Universal project

Universal Selects Wendover Housing as Development Partner for Affordable Housing Project in Orlando

by Julia Sanders

ORLANDO, FLA. — Universal Parks & Resorts has selected Wendover Housing Partners to design, build and manage an affordable housing community planned in Orlando. The project will be situated near the International Drive corridor, an area identified as high priority by Orange County’s Housing for All Task Force.

Universal Creative, a division within Universal Parks & Resorts, will work with Wendover Housing on the overall plan for the new community. A Universal selection committee chose Wendover Housing from five finalists whittled down from 17 developers that submitted initial proposals.

Wendover Housing, based in nearby Altamonte Springs, Fla., will help with creating Universal’s vision for affordable housing on the 20-acre site. The community will include 1,000 apartments, as well as 16,000 square feet of retail space. The development will have at least 75 percent of its apartments be dedicated to affordable housing. Construction is expected to begin in late 2022.

Ownership of the site has been transferred from Universal to a not-for-profit established by the company called Housing for Tomorrow whose role is to oversee the initiative. The organization will retain ownership of the site and serve as master developer, entering into a 55-year ground lease with Wendover Housing.

Housing for Tomorrow will set guidelines for the community and will work with Wendover Housing and Orange County to move the plan forward. Wendover Housing will seek its own financing for the project.

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