Universal Orlando picks developer for new affordable housing development

Construction expected to begin in late 2022

New affordable housing community near the International Drive corridor
New affordable housing community near the International Drive corridor (Universal Parks & Resorts)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Universal Parks and Resorts along with leaders in Orange County have now selected a developer to build and design a new 20-acre affordable housing community.

The new site will be located near the International Drive corridor, not far from the construction site of Universal’s fourth theme park, Epic Universe.

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The area has been identified as high priority by Orange County’s Housing for All Task Force.

Wendover Housing Partners, based in Altamonte Springs, will bring Universal’s vision for affordable housing to life on a 20-acre site.

The community will include 1,000 high-quality apartments as well as 16,000 square-feet of retail space.

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Affordable Housing Vision by Universal

“Affordable Housing is one of our community’s biggest challenges and we want to be part of the solution,” said John Sprouls, executive vice president and CEO for Universal Parks & Resorts. “We have brought people with the right expertise together with land to create a new affordable housing community – and a new approach to this issue.”

In a news release, Universal officials said ownership of the site has been transferred from Universal to a not-for-profit organization established by the company called Housing for Tomorrow, whose role is to oversee the initiative and make sure it remains true to the original vision.

Housing for Tomorrow will retain ownership of the site and serve as master developer as they enter a $10-a-year or 55-year lease for the property with Wendover.

This is a first-ever approach that brings a theme park entertainment company and its pledge of land and creative resources together with an experienced affordable housing developer to find a unique solution to one of Central Florida’s most pressing issues.

The scope and scale of this initiative are expected to reach near-record levels for affordable housing communities across the nation.

“I was thrilled when Universal stepped up to help solve our affordable housing crisis,” Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings said. “When public and private organizations, and the government, come together great things happen. This housing initiative is a primary example of such collaboration.”

Construction on the new affordable housing project is expected to begin in late 2022.

Universal Affordable Housing (Universal Parks & Resorts)

Click here to learn more about Universal’s Housing for Tomorrow project.


About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.