Construction starts for I-Drive Live's first attraction

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Channel 9's Deneige Broom went inside a major new attraction under construction in the heart of Orange County's tourist corridor.

The entire $200 million I-Drive Live project is a couple years away from completion, but its first tenant, Kings Bowl, could open this summer.

Thirty-thousand square feet of what was a Gooding's supermarket along International Drive are being transformed into an entertainment center complete with bowling alleys, bars and gourmet food.

"It allows guests to have a vacation from their vacation, but also allows locals to take back I-Drive," said Robert Morris of Kings Bowl.

Kings bowl will be the first installment of the I-Drive Live project to see business.

The company's Boston-based management team plans to hire almost 100 local people in time to open doors on the facility April 15.

"On the labor side alone it's about $1.5 million a year," said Frank Stryjewski of Kings Bowl.

The entire project is scheduled to be finished by the end of next year.

I-Drive Live is being built on a plot of land that used to be the Mercado shopping center.

It has sat empty since 2007, but is expected to be bustling once the aquarium, restaurants and 425-foot observation wheel take shape.

"I think it's exciting that they're building more stuff," said Chelsea Miller.

"It's a blessing there will be more things down here to do," said Angel Medina.

Half of the I-Drive Live project is scheduled to open early next year.