Walt Disney World has selected The Michaels Organization, one of the nation’s leading affordable housing owners and developers, to build, own, and operate a new attainable housing community in Central Florida. Walt Disney World is contributing approximately 80 acres of land in southwest Orange County for the development, which is expected to include over 1,300 units.
According to Walt Disney World, it selected The Michaels Organization for its long-standing track record in building and managing affordable housing communities. The firm ranked No. 4 on Affordable Housing Finance’s list of AHF 50 developers this year, and it continues to hold the No. 1 spot on the AHF 50 owners list, with over 47,000 units as of Jan. 1.
“For more than 50 years, Walt Disney World has cared for and invested in our community, and we’re committed to being a part of this solution that will bring more attainable housing to Central Florida,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We will continue to find ways to use our resources to make a difference in the community we call home, and we’re excited to take this step with a nationally recognized developer.”
Disney will collaborate with The Michaels Organization throughout the design and construction of the community. The development will provide affordable options for qualifying residents within certain income levels, including Disney cast members, as well as create new jobs in Central Florida during construction and the operation of the community.
“We are excited to work with an iconic brand like Disney to deliver attainable housing for the Central Florida community,” said Michaels CEO John J. O’Donnell. “Our goal is to create a repeatable model that we hope will inspire other companies and municipalities to create high-quality attainable housing in their own communities.”
According to the partners, the development is expected to be privately financed. In addition, it will build upon Orange County mayor Jerry L. Demings’ Housing for All action plan to address housing affordability in the area.