Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Wesley Chapel ice skating complex aims for October groundbreaking

WESLEY CHAPEL — The company proposing a massive ice skating complex at Interstate 75 and State Road 56 in Pasco County says it will likely break ground in October once it receives building permits from the county.

Deborah Tamargo, a spokeswoman for Tampa-based Z Mitch LLC, said the company had hoped to start work on the four-rink complex this month but will miss that target because it's awaiting approval of a construction plan from planning and zoning officials.

Meanwhile, a developer with a competing proposal is waiting to see if those plans really do materialize. At about the same time Z Mitch officials announced their plans in May, Clearwater businessman Pat DeLorenzo said he wanted to build another skating complex just a few miles away.

Late last week, county officials sent back a version of Z Mitch's plans, requesting more details and asking several questions. Among them: what route will construction trucks take and will charter buses have enough room to maneuver after discharging their riders.

"Nothing jumped out at us that was a major issue, just little things," Tamargo said.

She said Z Mitch will resubmit the plan in a week or two. Once the company receives its permits, a process that could take another 30 days, it will start work immediately.

Tamargo said developer Gordie Zimmermann was hoping to time the opening with two hockey tournaments for youth and adults in late summer. He has until the end of this year to line up the tournaments and is pushing for an opening on Aug. 15, 2016.

"We just have to look where we can make up this time in our construction schedule," Tamargo said.

The later-than-expected groundbreaking hasn't jeopardized that schedule so far, but officials remain worried that additional delays, including bad weather, could cause problems.

Dubbed the Cypress Creek Ice and Sports Complex, the project was unveiled with much fanfare in late May. Former Tampa Bay Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk attended a news conference, along with several county officials.

The $17 million complex would be Florida's largest with an Olympic-sized rink, two standard-sized rinks and a rink that could be adapted for meetings, indoor lacrosse or soccer. A second-floor restaurant would overlook three of the rinks.

DeLorenzo, an NHL official, said he's still in talks over purchasing 13 acres near the Grove shopping center, less than 5 miles from Cypress Creek.

But he doubts the region can support two ice complexes, so he's proceeding "very, very cautiously" before going forward with his two-rink complex.

If Cypress Creek comes to life, DeLorenzo said he might alter his plans and focus on a banquet hall, conference center or multiuse space for concerts, trade shows and other events.

"I'm being very, very cautious because I'm not going to spend money or risk money from private investors on something that's not going to happen," he said.

DeLorenzo said he's skeptical about whether the area can support even the Cypress Creek project.

Four other facilities with seven rinks operate within 55 miles of one another — in Clearwater, Oldsmar, Brandon and Ellenton.

"A lot of people are watching this very closely," he said.

Contact Rich Shopes at rshopes@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6236. Follow @richshopes.

Wesley Chapel ice skating complex aims for October groundbreaking 09/04/14 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2014 10:36am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84

    Nation

    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General

    Crime

    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest

    Nation

    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.