Exclusive: I-Drive’s iSquare megamall, hotel adds new lead architect


From the Orlando Business Journal

The developer of the towering luxury hotel and multi-level mall project planned on Orlando’s North International Drive added a “big shop” player to its development team.

iSquare Mall + Hotel developer The Blackmine Group told Orlando Business Journal it signed HKS Architects Inc. as the lead architect for the $300 million-$400 million luxury mixed-use project on I-Drive.

The news comes on the heels of The Blackmine Group signing Atlanta-based luxury resort developer Capella Hotel Group LLC as a partner for the 27-story Solis Orlando Hotel.

The Blackmine Group Chairman and CEO Abdul Mathin said his previous lead architect, Orlando-based Scott Architecture Inc., helped envision an overall view of the project and still will be involved.

But now that iSquare Mall + Hotel has moved forward from vision to blueprints, Mathin said it needed a firm with HKS’s level of experience, since the firm has designed massive luxury resorts worldwide. “We need a big shop because we’re now into the practical work on this with 200 people involved.”

Matt Clear, principal with HKS Architects who is heading up the iSquare project, said a kickoff meeting with Mathin was scheduled for April 8.