The Real Deal Miami

Disney taps Thor High Street as broker of new Florida retail and restaurant development

May 23, 2013 06:00PM
By Emily Schmall

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A rendering of The Landing, part of Disney’s new Disney Springs development

UPDATED, May 23, 6 p.m.: Disney Co. has selected Thor High Street Advisors as its exclusive broker for the company’s new Disney Springs project outside Orlando, The Real Deal confirmed.

Thor High Street is the sister brokerage company of Thor Equities, one of the biggest landlords on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, SoHo and the Meatpacking District, and Brooklyn’s Coney Island. Both companies are run by Joe Sitt.

Disney’s in-house engineering firm, Disney Imagineering, designed and is overseeing the transformation of Disney World’s Downtown Disney, a corner of the central Florida resort with a collection of Disney-branded shops and other retail, entertainment venues and restaurants, Disney spokesperson Kathleen Prihoda told TRD.

Because of Disney’s global draw, “every time we’re developing, we have to think of a broad appeal,” Prihoda said.

The Disney Springs addition, projected to open in 2016, will double Downtown Disney’s shops, eateries and theaters from 75 to more than 150, though no tenant names have been released. The addition will be arranged around a flowing waterway.

“Disney Springs will be brought to life with the same focus on storytelling and attention to detail that goes into our theme parks, resorts and cruise ships, creating a welcoming space that only Disney could create,” Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Thomas Staggs said in a company release announcing the expansion in March.

19th-century central Floridian towns like the now-vanished Kismet, where Walt Disney’s parents met and married in 1888, inspired the makeover.

The expansion, expected to add 4,000 employees to the site, is the biggest to Downtown Disney since it opened, Prihoda said.

CORRECTION: This article has been amended to correct the description of Downtown Disney and to clarify that Disney Springs is the biggest expansion since Downtown Disney, and not the park, opened.

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