Abe Issa with Walt Disney
Pictured here is Abe Issa with Walt Disney

Issa Homes founder Francis Issa’s family connection to the Walt Disney World® brand spans many decades—all the way back to when Walt Disney was himself a guest at the Issa family’s hotel. 

The Myrtle Bank, founded by Francis’ father and uncle, Abe Issa,  was the top hotel in Kingston, Jamaica in the late 1950s. Francis excelled as Managing Director of two Issa hotel properties and in expanding their successful properties, found his passion for building luxury properties. 

A History of Excellence, Driving the Future of Florida Luxury Residences

Issa Homes was the natural byproduct of founder Francis Issa’s leadership experience in hospitality and inherent interest in a luxury building. When he partnered with building industry leader Fred Costello in the 1970s, it was with a specific vision in mind: incorporating his signature superior structurally designed homes within Florida’s most luxurious and visually stunning residential neighborhoods and communities. 

In the late 1980s, Don Hempel joined Issa Homes as managing partners and set out to scale the operation, to make Issa Homes’ exceptional quality homes more widely available. In just 13 years, the firm built over 600 homes in Arvida’s community of Weston. 

In 1998 The Celebration Company, a subsidiary of the Disney Development Company, invited Issa Homes to its exclusive participating builder program. As a result, Issa Homes moved its headquarters from Boca Raton to Celebration and went on to build 424 luxury homes in Disney’s world-renowned Traditional Neighborhood Development community.