Orlando Attractions Update – With the impending opening of I-Drive 360, Orlando’s International Drive Resort Area is going to get another major development that’s even bigger! Orlando officials have approved plans for a massive hotel and shopping complex that, if built, would become the most prominent development on the north end of International Drive.
The project, expected to cost between $300 million and $400 million, would include a 26-story luxury hotel, a multi-level mall, a performance theater, restaurants and an ice-skating rink. City commissioners unanimously signed off on the proposal Monday afternoon.
Called the iSquare Mall + Hotel development, the project is the brainchild of Orlando developer Abdul Mathin. He envisions a flashy, Las Vegas-style complex catering to affluent travelers. He has promised to deliver a 729-room, “seven-star” hotel, a designation not generally recognized in the industry.
From its height — 360 feet — to its marketing, little about the proposal is understated.
The project’s website says the development seeks to “provide a swanky, irresistible vibe that makes each guest feel like a celebrity, or billionaire inventor — whichever you prefer
The plan also includes 100,000 square feet of convention and meeting space and a revolving, rooftop restaurant. Earlier, the project’s architect had said the restaurant would likely not rotate because that would be too expensive to engineer and build.
Mathin said he has lined up financing for the project, which would be located at the intersection of I-Drive and South Kirkman Road. The development’s website says the project will open in the summer of 2017.
iSquare Mall would replace the International Shoppes strip mall at the southeast corner of I-Drive and Kirkman Road. Mathin’s company owns the property, according to the documents submitted to the city.