Wendover Housing Partners

Universal donated 20 acres of land near the I-Drive corridor for affordable housing community and retail, tasking Wendover Housing Partners to design it.

Universal Orlando has announced that the company has donated 20 acres of its land near the Orange County Convention Center to the not-for-profit Housing for Tomorrow, which will oversee the development of an affordable housing community.

Located just south of the future site of Universal’s Epic Universe theme park, the new community will feature 1,000 high-quality apartments as well as 16,000 square-feet of retail space.

Construction is expected to begin in late 2022.

Universal Parks & Resorts has selected Wendover Housing Partners, based in Altamonte Springs, to design and bring Universal’s vision for the community to life.

Universal Creative, the group normally tasked with designing theme park experiences, will work with Wendover to help on the overall plan for the new community.

“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 chief administrative officer for Universal Parks & Resorts.

Wendover Housing Partners

The agreement between Housing for Tomorrow and Wendover will require Wendover to oversee the community for at least 55 years, creating a long-term commitment to the community and its residents.

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

The new community’s location will be near the International Drive corridor and was identified as high priority by Orange County’s Housing for All Task Force. It’s expected to allow its residents easy access to jobs within the area, while also providing “a place where residents are proud to live.”