PHOTOS: See Universal’s Plans for a New Affordable Housing Community

Innovative housing communities appear to be all the rage with theme park companies lately.


Disney recently elaborated on their plan to build a new residential community in California that includes homes, recreation areas, shops, and more. And now Universal has released more details about their own residential community plans! Check out a first look at the plans and concept art here.

Universal Parks & Resorts is working with Wendover Housing Partners to build an affordable housing community in Orlando, called Catchlight Crossings, near the site of Universal’s future Epic Universe park. According to the Orlando Sentinel, this community will have a 1,000-unit mixed-income development with plenty of amenities for the residents.


Some of those amenities will include on-site tuition-free preschool, on-site medical care, fitness trails, a transportation hub for buses and rideshares, a grilling gazebo, technology cafés, community gardens, pools, and more. The area will also have 16,000 square feet of retail space.


Universal submitted their plans to the Orange County Planning and Development department this week.


Universal Parks & Resorts announced their intention to dedicate 20 acres of land to an affordable housing project back in 2019. The Orlando Sentinel noted that this announcement happened “on the eve of a crucial — and ultimately successful — vote by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and county commissioners to grant the park $125 million from a special taxing district.”


Universal intends to use this money to extend Kirkman Road through some land that will eventually become Epic Universe. This park is expected to open sometime in the summer of 2025. The land used for the residential community will remain dedicated to affordable housing, according to a not-for-profit entity that Universal created for the project.


John Sprouls, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, said, “Our vision has been to bring an innovative, new approach to solving our community’s affordable housing crisis. This is about creating a community that will put residents first — a place that inspires them and that they will be proud to call home.”


Wendover Housing Partners, who is working with Universal on the project, already manages a few affordable housing communities in Florida. They will develop and manage Catchlight Crossings as well. The founder and CEO of Wendover said, “We hope to serve as a model for how private employers, local governments and developers can work together to address socioeconomic issues in the communities where we live and work” (Orlando Sentinel).


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