Make us your home page

Legal issues still delaying Channelside Bay Plaza sale

TAMPA — The Tampa Port Authority's deal to buy Channelside Bay Plaza is still on. It's just not going anywhere right now.

The proposed sale of the downtown retail center is stuck behind a legal roadblock that has delayed court approval of the deal. That raises the issue of whether the deal will bump up against its Nov. 30 expiration date.

Port officials said Tuesday, however, that the delays will likely have no detrimental effect. If the delays push the deal past the Nov. 30 deadline, then both sides would likely agree to an extension, Port Authority attorney Charles Klug said.

"The continuing saga continues," Klug told the port's governing board Tuesday.

The port owns the land, but an Irish bank owns the building. Channelside is in desperate need of a new developer and a new vision. But neither side could agree on who that should be. The port resolved the issue by deciding to buy Channelside itself.

So in September, the Tampa Port Authority agreed to buy Channelside from the Irish Bank Resolution Corp. for $5.75 million.

But that deal was complicated by the IBRC's decision to seek Chapter 15 federal bankruptcy protection for its U.S. assets, including Channelside. A federal judge in Delaware has yet to rule on the Chapter 15 petition. But it did issue a temporary stay, halting all litigation involving the IBRC's assets and giving the Irish bank's creditors time to investigate its assets.

But the judge has yet to make a final decision on the Chapter 15 petition itself. Resolving that issue would get the Channelside deal moving through the legal pipeline again.

Once the bankruptcy court grants the bank Chapter 15 protection, then creditors would have two weeks to challenge the Channelside sale. But port officials said Channelside has no creditors, so a challenge is unlikely to be upheld.

Then, after a federal judge has approved the Channelside sale, it moves to Hillsborough Circuit Court. That's where the port sued the bank in 2010. A state judge would have to approve the Channelside sale as a part of the settlement of the lawsuit.

It would actually be simpler if the federal judge denied the IBRC's Chapter 15 request. Then the deal would just need the approval of a Hillsborough circuit judge.

Officials said Tuesday that they remain confident the deal is going to happen — hopefully before the end of the year.

Legal issues still delaying Channelside Bay Plaza sale 10/15/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  3. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members


    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  4. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion


    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  5. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]