Hockey legend Phil Esposito backs ice rink at Olympus in Clermont – Orlando Sentinel

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, according to a report in GrowthSpotter.

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 regulated ice surfaces for ice hockey and figure skating training and competition.

“Olympus is a truly visionary community and incredible sports destination,” Esposito said. “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.”

Located at the highest elevation on the Olympus property, 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.

It will also have a 5,800-seat multi-purpose arena ready to host major sporting and entertainment events.

Other features include 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 US designed to host large-scale events on par with major international tennis competitions.

As a high school student, Damien Madsen spent a lot of time inside the brick building off Park Avenue next to the Alfond Inn.

Before and after shifts waiting tables at a nearby restaurant, the Winter Park library is where he’d go to study for upcoming exams and read. The focus then was on his future.

He went to UCF, started a career in a commercial real estate, and eventually became managing director of the Winter Park office for Birmingham-based Harbert Realty Services, returning to work in the downtown area he calls home.

Now, he’s hoping to return to the now-empty space a short walk away that played such a vital role in his upbringing. His focus now: The former library’s future.

With help from Birmingham-based construction firm Brasfield & Gorrie and the architecture team of Orlando-based HuntonBrady, Harbert Realty Services is embarking on an expected $10.5 million effort to renovate the bottom floor of the former library into a nutritional cafeteria with multiple health and wellness tenants. The top floors would be transformed into a co-working hub with office and meeting space.

The extensive scope of work involves the installation of a new elevator, a new stairway, and extra windows to let in more natural light. Every inch of flooring would be stripped and replaced. New interior walls will go up. The bathrooms would be completely redone in order to meet ADA compliance. An outdoor gathering spot would be created near the entrance of the cafeteria with tables, chairs, and benches beneath the shade of large trees.

It would cost as much as constructing a whole new building from the ground up, Madsen said. But to him, it’s worth much more than the capital investment.

“This is a passion project,” he said. “The idea of ​​taking a building that I’m extremely familiar with and has been a part of my life growing up and then creating a new life for that building for the next generations — that is what really excites me.”

This is a sampling of stories from GrowthSpotter, a premium subscription service from the Orlando Sentinel that focuses on the early stages of real estate development. To subscribe, go to

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