What's New on I-Drive!

Orlando's tourism corridor: More than $2 billion of high-profile development planned for 2020 and beyond in the thriving I-Drive Resort Area 

ORLANDO, November 2, 2020 - The I-Drive Resort Area continues to increase its presence as a major player in Orlando's booming hospitality industry. The past several years have brought changes to the tourism corridor: 
Recent Openings 
Rodizio Grill, a Brazilian steakhouse, opened their flagship location in Orlando at Pointe Orlando on January 31, 2020. www.rodiziogrill.com/orlando/ 
Ox Grille at ICON Park opened this January. A contemporary cuisine restaurant featuring a multi-cultural dining experience. oxgrillrestaurant.com
Also in January, Veere Apartments opened their doors to new tenants. A 4-story, 250 unit apartment complex located near the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets. epochlivingveere.com
The I-Drive Retail at Four Points by Sheraton has finished constructing. This 4,800 SF commercial property is a 4 tenant building to include restaurant and retail. equitymp.com 
Essex at Universal began construction in October 2018 on their apartment complex with 330-units in five buildings. Amenities include 10,000 SF clubhouse, saltwater swimming pool, dog park and two courtyards with fire-pits & water features. Completion was May 2020. flournoypartners.com  
Construction of a new seven-story, 137 room hotel Wyndham Garden Orlando Universal/-Drive has completed on American Way. www.wyndhamhotels.com/wyndham-garden 
A new Element Hotel has opened its doors at Vue 360 in June with 8-stories and 165 units. element-hotels.marriott.com
Blake Shelton's Ole Red Orlando in ICON Park began construction in early 2019 on their 15,000 SF, 2-level restaurant. A welcome addition to ICON Park, offering Southern food & hospitality and live Country music. Opening was in June 2020. olered.com/orlando
Walk-On's I-Drive Bistreaux & Bar has arrived to I-Shops. This 2-story, 8,500 SF sports bar restaurant features Louisiana-inspired cuisine. Opened July 2020. walkons.com  
Also in July, DavidSW, a 6,000 SF free-standing watch retail store opened its doors.
Wyndham's WorldMark Orlando Kingstown Reef has finished their multi-million dollar expansion and renovation. Two 4-story buildings with 87 new units, a new 9-hole miniature golf course and renovation of the 99 existing units are all included. www.worldmarkbywyndham.com  
A cutting-edge live-action stunt show called The Bourne Stuntacular opened this summer at Universal Orlando Resort. universalorlando.com
In August, the I-Drive Area welcomed a 2-story school with 837-student capacity called Sunshine Elementary School. ocps.net
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 
On Westwood Boulevard, a brand new 7-Eleven was built and opened in September. 7-eleven.com
Mooyah Burgers, Fries and Shakes opened its largest restaurant in September, located on the first floor of Hollywood Plaza. This restaurant also features a 900 SF arcade. mooyah.com
A Brazilian pizzeria, called PACPizzeria, offering a variety of pizza options including stuffed crusts and sweet pizzas opened in October.  
2020: A look at things to come
The Endless Summer Resort The Dockside Inn & Suites will be a 2,050-room resort with completion anticipated in 2020. When  combined with Surfside Inn & Suites, both properties will include three pools, two food courts, parking garage and poolside bars. Opening date is December 15, 2020. blog.universalorlando.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 2020.  www.bestwesterndevelopers.com/portfolio/glo.php
ICON Park has several new venues coming online:
  • The Orlando Slingshot is a  300' high, 450' catapult ride, opening 2020. iconorlando.com
  • The Orlando Gyro Drop Tower, features a 400'high, 350' freefall reaching speeds of 75 mph, opening 2020. iconorlando.com
  • Museum of Illusions Orlando is an interactive attraction, opening November 2020.  museumofillusions.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. Expected opening November 2020. www.thehamptonsocial.com 
  • Brother Jimmy's BBQ will feature a wide-selection of BBQ, wings & beer. Opening late 2020. brotherjimmys.com
  • KAVAS Tacos + Tequila, a mexican restaurant, is slated to open in late 2020. kavastacos.com
Hyatt House expects to open on I-Drive in late 2020. The $28 million property plans to have 175 rooms. house.hyatt.com 
Tryp by Wyndham is building a new 4-story, 98 room hotel near SeaWorld on International Drive. Expected completion is late 2020. www.wyndhamhotels.com/tryp/
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 late 2020. pointeorlando.com
Aloft and Element Hotel began construction in late 2018 on a 7-story dual hotel with 284 rooms. Estimated completion is November 2020. www.ad1global.com
Sand Lake Road Improvement Project expects completion 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
Phases 2 & 3 of Vineland Pointe will be constructed concurrently and include an already opened Target and Cheesecake Factory, and still awaiting opening of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Total project includes 69.41 acres and 447,500-square-feet of retail space. Completion expected for the holidays 2020. oconnorcp.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. Completion in 2020. www.i4ultimate.com
Dezerland Action Park plans to open their doors 2020 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
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 2020. www.naproperties.com/projects/grand-national/
A new 7,300 SF restaurant called Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen will open in November just near the Orange County Convention Center to offer a made-from-scratch menu. cheddars.com 
A transformation is underway at the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets to include enhanced lounge areas, expanded play area, an elevated valet experience, and a reimagined food hall. Also coming soon will be updated signage, an updated connecting bridge from garage to main center, and complimentary WiFi throughout the center. premiumoutlets.com/outlet/orlando-vineland
2021 and beyond
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 will begin 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
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 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 unknown. www.cflroads.com
Awaiting details 
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. aquatica.com/orlando
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
Spanning across three corners of the Daryl Carter and Palm Parkway intersection will be a future mixed-use project entitled O-Town West. The master plan for this development will combine over 1,500 residential units with retail, dining, hotel and office space across four unique districts: The Village at O-Town West, The Crossings at O-Town West, Town Center at O-Town West, and The City Center at O-Town West. unicorp.com/project/otown-west
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: November 3, 2020