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, May 12, 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) 
 
Openings from 2020 
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/
 
Dezerland Action Park opened an indoor arcade and indoor go-kart track in December of 2020. www.dezerlandactionpark.com
 
A look at what's happening in 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 has several new venues coming online:
  • Museum of Illusions Orlando is an interactive attraction, opened at ICON Park on January 9, 2021. museumofillusions.com
  • In The Game is a restaurant with an arcade and visual experience, opened at ICON Park on March 16, 2021. inthegame.net
  • Brother Jimmy's, a famous New York restaurant serving classic southern comfort food and North Carolina BBQ will be joining ICON Park in the Summer of 2021. brotherjimmys.com
  • Gordon Ramsey Fish & Chips, a fast casual eatery serving Fish & Chips, and other dishes like shrimp, chicken and milkshakes. The restaurant is expected to open in August, 2021. iconorlando.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 
A new restaurant in Lake Cay Commons opened early 2021. Ternerita Cafe & Grill, a Venezuelan fast food restaurant with live entertainment opened on January 15th, 2021. 
 
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

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. The restaurant opened February 18th 2021. www.thehamptonsocial.com 
  • KAVAS Tacos + Tequila, a mexican restaurant, is slated to open in Fall 2021. kavastacos.com
Additionally, 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

On March 15th, 2021, Westgate Resorts announced the opening of their new Treasure Cove Water Park, a pirate themed water park with 60 feet of water slides, 258 feet of wave pools, a 575 foot lazy river and a tiki bar. westgateresorts.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 will open 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 will open later in 2021. slidderspizza.com
 
FunSpot America, has announced that Sky Hawk, a 90 foot tall swing ride, will open in May 2021. fun-spot.com
 
Universal Orlando Resort is constructing a new roller coaster in their Jurassic World area, to be called VelociCoaster. It's planned open will be June, 10 2021. universalorlando.com 
 
Dezerland Action Park  partially opened 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 
 
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. The property is expected to let residents move in June 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.
 
Located just south of Universal's Endless Summer Resort will be Legacy Universal Apartments once building is completed in Summer of 2021. This apartment community will include 350 units and have 4-stories. summit-contracting.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. Phase 2 is currently under construction with estimated completion for 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. Phase I, expected completion December 2021. Phase II, will include an additional 165 units over 3.5 acres. Construction is expected to begin in September 2021. deangelisdiamond.com
 
In the South International Drive area, the Addison Lake Bryan Apartments, with 266 units, are scheduled for completion in Fall 2021. theaddisonlakebryan.com
 
Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando is a multi-directional launch coaster boasting a 93' tall spike with 100-degree angle. Opening date is 2021. #BreakTheIce seaworldorlando.com  
 
Chick-fil-A has started construction in February on a new location off of Universal Boulevard. The location will be a 6,406 SF drive through restaurant. Expected completion is 2021. chick-fil-a.com 
 
Vineland Pointe is awaiting the opening of ALDI in the summer of 2021, Chick-fil-A in July of 2021, Shake Shack and Walk-On's later in 2021. Total project includes 69.41 acres and 447,500-square-feet of retail space. Completion expected for 2021. vinelandpointeorlando.com
 
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. Completed in 2021. www.i4ultimate.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 with an expected opening in May 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. Expected Completion is 2021. kingcajuncrawfish.com 
 
Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets is undergoing a large redevelopment in 2021. Main areas of focus include lounge areas, entryway, food hall, enhanced signage and WiFi. premiumoutlets.com 
 
2022 and Beyond: 
Estimated to complete construction in April 2022 is Deseo Grande, a $54M, 5-story apartment complex with 365 units.
    
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
 
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 
   
Awaiting details 
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. 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
 
A developer has been chosen for the housing community, Housing for Tomorrow, 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
 
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 65,130SF, 5-story, 120 room property. Completion is T.B.D. bestwestern.com
 
Hyatt House expects to open on I-Drive with a date that is to be announced. The $28 million property plans to have 175 rooms. house.hyatt.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
 
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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: May 2021