Wendover Housing Partners and Universal Parks & Resorts Release Development Plan for Housing for Tomorrow Initiative

Mar 28, 2022

Wendover Housing Partners and Universal Parks & Resorts today revealed the initial development plan for Universal’s Housing for Tomorrow initiative, a new approach aimed at helping address the shortage of affordable housing in Orlando.

The development plan provides the first look at the site plan, elevations and key elements of the community, which has been named Catchlight Crossings. It was submitted to the Orange County Planning and Development department today as the next step in moving this initiative forward.

Housing for Tomorrow is Universal’s first-of-its-kind approach designed to help create an innovative solution to address Orlando’s critical need for affordable housing by creating inclusive, economically diverse housing options. Universal pledged 20 acres of prime land in the heart of Orlando’s tourist corridor to be used for 1,000 units of affordable/mixed-income housing.

Universal has taken the unprecedented step of pledging a large parcel of land specifically to be used for affordable housing and has formed a not-for-profit entity to ensure the land will always be used for this purpose.

After conducting a national search, Universal selected Wendover Housing Partners to develop and manage the community and bring the vision for Catchlight Crossings to life.

The Catchlight Crossings development plan, created jointly by Wendover and Universal, sets a new vision for what affordable housing can be; a community built to enhance the lifestyle of its residents. This includes a wide range of on-site services that will put residents first. Some of the unique community features are expected to include:

  • On-site tuition-free preschool
  • On-site medical offices
  • A transportation center for buses, ridesharing and employer shuttles
  • 16,000 square foot retail area
  • Community event space
  • Technology cafés
  • A makerspace for hobbies, activities and educational events
  • Community gardens
  • Bike and walking paths
  • Neighborhood food pantry
  • Fitness center
  • Game room
  • Playground
  • Two resort style pools
  • Grilling gazebo

“Our vision has been to bring an innovative, new approach to solving our community’s affordable housing crisis,” said John Sprouls, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Universal Parks & Resorts. “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.”

“Through this partnership with Universal, 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,” said Jonathan L. Wolf, founder and CEO of Wendover Housing Partners. “What Wendover and Universal are creating here is truly unique and will leave a lasting, positive impact on the community for generations to come.”

The development plan will be going through the approval process with Orange County.