Universal broke ground on its new affordable housing project, Catchlight Crossings, Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Catchlight Crossings is a first-of-its-kind affordable housing solution that features 1,000 affordable apartment homes, on-site amenities and services, retail and play areas, and access to transportation and nearby jobs.
The community will have an on-site, tuition-free Bezos Academy preschool, in addition to educational opportunities offered in partnership with the University of Central Florida.
In addition to on-site medical offices, 16,000-square feet of retail space and community event space, the array of amenities will include resort-style pools, a fitness center, game room, technology cafes, bike and walking paths, a community garden and four acres of open green space.
The first phase of the project is expected to open in 2026.
Catchlight Crossings sits on 20-acres of land between Tradeshow Boulevard and Destination Parkway.
Destination Parkway will provide access to the community from the south, and a future Kirkman Road extension will provide access from the west.
The land is part of Universal's nonprofit arm, "Housing for Tomorrow." The initiative aims to create inclusive and economically diverse housing options.
The project is a partnership between Universal Destinations & Experiences and Wendover Housing Partners, a privately-held real estate development, investment and management company.
“Affordable housing is one of the region’s most pressing issues and today’s groundbreaking reinforces our commitment to be part of the solution and give back to the community that we have called home for more than 30 years,” John Sprouls, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Universal Destinations & Experiences, said.
Catchlight Crossings is open to anyone who meets specific income and other resident requirements. The majority of the units will be designated as affordable and reserved for households with incomes at or below 60% of the area’s median income.
Jonathan Wolf, founder and CEO of Wendover Housing Partners, said Catchlight Crossings is more than just a roof over someone’s head.
"When it comes to our residents, we want to enhance their quality of life through safe, secure housing, free childcare, easy transportation access and more,” Wolf said. “Together with Universal, we are redefining what affordable housing can and should be and creating a model that can be replicated to help address the affordable housing crisis on a national level.”
For more information on Catchlight Crossings, click here.