

When staying at The Grove, you don’t have to get up every day and take the kids to a theme park,” Gillen said. “The Grove is really an entertainment venue in and of itself.”

The resort has a fantastic water park with dual slides, a double surf simulator, a lazy river and a zero-depth pool. Not in the mood for a water park? Try out the three pools on the other side of the property, take a dip in the jacuzzi, and relax afterward in a private cabana. A sprawling lake at the resort is available for water activities like canoeing, paddle boating, kayaking and fishing. An activity center for making crafts with little ones, and a game room featuring glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, arcade games and simulators, are all antidotes to rainy days and downtime between theme park visits.

“The best part is that The Grove is the only development in Orlando that is ready to close and ready for immediate occupancy, something very important to some buyers,” said Alessandra Kamensky, international sales executive at The Grove. “Buyers can acquire a residence today and start renting it out to hotel guests the next day”

Exceptional rental programs

Buyers can choose from two rental programs: flexible or lease-back guarantee. Flexible owners can use the condo as much as they want, Kamensky said. Those who sign up for the developer lease-back program receive 10 percent of the purchase price in monthly installments until Dec. 31, 2020. 

Taking advantage of the lease-back program for part of the year and changing to flexible later is something her clients from Canada, who like to spend winters in Florida, tend to do.

Word is getting out

Gillen often works with savvy real estate buyers who can spot a good buy before everybody else. That’s the case of a client who bought his first vacation condo in Hawaii about 15 years ago for $150,000, and saw the value of that property jump to $1.6 million. Today, that same client has bought a condo at The Grove and encouraged at least a dozen friends to do the same, said Gillen, whose clients tend to buy condos at The Grove in bulk. Gillen has sold about 80 residences at The Grove to out-of-state buyers and is in the process of closing many more.

“My clients realize Orlando is the number one tourist destination in the world,” she said, adding that two large demographics of buyers at The Grove are millennials, who like visiting Disney, and Baby Boomers, who want to make memories there with their grandkids.

“The Grove gives buyers the opportunity to own a top-tier product at an affordable price to capitalize on Orlando’s rapid growth fueled by domestic and international visitors,” D’Ambrosio said.

To learn more, visit https://groveresidences.com/

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