Catchlight Crossings will aim to help meet the workforce housing needs in Orlando, Florida.
Courtesy Wendover Housing Partners Catchlight Crossings will aim to help meet the workforce housing needs in Orlando, Florida.

Developers have released their first look at a major affordable and mixed-income housing community that aims to meet the needs of workers in Orlando, Florida.

The 1,000-unit Catchlight Crossing is the result of Universal Destinations & Experiences’ Housing for Tomorrow initiative, with the entertainment company donating 20 acres of land in the heart of the city’s tourist district to be used for affordable housing.

Wendover Housing Partners was selected to develop and manage the community, and Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners (BBB) is the master planner and design architect.

“Catchlight Crossings is a first-of-its-kind approach to affordable housing, and we know BBB will be an exceptional partner in bringing this community to life,” said Jonathan Wolf, founder and CEO of Wendover Housing Partners. “More than 100,000 people work within a 7-mile radius of Catchlight Crossings. As these folks roll out Orange County’s red carpet to the world, they deserve to feel the warmth in their world. Every aspect of this community is designed through the lens of our future residents, ensuring they will have a safe, comfortable place to call home.”

The team shared their vision for Catchlight Crossing that features a wide range of on-site services, including medical offices, a tuition-free preschool, extension learning classrooms, community amenities and event space, and 16,000 square feet of retail space. The community’s Transportation Center, serving buses, ride sharing, and employer shuttles, will make access to area employers more convenient for residents. The community will also be near the proposed Sunshine Corridor, a new east-west rail corridor connecting SunRail’s main line to Orlando International Airport and the Orange County Convention Center, serving more than 125,000 workers.

Courtesy Wendover Housing Partners

With a focus on sustainability and a livable design, Catchlight Crossings includes bike and walking paths, a community garden, and 4 acres of open green space, including car-free, pedestrian promenades supporting health, wellness, and social engagement. The community is designed to meet U.S. Green Building Council Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development certification.

Under the plans, 600 apartment homes will be reserved for residents earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income (AMI), and 400 apartment homes will serve households between 80% and 120% of the AMI.

Funding partners for the $350 million-plus development include:

  • Silverpeak Capital, joint-venture equity investor partner;
  • JPMorgan Chase, senior lender;
  • Wells Fargo, tax credit equity investor;
  • Florida Community Loan Fund, senior lender participant and Capital Magnet Fund lender;
  • Orange County Housing Finance Authority, bond issuer;
  • Orange County Housing Trust Fund, affordable housing incentive lender; and
  • Florida Housing Finance Corp., bond Issuer and affordable housing incentive lender.

The team additionally includes executive architect BDG Architects, interior designer Palmetto Interiors, landscape architect RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture, structural engineer Structures One, mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineer Ingenuity Engineers, civil engineer AVCON, and sustainability consultant Trifecta Construction.

“Affordable housing is an issue we care deeply about,” said Neil Kittredge, BBB partner and director of planning and urban design. “We recognize that truly affordable housing is about more than just a place to live. Catchlight Crossings will be a walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood—with open space, amenities, and services for residents and the broader community that puts quality of life first.”

The first phase of Catchlight Crossings is expected to open in 2026.