Press Release March 14, 2012

Goodwin Advises Four Seasons on Luxury Walt Disney World Hotel

A team of Goodwin lawyers represented client Four Seasons Hotels in closing a complex series of transactions for the joint venture and construction of a 444-room, $360 million Four Seasons branded hotel and golf resort at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.  The joint venture among Four Seasons, Silverstein Properties and Dune Real Estate Partners, will utilize $190 million of construction financing provided by Banco Inbursa, S.A.  The project is one of the few luxury hotel development deals in the world to successfully receive construction financing and proceed with development in 2011.

The project is the centerpiece of Golden Oak, a master-planned community within Walt Disney World Resort which will contain both branded and unbranded residential communities.  The hotel and golf resort itself will feature dining venues — including a rooftop restaurant with Magic Kingdom views — as well as a 14,000-square-foot spa; fitness center; three pools and a lazy river; sports and recreational facilities; meeting and event space; and a business center. As part the transactions, the joint venture acquired the existing Tom Fazio-designed Osprey Ridge 18-hole championship golf course, which will be renovated and managed by Four Seasons. 

The closing was the culmination of a series of transactions over a number of years in which Goodwin attorneys advised Four Seasons.  In 2008, with Goodwin's help, Four Seasons obtained ownership of the project site, including the Fazio-designed golf course. 

As part of the transaction, Goodwin represented Four Seasons in negotiating a comprehensive set of land use covenants, conditions and restrictions with Disney.  These agreements governed both the land acquired by Four Seasons and the land to be developed by Disney as part of the planned luxury residential community.  Goodwin advised Four Seasons in its joint venture negotiations with both Silverstein Properties and Dune, as well as negotiation of the construction loan.

The documents governing the relationship among these three joint venture partners, and the tax structure designed to accommodate the needs of the parties were complex and comprehensive.  Goodwin partner Michael Glazer, who has led the Goodwin Four Seasons team, called it “one of the most challenging of the hundreds of complex real estate joint ventures I have worked on.” 

In addition to Glazer, the Goodwin team in this transaction included Real Estate partner Mark Goldberg, Tax partner Karen Turk and a dedicated team from Goodwin's Real Estate and Tax Practices.