What's New on I-Drive!

Orlando's tourism corridor: More than $2 billion of high-profile development planned for 2022 and beyond in the I-Drive Area 

 
ORLANDO, July 1st, 2022 - I-Drive continues to increase its presence as a major player in Orlando's tourism industry. The past several years have brought significant changes to the I-Drive corridor: 
 
 
International Drive Development: A Look Back (2015-2020) 
 
Openings from 2021:
 
Sand Lake Road Improvement Project completed in March of 2021, includes widening to six lanes, bike paths and new sidewalks. Extends from I-Drive to Universal Blvd. cflroads.com 
 
ICON Park had a record year and opened 7 new restaurants and attractions:
  • Museum of Illusions Orlando an interactive attraction, opened at ICON Park on January 9, 2021. museumofillusions.com
  • In The Game a restaurant with an arcade and visual experience, opened at ICON Park on March 16, 2021. inthegame.net
  • Build-A-Bear experience where guests can create their own stuffed animals from start to finished opened in June of 2021. iconparkorlando.com
  • Gordon Ramsey Fish & Chips, a fast casual eatery serving Fish & Chips, and other dishes like shrimp, chicken and milkshakes opened in August, 2021. iconparkorlando.com
  • Legendary Key West Saloon, Sloppy Joe's restaurant and bar opened in December, 2021. iconparkorlando.com
Kann Caribbean Rum Bar and Bakery, took over the old Thai Silk location and is a restaurant boasting a Haitian Caribbean Cuisine. It opened in February, 2021. facebook.com/kanncaribbeankitchen
 
Aloft and Element Orlando - International Drive South began construction in late 2018 on a 7-story dual hotel with 284 rooms. The Aloft side was completed February 2021 and the Element side was completed March 2021. www.ad1global.com 
 
International Drive is now home to Florida's first Original Beer Spa, which opened in 2021. It is a concept where guests can soak and relax in a tub of beer, and sip on beer as well. mybeerspa.com  
 
The Hampton Social became the newest addition to The Pointe Orlando in 2021. It moved into the former Tommy Bahama's eatery. This restaurant specializes in seafood, pizza & brunches. The restaurant opened February 18th 2021. www.thehamptonsocial.com 
 
Additionally, The Pointe Orlando underwent a $32 million redevelopment project that started earlier in 2021. It includes The Link, a new 100' passageway, escalator, gathering space, upgraded valet areas, new landscape & signage, among other things. Phase 1 of the project completed in 2021. pointeorlando.com 
 
Aquatica, SeaWorld's Water Park opened Riptide Race, a dueling water slide with a 68' tower, to add 650' of slide to their park. Debuted April, 3, 2021. aquatica.com/orlando 
 
Two new restaurants opened at The Shops at The District Universal Boulevard this year. Moma's Cafe, a scratch kitchen serving fresh coffee, breakfast and lunch, opened on April 3, 2021. momascafe.com Slidders Pizza, a personalized gourmet pizza restaurant opened in 2021. slidderspizza.com 
 
FunSpot America, announced Sky Hawk, a 90 foot tall swing ride which opened in June 2021. fun-spot.com 
 
Universal Orlando Resort constructed a new roller coaster in their Jurassic World area, called VelociCoaster. It officially opened to the public on June, 10 2021. universalorlando.com  
 
Jefferson Sand Lake Apartments, a 264-unit luxury apartment community, including two 5-story buildings and a 2-story clubhouse, was constructed surrounding Boo Boo Lake off of Turkey Lake Rd. The property started leasing as of June 2021. jeffersonapartmentgroup.com
 
Sand Lake Vista a mixed-use project that this apartment community is located inside, completed a  7-Eleven.
 
A new hotel under the Red Roof Inn flagship, Spot X by Red Collection opened in November 2021. The building was formerly supposed to be a Best Western Glo Hotel, but the 67,774 SF, 154 room property changed owners. redroof.com  
 
Located just south of Universal's Endless Summer Resort Legacy Universal Apartments started leasing in 2021 this apartment community includes 350 units and have 4-stories. legacyuniversal.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). It was completed in Fall 2021. www.cflroads.com
In the South International Drive area, the Addison Lake Bryan Apartments, with 266 units, started leasing in Fall 2021. theaddisonlakebryan.com 
 
Chick-fil-A started construction in February on a new location off of Universal Boulevard. The location is a 6,406 SF drive through restaurant. Project was completed September 2021. chick-fil-a.com  
 
Vineland Pointe announced the opening of Aldi in May of 2021 and Chick-fil-A in August 2021. 
 
The former I-Drive NASCAR building announced a new owner, K1 Speed, which became home to 64,000 SF of Go-Kart attractions, a full restaurant, arcade, bowling lanes, retail and meeting room. The new attraction debuted in the summer of 2021. k1speed.com 
 
The Kirkman Road Pedestrian Bridge was completed 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. www.i4ultimate.com
 
The Grand National 16.5-acre mixed-use project on North International Drive now includes 60,000 -square-feet of retail and restaurant space. A new TownePlace Suites by Marriott opened a 7-story, 148 unit hotel. Projects came online in 2019 and the new hotel opened in May of 2021. www.naproperties.com/projects/grand-national/
  
Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets is underwent a large redevelopment in 2021. Main areas of focus included lounge areas, entryway, food hall, enhanced signage and WiFi. premiumoutlets.com  
 
Vineland Pointe welcomed a new tenant, Crumbl Cookies, a bakery selling a wide variety of delicious treats. 
 
A look at what's happening in 2022:
 
2022 started by opening I-Drive's and America's first 2D Noodle Bar, Twenty Pho Hour. It opened in January 2022, and features an interior that resembles a coloring book. Twenty-Pho-Hour.com  
 
ICON Park will be introducing Brother Jimmy's, a famous New York restaurant serving classic southern comfort food and North Carolina BBQ in the summer of 2022. brotherjimmys.com
 
KAVAS Tacos + Tequila, a mexican restaurant, is slated to open in Spring 2022 at The Pointe Orlando. kavastacos.com 
 
Orchid Bay Shopping Center found new tenants to replace the closed down CiCi's Pizzeria and Golden Corral locations.
Parrillada Familiar Da Silva, a Venezuelan Steakhouse, will be taking over the former 6,000 SF CiCi's Pizzeria and is expected to open in 2022. dasilvasteakhouse.com
 
A 345 unit, 4 to 5-story apartment complex is now leasing to the Universal area called Triton Cay Orlando - Universal Apartments. Phase I, completed December 2021. Phase II, includes an additional 165 units over 3.5 acres. Construction began in September 2021. This complex is now leasing as of January 2022. tritoncayorlando.com
 
Cambria Suites formerly known as Vib Hotel Orlando is under construction on Visitors Circle. The project is a 65,130SF, 5-story, 120 room property. Bookings are expected to start September 2022. choicehotels.com 
 
Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando is a multi-directional launch coaster boasting a 93' tall spike with 100-degree angle. Opening date wa February 2022. #BreakTheIce seaworldorlando.com 
 
Currently on the future list of 2022 openings for Vineland Pointe is Shake Shack which opened March of 2022. Walk-On's which has started construction in March of 2021, and is expected to be completed in 2022. walk-ons.com. Torchy's Tacos, an Austin, Texas based taco chain is opening one of their first Florida locations in Vineland Pointe in late 2022. torchystacos.com Pinstripes, bocce, bowling and bistro will also be coming to Vineland Pointe in 2022. pinstripes.com
One of Latin America's biggest soccer teams, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo Store Nação Rubro Negra, opened a 1,100 SF retail store and sells merchandise such as hats, jerseys etc., in 2022. loja-flamengo.com.br  
 
Parson's Xtreme Golf opened a store on I-Drive in 2022. It is a 10,000 SF retail store selling custom PXG golf clubs and apparel. It also features a golf simulator and putting green. pxg.com
 
Estimated to complete construction in April 2022 and pre-leasing as of April 1st 2022 is Deseo Grande, a $54M, 5-story apartment complex with 365 units. An additional 365 unites were approved to be built in 2021. Completion date of the add on will be announced at a later date.  
 
Sand Lake Vista is getting a 4-story, 122-room Woodspring Suites Orlando I-4 & Convention Center will begin booking in May 2022. 
  
South I-Drive is getting 329 new upscale garden-style apartments which will be apart of the community Altis Grand at Lake Willis. The building will include fitness center and resort-style pool. Estimated completion is late 2022.
 
Aquatica, SeaWorld's water park opened another waterslide in 2022. Reef Plunge is 330ft of fiberglass waterslide, zooming past a vibrant array of marine life including Cummerson's dolphins, leopard sharks, sardines and a variety of other cold-water fish.  
 
The Hollywood Plaza Garage next to Mango's Tropical Cafe, is getting some upgrades in 2022. Right outside the garage, a Dynamic Art Display has been constructed. It is ribbon-like and will face I-4 looking North toward Downtown Orlando. Right below the display, Walt Disney World has opened a merchandise and ticket store. It includes a Disney Vacation Club virtual discover station with floor-to-ceiling screens that tout the properties via virtual tours,photos and videos. It was also completed in 2022.  Tom's Watch Bar, an 11,000 SF sports bar concept from Smashburger founder Tom Ryan will soon be occupying the roof-top space in Hollywood Plaza parking garage. tomswatchbar.com 
 
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Troop D, Orlando office has moved into a space on International Drive just past Central Florida Parkway. It is expected to open 2022. 
 
2023 and Beyond: 
 
I-Drive dedicated transit lanes from Sand Lake Road to the Beachline is scheduled to complete construction in Summer 2023. Approximately three miles of dedicated transit bus lanes from Sand Lake Road to the Beachline. New sidewalks, landscaping, and signage. orangecountyfl.net
 
Bainbridge Apartments are opening Bainbridge Sand Lake, a 100,000 SF multi-family apartment building with 4 stories, 330 units, a clubhouse and resort style pool. The expected completion of the project is 2023. bainbridgecompanies.com 
 
SeaWorld recently announced plans to build a new coaster in 2023. While the ride is still unnamed, SeaWorld has said that it will be a one-of-a-kind ocean adventure.  
 
Las Vegas attraction, AREA15 is coming to Orlando in 2024. Located on the southeast corner of I-4 at the intersection of Lake Street and Regency Village Drive, a 300,000 SF immersive art experience and events center will be built. area15.com 
 
The $250M-$300M Kirkman Road Extension 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 
 
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. As of March 2021 construction was back underway, and it was announced that the park will be ready to open in 2025. universalorlando.com
 
Awaiting details
 
The former Sweet Tomatoes location on I-Drive is getting a new tenant. Volcano Hot Pot & BBQ will be opening a second Central Florida location. It will offer a variety of meats and vegetables are cooked at table frills or boiled in hot pots. volcanohotpot.com 
 
An escape room is making its way to Universal City Walk. Universal's Great Movie Escape will be two escape adventures inspired by 'Jurassic World' and 'Back to the Future'. Expected completion is TBA.  
 
Lennar Homes has a new project being built entitled Storey Drive Resort. The mixed use development will include 157 single family vacation homes, condos and townhomes, multiple lakes, a community clubhouse with a resort style pool, lazy river, restaurant and water park.  
 
A developer has been chosen for the housing community, Housing for Tomorrow now named Catchlight Crossings, which will be built on donated land from Universal Orlando. The project is expected to break ground in 2022, and include 1,000 apartments and 16,000 SF of retail space. housingfortomorrow.com
 
A new project, Camden Market, has been announced that shows future placement for a European style market. The new plan details 390,000 SF of retail, 532 apartments, and 2,120 hotel rooms that will take place in four different towers.

Sand Lake Vista is also expecting to open four restaurant pads totaling 17,500 SF, a 30,000 SF self-storage structure and the future home of Paramount Urgent Care. Additionally, a 4-story, 122-room Woodspring Suites Hotel will be opening at a date later announced.
 
Taking over the old Marriott Grand Pines Golf Club is the Paradiso Grande Resort Orlando, a 157 vacation home community to include townhomes 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. Phase 2 is currently under construction with estimated completion is TBA. paradisograndehomes.com  
 
Orchid Bay Shopping Center found new tenants to replace the closed down CiCi's Pizzeria and Golden Corral locations. An Asian Cuisine Marketplace will be occupying the 11,600 SF former Golden Corral location and will have multiple operators and a full bar under one room. Expected completion is TBA.  
 
Three new apartment complexes are currently in the works for north I-Drive. The Grand Bainbridge Universal Major Apartments located at the site of the old Mystery Fun House, will be a 13,700 SF new construction with 390 apartments. Grand National Apartments will be a 6.43 acre multi-family project consisting of 350 units spread over 3-apartment buildings and 1 multi-level parking garage. Third, replacing the recently demolished M Hotel will be International Drive Luxury Apartments by Del American Real Estate Group. This complex will be 8-stories, 329 units with a parking garage, four courtyards, and a 7,000 SF ground floor restaurant. Expected completion is TBA. 
 
Bainbridge also has a new project in the works for south I-Drive, Bainbridge World Center Apartments. Phase 1 will include 342 units and construction is set to begin July 2022. Phase 2 will include 464 units. Expected completion date is TBA. bainbridgecompanies.com
 
Over on Turkey Lake Road, Bayfront Sand Lake Apartments are being constructed. They are 4-story, 376 units, 16.5 acre multi-family, luxury residential apartments that sit lakefront. Expected completed is TBA.  
 
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
 
Carrier Drive will be undergoing roadway improvements at Carrier Dr. / Universal Blvd. and Carrier Dr. / Kirkman Road. These include a mixed-use path along the south side of the roadways, landscaping and a possible roundabout. Right now the project is still in the design phase, and construction is expected to begin 2023. orlando.gov 
  
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
 
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For additional information on the I-Drive area, visit www.InternationalDriveOrlando.com
 
Contact: Luann Brooks, Executive Director
International Drive Business Improvement District
www.IDriveDistrict.com
P: 407-248-9590
lbrooks@idrivedistrict.com
Orlando's Most Dynamic Destination!
 
Updated: July 2022