Austin, TX-based American Campus Communities Inc., the largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing communities in the U.S., celebrated the commencement of construction on an approximately $630 million residential community for participants of the Disney College Program, now known as Disney Internships & Programs. ACC and Walt Disney World Resort announced the partnership in June, which is structured as an American Campus Equity transaction, whereby American Campus Communities serves as the developer, manager and owner of the new purpose-built housing via a 75-year ground lease.
“Collaborating with Walt Disney World on this project and serving the Disney Internships and Programs participants is an incredible honor,” said Bill Bayless, ACC CEO. “When we first launched American Campus Communities in 1993, we travelled around the country with four poster boards, sharing our vision for the student experience. One of them was titled, ‘The Disney Way.’ It was our founding goal to emulate Disney’s best-in-class customer service. To celebrate this partnership with Disney and the ACC team during our 25th anniversary year is magical.”
Program participants will have access to two 25,000-square-foot community centers that will serve as hubs for resident recreation and connection and will feature amenities including resort-style swimming pools, event and recreational lawns, fitness centers and social lounges. The 10,400-bed project will feature a variety of modern floor plans with private and shared accommodations designed efficiently for comfort and study – all at affordable price points.
In addition, the development will include the Disney Education Center within the housing community, providing unprecedented integration for program participants to engage in ‘uniquely Disney’ learning experiences and the ability to earn up to nine credit hours in college coursework. Program residents will also have access to resources for academic success, including group and private study rooms, computers with free printing, and Wifi.
“The college students who have been part of our college and internship programs have helped make magic for millions of our Guests for more than three decades,” said Kristi Breen, vice president of Disney International Campus Programs. “We are pleased to join our friends at American Campus Communities to break ground on this new residential community for our future participants.”
The community will be delivered in multiple phases, with the first phase scheduled for occupancy in May 2020 when students from Disney Internships & Programs will begin moving in from existing housing facilities. Expected to be completed by May 2023, the project is targeting a stabilized yield of 6.8 percent.