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Master Planner Principal - Entitlement Specialist (PH)

Job ID 424896BR Location Glendale, California, United States Job Posting Company Disney Parks & Resorts Job Posting Area Walt Disney Imagineering Date posted 02/16/2017
Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) is the master planning, creative development, design, engineering, production, project management, and research and development arm of Disney’s Parks and Resorts business segment. Representing more than 150 disciplines, its talented corps of Imagineers is responsible for the creation of Disney resorts, theme parks and attractions, hotels, water parks, real estate developments, regional entertainment venues, cruise ships and new media technology projects. Our mission is to create magical Disney experiences around the world that provide opportunities for friends and families to spend time together . . . making memories that last a lifetime.

At Imagineering we think happy people make the world a better place. We are seeking a collaborative principal level Master Planner & Entitlement Specialist for the Pacific Master Planning Studio. The Master Planning studio is involved in the holistic, resort wide, and long term planning and management of the master planning & development aspects of the resorts. We provide environmental, entitlement, infrastructure and real estate development expertise to enable smart growth and preserve future flexibility for development and expansion of our parks and resorts across the globe. The Studio is part of the globally-focused Menu and Master Planning Studio entrusted to produce, focus and advance planning and development strategies to best drive Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (WDPR) long-term plan objectives.

Within WDI, the Master Planning studio drives the planning vision which promotes the full development potential of each global resort and future business opportunities. As part of the Master Planning team, the Master Planning Entitlement Specialist role would contribute to the holistic purview of master planning and development tasks, with specific focus on smart and innovative development stewardship and supportive project advising in WDI’s land planning and real estate development initiatives. Responsibilities would include understanding development agreements and the development process, gaining entitlements and planning approvals, consulting on site-wide infrastructure, utilities and transportation master planning, development standards, resort-wide amenities, features and community facilities and environmental planning. This individual would collaborate with project management, design, legal, business development, government relations, public affairs, site Presidents’ operations teams, and would interface with various Government and regulatory agencies.

Mission Statement
At Walt Disney Imagineering, the Pacific Master Planning team is charged with enabling smart growth by lending strategic development, infrastructure and real estate expertise to the Disneyland Resort and Aulani master planning and project development processes, and providing stewardship for existing destination resorts and development. Our areas of expertise include;
  • Providing holistic, strategic and sustainable Master Planning contributions to broader WDI and the broader WDPR company through new initiatives and site specific projects
  • Consulting on, obtaining and managing best land-use practices, real estate entitlements and development applications
  • Leading environmental planning, stewardship and sustainability best practices
  • Sustaining long-range post-development covenants
  • Managing relationships with local and regional regulatory agencies
  • Supporting special projects & new business development opportunities
  • Leading real estate entitlement and development feasibility investigators
  • Leading transportation and infrastructure master planning and analysis


General Role Description

The Master Planning Principal, is responsible for identifying, analyzing and realizing specific development/re-development feasibility strategies and projects with the Pacific portfolio. In direct coordination with the Pacific Master Planning Team and WDI Leadership for WDI initiatives and established senior management priorities. The Principal, with in-house and external consultants, will lead entitlements and land use, feasibility and master planning efforts in support of specific development undertakings. The Principal will also partner with in-house and external creative, operational investment feasibility and legal teams and may act, in part, as the primary liaison between Disney and the community or municipal government in which a specific project will be entitled/ developed.

Core Functions and Responsibilities
  • Strategic Development Consulting and Entitlement Management

  • Resource Management
    • External resources (consultants)
      • Identities, secures, leads and mangoes a broad range of external consultants to execute development feasibility efforts,
      • Defines specific external resource project scope, budget and schedules and manages contract processes
    • Internal resources
      • Coordinates development strategies and options with the following internal groups:
        • Corporate: Government & Public relations, Legal & Operations
        • WDI: Project Teams, Environmental Design & Engineering, Project Management, Project Controls, Creative; R&D: Environmental Sustainability
        • Defines partner scope, budget and schedule (Project Brief)
        • Leads and manages internal partner work product
    • Project-specific responsibility for personnel management of Master Planning colleagues:
      • Leads project specific staff meetings on a regular basis
      • Provides and seeks leadership, guidance and mentoring to / from project specific Direct Reports
    • Works closely with WDI Master Planning Pacific Executive on strategic Master Planning Initiatives and Projects

  • Presentations
    • Prepares and presents project status reports or updates to senior management
    • On a project specific basis, becomes the primary point of contact been TWDC and local City government & jurisdictions in which a project is being executed:
      • Primary liaison to local/State government staff
      • TWDC representative at community affairs

  • Negotiations
    • On a project specific basis, in partnership with Project teams and Project Management, together with the Regional Master Planning Executive, leads negotiations with municipalities to secure required development and financial agreements
      • Informs and refines the development of project specific strategy, development permits & schedule impacts/risks
      • Develops, implements and leads negotiation strategies with municipalities/jurisdictions in which projects will be created
      • Prepares updates to the Master Planning and TWDC senior executives on negotiations process/issues
      • Secures regulatory approval for negotiated agreements

  • Relationships
    • Manages and maintains consistent communication with local agencies, partnering companies, and the local community together with WDPR

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum 7 years of job related experience with major real estate development projects. Anaheim local and world-class international projects considered a strong asset.
  • Project management experience
  • Proven experience managing Real Estate pre-development processes including:
    • Entitlements;
    • Land use, urban and / or master planning;
    • Infrastructure planning and development;
    • Public and Government relations;
    • Real estate finance (familiarity)
    • Legal
  • Supervisory experience leading strategic processes with large and complex in-house and external consultant project teams;
  • Experience identifying, hiring and managing a brand range of external consulting resources;
  • Ability to manage conflict and to problem solve issues to resolution;
  • Ability to comfortably and effetely communicate, both verbally and orally:
    • In house and external consultant meetings / presentations;
    • Internal senior management presentations;
    • Municipal, state or federal government or agency presentations;
    • Community based presentations;
  • Ability to direct the graphic tools necessary to communicate strategic or project specific efforts;
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Membership, and active participation, in one or more professional organizations such as AICP, ASLA, ULI, AIA, APA, SARA, NCARB, LEED
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Compelling presentation skills
  • Graphic capability in Keynote and Adobe Illustrator considered a strong asset

Preferred Qualifications

  • 10 years of job related experience with major real estate development projects. Anaheim local and world-class international projects considered a strong asset.
  • Proven and sustained experience in real estate development, acquisition and disposition
  • Knowledge and appreciate for the Disney brand
  • Knowledge and/or planning experience with Disneyland Parks & Resorts
  • Proven and Practicing Creative and Entrepreneurial thinker

Required Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate Development, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning, Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Business Administration or related field.

Preferred Education

  • Advanced graduate degree in a related specialized field

Additional Information

©Disney is an equal opportunity employer. Drawing Creativity from Diversity.

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