Orange County

Universal picks developer for affordable housing community near I-Drive

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A first-of-its-kind affordable housing community near International Drive is one step closer to reality as Universal Parks & Resorts announced Tuesday that it’s chosen a developer for the project.

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

READ: Universal to donate land to Orange County for affordable housing

The community will include 1,000 apartments as well as 16,000 square-feet of retail space, with construction expected to begin in late 2022.

The community will serve an area identified as high priority by Orange County’s Housing for All Task Force.

READ: ‘There’s nowhere for them to go’: Central Floridians on brink of homelessness as pandemic worsens affordable housing crisis

“This is an unprecedented partnership between a major company in the community and a private developer to work together to design a community that is close to where people work, filled with amenities that they want and with rents they can afford,” said Jonathan L. Wolf, founder and CEO of Wendover Housing Partners, in a statement. “We see this as a model for the rest of the country to show how this type of partnership can be used to address the critical need for innovative affordable housing solutions.”

Officials said ownership of the site has been transferred from Universal to a not-for-profit established by the company called Housing for Tomorrow.

READ: Orange County Board of Commissioners approves controversial Kirkman Road project

See renderings of the development below:

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.