What's New on I-Drive!

Orlando's tourism corridor: More than $2 billion of high-profile development planned for 2021 and beyond in the I-Drive Resort Area 

ORLANDO, February 3rd, 2021 - The I-Drive Resort Area continues to increase its presence as a major player in Orlando's tourism industry. The past several years have brought changes to the I-Drive corridor: 
International Drive Development: A Look Back (2015-2020) 
Recent Openings 
Tru by Hilton, an 8-story, 259 suite concept hotel has opened their doors in September. The hotel is located across from the Orange County Convention Center. tru3.hilton.com 
A Brazilian pizzeria, called PAC Pizzeria, offering a variety of pizza options including stuffed crusts and sweet pizzas opened in October.  
The Endless Summer Resort Dockside Inn & Suites hosts 2,050-rooms; when combined with Surfside Inn & Suites, both properties include three pools, two food courts, parking garage and poolside bars. Opening date was December 15, 2020. blog.universalorlando.com
A new 30,000-square-foot TV studio, Afrotainment TV, opened in December 2020. The studio includes a 220-seat auditorium, a 180-degree cyclorama, a music recording studio as well as an event hall. afrotainment.us 
Bronze Kingdom, home of the world's largest collection of Bronze African Art and premier African diaspora event space, opened it's doors in December 2020. https://www.bronzekingdommuseum.com/
Tryp by Wyndham is building a new 4-story, 98 room hotel near SeaWorld on International Drive. Completed in November 2020. www.wyndhamhotels.com/tryp/
Sand Lake Road Improvement Project completed in late 2020 of work that includes widening to six lanes, bike paths and new sidewalks. Extends from I-Drive to Universal Blvd. cflroads.com 
Dezerland Action Park opened an indoor arcade and indoor go-kart track in December of 2020. www.dezerlandactionpark.com
A new 7,300 SF restaurant called Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen opened in November 2020 just near the Orange County Convention Center to offer a made-from-scratch menu. cheddars.com 
A look at what's to come for 2021:
ICON Park has several new venues coming online:
  • Museum of Illusions Orlando is an interactive attraction, opening at ICON Park on January 9, 2021. museumofillusions.com
  • The Orlando Slingshot is a  300' high, 450' catapult ride, opening December 2021. iconorlando.com
  • The Orlando Gyro Drop Tower, features a 400'high, 350' freefall reaching speeds of 75 mph, opening December 2021. iconorlando.com 
  • In The Game is a restaurant with an arcade and visual experience, opening in 1st quarter 2021. inthegame.net
Pointe Orlando has several new dining venues being added to their already impressive line-up. 
  • The Hampton Social will be moving into the former Tommy Bahama's eatery at Pointe Orlando. This restaurant specializes in seafood, pizza & brunches. Expected opening is 1st quarter 2021. www.thehamptonsocial.com 
  • KAVAS Tacos + Tequila, a mexican restaurant, is slated to open in Fall 2021. kavastacos.com
Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando is a multi-directional launch coaster boasting a 93' tall spike with 100-degree angle. Opening date is Spring 2021. #BreakTheIce seaworldorlando.com 
Jefferson Sand Lake Apartments, a 264-unit luxury apartment community, including two 5-story buildings and a 2-story clubhouse, is under construction surrounding Boo Boo Lake off of Turkey Lake Rd. Expected completion is in 2nd quarter 2021. jeffersonapartmentgroup.com  Sand Lake Vista will be the mixed-use project that this apartment community will be located inside, along with a 7-Eleven, four restaurant pads totaling 17,500 SF and a 30,000 SF self-storage structure.
Universal Orlando Resort is constructing a new roller coaster in their Jurassic World area, to be called VelociCoaster. It's planned open will be summer 2021. universalorlando.com
Taking over the old Marriott Grand Pines Golf Club is the Paradiso Grande Resort Orlando, a 157 vacation home community to include town homes and single-family vacation homes from 3 to 15 bedrooms. This will also feature a community clubhouse, resort-style pool with a lazy river and walking trails. Estimated completion is mid 2021. paradisograndehomes.com
The Kirkman Road Resurfacing project began in August 2019. The 6.6 miles includes Kirkman Rd. from S.R. 408 to Sand Lake Rd. (excluding Conroy Rd. to International Drive). Estimated completion is Fall 2021. www.cflroads.com 
A 345 unit, 4 to 5-story apartment complex is coming to the Universal area to be called Silver Hills - Universal Apartments. Expected completion December 2021. deangelisdiamond.com
Located just south of Universal's Endless Summer Resort will be Republic Square Apartments once building is completed in 2021. This apartment community will include 401 units and have 4-stories. summit-contracting.com
Home2 Suites Near SeaWorld is scheduled for opening in first quarter 2021, with 6-stories and 137 units. hilton.com/en/home2/
In the South International Drive area, the Addison Lake Bryan Apartments, with 266 units, are scheduled for completion in May 2021. theaddisonlakebryan.com
Aquatica, SeaWorld's Water Park is opening Riptide Race, a dueling water slide with a 68' tower, to add 650' of slide to their park. Expected completion is Spring 2021. aquatica.com/orlando 
Vineland Pointe is awaiting the opening of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, ALDI, Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack and Walk-On's. Total project includes 69.41 acres and 447,500-square-feet of retail space. Completion expected for 2021. 
The Kirkman Road Pedestrian Bridge is well underway at the intersection of Kirkman Road and Major Blvd. This 186-foot steel-truss bridge will improve pedestrian safety across Kirkman Road. The bridge will be 14-feet wide and the project also includes improved sidewalks. Completion in 2021. www.i4ultimate.com
Aloft and Element Orlando - International Drive South began construction in late 2018 on a 7-story dual hotel with 284 rooms. Estimated completion for the Aloft side is February 2021 and estimated completion for the Element side is March 2021. www.ad1global.com 
Icon Park developer Chuck Whittall has announced plans for O-Town West, a mixed use development that spans across the intersection of Palm Parkway and Daryl Carter Parkway. It will be home to over 1,500 residential units with retail, dining, hotel and office spaces across four districts. The Village at O-Town West will be completed in the Spring of 2021 and be home to Portillo's, opening on March 2nd 2021, Wawa, White Castle, Jeremiah's Italian Ice, a Crunch Fitness, Pet Paradise and more! The Crossings at O-Town West are expected to open in the Spring of 2021 as well, and will be home to Tijuana Flats, World of Beer, Burger Fi, McAllisters and a new 850 unit apartment complex, Glasshouse Apartments. The City Center at O-Town West will welcome a 168 room Zen Hotel as well as Marriott Vacations Headquarters, expected completion is Fall of 2021. Finally, with an expected opening date of Winter 2021, Town Center at O-Town West will include restaurants, French Cafe, Mooyah Burgers, Chick Peas, Antonio's Pizza, Planet Smoothie, and more! The Bentley Luxury Apartments with 400 units will also be opening here. 
Dezerland Action Park is expected to open 2021 to a 300,000 SF Orlando Auto Museum with hundreds of cars ranging from the 1930's to modern day. The goal is to be the largest auto museum in Florida. Additional entertainment will span another 250,000 SF of the complex. www.dezerlandactionpark.com
GLo Hotel, a new boutique hotel brand from Best Western is under construction on Vineland Ave. This 4-story, 154 unit property is said to break the "cookie-cutter hotel mold." Expected completion in 2021. www.bestwesterndevelopers.com/portfolio/glo.php 
Pointe Orlando has been undergoing a $32 million redevelopment project that started earlier this year. It will include The Link, a new 100' passageway, escalator, gathering space, upgraded valet areas, new landscape & signage, among other things. The project is expected to be completed in 2021. pointeorlando.com 
The Grand National 16.5-acre mixed-use project is underway on North International Drive. It will include 60,000 -square-feet of retail and restaurant space. A new TownePlace Suites by Marriott has also signed on for a 7-story, 148 unit hotel. Projects began coming online in 2019 and will continue through 2021. www.naproperties.com/projects/grand-national/ 
King Cajun Crawfish commenced construction in September 2020. It will be a restaurant located in the I-Drive Retail at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, and will be serving family style authentic Cajun Cuisine. kingcajuncrawfish.com 
2022 and Beyond: 
Estimated to complete construction in April 2022 is Deseo Grande, a $54M, 5-story apartment complex with 365 units. 
Hyatt House expects to open on I-Drive in June 2022. The $28 million property plans to have 175 rooms. house.hyatt.com  
I-Drive dedicated transit lanes from Sand Lake Road to the Beachline is scheduled to complete construction in summer 2022. Approximately three miles of dedicated transit bus lanes from Sand Lake Road to the Beachline. New sidewalks, landscaping, and signage. orangecountyfl.net
The $250M-$300M Kirkman Road Extension from Carrier Drive to Universal Blvd. will be a 1.7-mile extension of south Kirkman Road. This is a public-private partnership with FDOT, Orange County, and Universal. The north-south stretch estimated completion is expected 2025. www.cflroads.co 
Awaiting details 
A new prototype store for the fast food chain, Popeyes, is expected to come to the intersection of I-Drive and Daryl Carter Pkwy.  popeyes.com
Universal Orlando Resort is building a new, fourth, theme park to be called Universal's Epic Universe. The park will also feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. We anxiously await further details as they are made available. universalorlando.com
The Orange County Convention Center North-South Building Improvements will include a Convention Way Grand Concourse, Multipurpose Venue - 200M SF, column free, combo retractable and floor seating. Completion is currently unknown. occc.net
SKYPLEX Entertainment Complex will open with Skyscraper, the world’s tallest roller coaster at more than 500 feet. Also: SkyFall - a 450-foot drop ride, Skyfly - a 600-foot zipline, Skysurf Park, SkyLedge thrill experience, Sky Jump - 500-foot free fall dive attraction, SkyPlaza - retail & dining area, open-air promenade, indoor arcade, 450-room hotel, and go-kart track. Project size: 1.5 million square feet. Projected completion unknown. facebook.com/skyplex
Vib Hotel Orlando is under construction on Visitors Circle. The project is a 5-story, 118 room property. Completion is T.B.D. bestwestern.com
The interchange between Sand Lake Road and I-4 will be reimagined into a diverging diamond configuration to assist in creating better traffic flow.  The construction date details for this Sand Lake Road Interchange are still waiting to be announced at this time. i4beyond.com
I-Drive 2040 Vision Plan - Recognizing the importance of creating a shared vision for the International Drive Area, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs appointed a Steering Review Group (SRG) composed of I-Drive-area stakeholders and landowners who are committed to maintaining I-Drive as the world’s premier global destination for tourism and family entertainment. She envisioned a vibrant International Drive corridor that would be a dynamic gathering place for visitors and residents alike. See the plan here.
Quotes from I-Drive stakeholders and partners:
"I have had the opportunity to call the Rosen Inn International (formerly the Quality Inn International) located at 7600 International Drive, my home, from 1974 to 1990. Now spanning some 42 plus years as an owner-operator of multiple hotels in the district, one can only imagine the tremendous growth and development we have had the distinct privilege of being intimately involved with.
The International Drive district features our World Class Orange County Convention Center, dozens of spectacular hotels, fine dining, and numerous exciting entertainment venues. In addition, specialty retailers and an assortment of merchants can be found on virtually every street corner. We currently enjoy a robust marketplace thanks to our diverse base of visitors; tourists, conventioneers and locals.
I remain confident that we will continue to adapt to our ever changing environment and provide the finest service and hospitality anywhere in the world. I am extremely optimistic regarding future development in the district and remain poised to do my part to ensure that I-Drive remains a legendary destination."
Harris Rosen, President, Rosen Hotels & Resorts
"Unicorp National Developments sees a very big future with International Drive. And as we are currently the largest property owner on I-Drive with 77 acres, our plan is to redevelop much of this property to take advantage of the exciting, new, urbanism vision that has been approved for the I-Drive District. This will include hotels, restaurants and even more entertainment. Thousands of Orlando Eye riders experience the landscape of Central Florida from 400 feet each day and we are excited to be part of I-Drive and the growth and future of Orange County. This is where it all happens and we are thrilled to be part of it."
Chuck Whittall, President Unicorp Companies
“International Drive is the most burgeoning entertainment district in the world, and Orange County is in the process of implementing the ground-breaking I-Drive 2040 Vision that sets the tone for the District to continue to be the most visited leisure and convention market in the world. We look forward to the future as we work toward the opening this year of our 800-space parking garage complex with a rooftop restaurant and to the future opening of Skyplex."
Joshua Wallack of Wallack Holdings, COO Mango’s Tropical Café Orlando /Managing Principal, Skyplex
“AMP Group / Perfumeland was born and raised on International Drive starting with just a 1,200-square- foot perfume shop in the mid 90’s. As Perfumeland grew, so did our company with a number of new investments into the International Drive area culminating with the addition of the Orlando Crossings Mall and I-Drive NASCAR Indoor Kart Racing facility. Our company’s expansion is a direct result of the wonderful growth we have seen to Orlando and its tourism industry in the last few years. I-Drive has been a catalyst for the growth of our region. We are truly excited over the I-Drive 2040 Vision and what the future holds.”
Alejandro Pezzini, Chief Operating Officer, AMP Group
For additional information on the I-Drive area, visit www.InternationalDriveOrlando.com
Contact: Luann Brooks, Executive Director
International Drive Business Improvement District
P: 407-248-9590
Orlando's Most Dynamic Destination!
Updated: February 3rd, 2021