Affordable housing is one of Greater Orlando’s most significant challenges, and RVi has been able to contribute landscape architecture design over the past year on what will be the largest mixed-income multifamily development in Orange County, Florida.

Altamonte Springs-based affordable housing developer Wendover Housing Partners was chosen through a competitive RFP process in early 2021 by Universal Parks and Resorts to lease and develop 20 acres in Orlando’s tourism corridor, near the Orange County Convention Center and Universal’s new “Epic Universe” theme park, currently under construction.

The development, named “Catchlight Crossings,” will feature 1,000 affordable, workforce and market-rate apartments and 16,000 square feet of retail-commercial space, with construction forecasted to complete in 2023. Development Plans for the project were filed with the county in March.

Universal established a non-profit to hold the land and will lease it to Wendover for $10 per year over 99 years. The development includes a public-private partnership (P3 projects) between Orange County and Universal and will be a substantial fulfillment of County initiatives in recent years to put P3 funding into driving the development of new affordable housing in Greater Orlando.

“RVi’s Orlando team has been instrumental in developing the master plan and design character of outdoor people spaces throughout the 20-acre project,” said Ryan Seacrist, PLA, Principal and Landscape Architect of Record for RVi on the development.

“Catchlight Crossings is a world-class project that boasts a linear pedestrian and retail plaza, pocket parks, community gathering areas, multi-modal transit hub and a waterfront trail.”

Other amenities will include an on-site community health center, tuition-free preschool, indoor and outdoor recreation space and swimming pools, and “wellness” amenities like a fitness center, food pantry, community gardens, bike paths and walking paths.

An incredible team of consultants have helped make this project possible so far. Our peers include Orlando-based law firm Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., Tampa-based BDG Architects, New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle (architecture & planning), Orlando-based AVCON, INC. (civil engineering), Universal Engineering Sciences (environmental), Donald W. McIntosh Associates, Inc. (surveyor), and Roger B. Kennedy, Inc. (general contractor).