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Lake County Developments

TB Lightning founder Esposito to open ice rink at Olympus

Tampa Bay Lightning founder Phil Esposito, one of the greatest hockey players and executives of all time, is lending his name and NHL Hall of Fame credentials to the new elite sports campus at Olympus in Clermont.

The visionary who brought professional hockey to Florida and helped create a three-time Stanley Cup champion franchise in Tampa will be a founding partner of the new $20 million Ice Center at Olympus. The facility will feature two NHL regulation ice surfaces (including one fully sled-hockey-compatible surface) for ice hockey and figure skating training and competition.

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“Olympus is a truly visionary community and incredible sports destination,” said Esposito. “I’m so proud to be a part of the Olympus Ice Center, which is not only going to energize the growth and popularity of ice hockey in Florida, but also globally.”

Esposito, whose likeness is immortalized on a statue at Tampa Bay’s Amelie Arena, continued, “The Ice Center at Olympus is the perfect platform for teams like the Lightning to deliver exceptional development programs to Central Florida. It’s also the perfect venue for high school, collegiate and professional team training and international competition.”

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“From the moment we began planning the Ice Center at Olympus, I knew Phil was the right partner,” said Michael Carroll, CEO of Olympus. “He brings an incredible passion to the Center’s development and programming. I value his friendship, leadership and the important role he plays as a global ambassador for the sport of ice hockey.”

Carroll also announced that Olympus has developed a strategic partnership with Boston-based EDGE Sports Group, the premier athletic ecosystem specialists, to facilitate development, design and management of the 60-acre Sports Campus at Olympus.

“EDGE is a powerful addition to the Olympus team, bringing over 30 years of experience in delivering on all aspects of sports venue design, development and management,” Carroll said.

Located at the highest elevation on the Olympus property, overlooking the internal lake with dramatic views of Central Florida, the Sports Campus will feature traditional and emerging sports across indoor and outdoor training and competition venues; a year-round schedule of amateur, collegiate and elite events with onsite hospitality and entertainment; and an all-encompassing Performance Institute for top athletes from around the globe.

“We are honored to join forces with Olympus and its team to deliver a self-sustaining, thriving and globally renowned sports hub and destination in Central Florida,” said Brian DeVellis, founder and president of EDGE Sports Group. “Our job doesn’t end when the last brick is laid. We ensure that the Sports Campus at Olympus remains a community cornerstone for decades to come.”

The crown jewel of the sports campus will be a 5,800-seat multi-purpose arena ready to host major sporting and entertainment events. The sports campus will also feature an international soccer center comprised of a 3,500-seat soccer stadium and multiple soccer pitches; the Ice Center; a multi-sport fieldhouse for volleyball, basketball, gymnastics and more; a beach volleyball pavilion; a 4.5-mile trail system for triathlon and other special events; and the largest authentic red-clay tennis court center in the U.S. designed to host large-scale events on par with major international tennis competitions.

“We’re known as the ‘Choice of Champions’ not just because so many elite and Olympic athletes live and train here, but because we carry that way of thinking into our community,” Clermont Mayor Tim Murry said. “Olympus continues to introduce and develop quality and relative partnerships that will allow these athletes even more training and competition opportunities, and that will benefit everyone involved. We are very excited about what is coming soon to Wellness Way!”

The Olympus Performance Institute will help pro and amateur athletes train, improve, refine and recover with elite-level strength and conditioning, athletic training, nutrition and athletic dining services, and more. Amenities include hydrotherapy, sauna, cold and hot tubs, cryotherapy, and a red-light therapy pod. Additionally, the institute will house an athlete lounge and content creation center giving athletes the opportunity to stay on top of every aspect of their game.

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The Olympus master plan also includes entitlements for four hotels, including a highly-amenitized sports resort and conference center.

Another Olympus partner, Broadcast Service Group, will bring full-service broadcast and video production services to the Sports Campus, ensuring that venues are always broadcast-ready. Broadcast Service Group’s portfolio of clients includes ESPN, NBC Sports, Telemundo, Fox Sports, MLS, Orlando City, US Open Tennis and more.

Earlier this year, Arizona-based Healthcare Trust of America (HTA) committed to building a $100 million medical campus in the Clermont sports and wellness district. The firm purchased a 6-acre site with direct frontage on U.S. 27 at the future Epic Boulevard.

Olympus is projected to bring more than 2,800 jobs and have an economic impact of more than $1.5 billion at buildout. The Planned Unit Development is entitled for up to 1,312 hotel rooms; 1,088 residential units (villas, townhomes, apartments and senior); 382,687 square feet of medical office space, 384,659 square feet of general office space; 225,124 square feet of shopping center/retail space and 44,500 square feet of restaurants.

Lake Mary-based Integra Land Company is building 289-unit Class A apartments called Integra Heights at Olympus at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Olympus Boulevard. Integra Heights will be a 9-building, garden-style development featuring two- and four-story buildings, with a stone-accented exterior and garages.

Just east of the apartment community, David Weekley Homes has closed on a deal for a 40-acre residential village in Olympus. The design style will be neotraditional with front porches and unique elements specifically tailored for Olympus. Preliminary plans call for 318 homesites, with approximately half allocated for single-family homes and the other half for townhomes. The community is expected to open for sales in mid-2023. Weekley’s section of Olympus will also include an exclusive resort-style pool, dozens of park areas and a network of trails that extend throughout the master-planned community.

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Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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