By Adam Roth
As home to more than 75 shops, restaurants and up-charge attractions, The Mercado was once a beacon for tourist experiences along Orlando’s famous International Drive. Hosting Titanic: The Exhibition, The Guinness World Records Experience, the Hard Rock Vault and street entertainment, the open air shopping development was especially popular at night. But with the onset of competition from new outlets and malls in Central Florida, The Mercado fell behind, closing in 2007 in favor of a bold new vision from Unicorp National Developments.
Despite demolition taking place in late 2007, the former Mercado plot has sat dormant, waiting for new plans to be finalized and approved by local legislators. Over five years after the closure of the staple shopping center it was announced that Unicorp had received the go-ahead to begin construction on a new set of developments known as I-Drive Live and the I-Shops. [Read more…]