If you’re into Disney Parks history, you’re probably familiar with the town of Celebration, a community developed originally by Disney that the company no longer owns or operates. But now, Universal has decided to develop a community of their own — only their focus is on giving back to the people of central Florida who need it the most.
Universal Parks & Resorts announced today that they will be developing a new affordable housing community in Florida. The theme park giant is moving forward with a project that will serve the local community in an entirely new way.
Per a press release:
Universal Parks & Resorts has begun a nationwide search for a developer with the right vision and experience to design, build and manage an affordable housing community on a 20-acre site the company has pledged for exclusive use in helping solve one of the region’s most challenging problems.
Universal’s vision: show strong support for the findings and recommendations of the Orange County Housing for All Task Force and play an active leadership role in creating innovative solutions for affordable housing.
The new community will feature approximately 1,000 high-quality apartments and be located just off International Drive, in an area targeted by the Housing for All Task Force.
In the press release, Executive Vice President for Administration at Universal Parks & Resorts John Sprouls shared, “The need for affordable housing in Central Florida is strong and our vision is clear. We will make land available for affordable housing, we will bring the right partners to the project and we will set a high standard for the new community we create.”
So, what does the future hold for this new community? Well, Universal has shared that they hope to break ground in 2022. Universal has created an all-new Housing for Tomorrow initiative, with “key Universal team members and community leaders to oversee the process.” The company plans to work with a developer and work with Orange County officials in order to create this affordable housing for central Florida.
Terry Prather, a member of the Universal committee and served on the Orange County Housing for All Task Force, shared that the collaboration will help “set a new standard for how our corporate community can help to solve issues as important as housing.”
“I am thrilled that Universal has stepped up to the plate to help solve the affordable housing challenge, an issue that affects us all. This venture is a great example of a public-private partnership,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “I am also very proud of the results produced by the Housing for All Task Force. Their plan of action provides a clear blueprint for moving forward.”
Below is the official statement from Universal’s Housing for Tomorrow:
Universal Orlando Housing for All Committee Vision Statement
We believe access to affordable housing is a human right. We strongly support the findings and recommendations of Orange County’s Housing for All Task Force. We will play an active, leadership role in helping our community move solutions forward.
- We are creating a community where residents will be the priority
- We will create a neighborhood that inspires and enables personal growth and is a place where residents are proud to live
- We will value and prioritize diversity and inclusiveness – by all and for all
- We will create and embrace a new kind of public-private partnership dedicated to innovation on behalf of our residents
- We will search out national best practices that will help guide us – and we will create new national standards and best practices when we see opportunity
At this time, Universal is still seeing a developer for the project, so more news regarding the housing community is expected to drop in the future. For now, you can visit the official website of this project at HousingforTomorrow.com.
What do you think of this announcement from Universal Studios Florida? Do you want to see more projects like this from theme park giants like Disney and Universal in the future? Let us know in the comments.