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Watch: Disney-themed community in Rancho Mirage breaks ground

Officials hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the Disney-themed community "Cotino" which will be built in Rancho Mirage.

Rancho Mirage Mayor Charles Townsend called the development a "perfect fit for Rancho Mirage" at the groundbreaking, saying it would be "an economic boost for Rancho Mirage" and the entire Coachella Valley.

During the ceremony, Disney officials announced that homes in Cotino will begin to sell in early 2023, with the first people being able to move in by 2024.

Brent Herrington who is part of DMB Development in charge of the project said the homes are expected to be mid-century modern themed, with a 'forward-looking' feeling.

Herrington also said that the street names will be color-themed.

No other details were released about what the community will look like. Neither was a completion date for all of the amenities in Cotino.

Thomas Mazloum, the President of Disney Signature Experiences said that they are still figuring out what the resort will look like exactly. Once it is complete, there will be something for everyone.

“All of these incredible amenities that we’re going to build from dining, to live entertainment, to retail, to a hotel will be accessible to everyone in the Coachella Valley and here in Rancho Mirage," explained Mazloum.

'Storyliving by Disney' is the first of its kind planned residential community. It will also have a hotel, entertainment, and a 24-acre lagoon.

Plans for Cotino were first announced in February.

Related Story: Disney-themed community coming to Rancho Mirage

Since then there has been some blowback from community members with concerns about a community of this kind coming to Rancho Mirage.

A few of these concerns included the lagoon's water usage, the traffic the community would bring, and the state of affordable housing for all the potential employees this will bring to the desert.

Related Story: Affordable housing crisis amplifies as more luxury developments come to the valley

Local water officials have said there is enough groundwater basin supply for Cotino, and the project was approved for the water years ago.

Rancho Mirage Mayor Charles Townsend said that the water issue was addressed already and that what the Cotino community will use doesn't even amount to the amount of water a golf course uses.

"It’s so recyclable. There’s like 3 different programs that would go into recycling the water for everything," said Townsend.

A 'Specific Plan' for this project titled Section 31 can be found on the City of Rancho Mirage website. It dates back to 2019.

This plan states, "Community water usage will be no more than 80% of the maximum water allowance guidelines imposed by the Coachella Valley Water District in 2017.

City officials are excited about the economic impact this new community will bring to the city.

Why Coachella Valley? It's a place that Walt Disney himself called his "laughing place." He'd escape here to unwind and reignite his imagination.

Photos: Disney

"It will have that special Disney touch, attention to detail and innovation," said Josh D'Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. "It's a development that promises to be 'infused with Disney' charm and the amenities of a 'truly special' resort.

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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez is a new reporter who joined the KESQ News Channel 3 team in June 2021. Learn more about Crystal here.

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