Thursday, April 26, 2018
Business

Channelside auction might not be won by highest bidder

TAMPA — It will take more than a big, fat check to win Channelside Bay Plaza in today's auction.

The winning bidder will also have to prove it has the best shot of succeeding as Channelside's new owner.

In bankruptcy law, the concept is called "adequate assurance of future performance." It will play a key role in determining who will control Channelside.

The auction will start at 10 a.m. at a New York law firm. Three parties will bid against one another: Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's group CBP Development LLC, which unveiled its grand plans for Channelside on Monday; Liberty Channelside LLC investors Santosh Govindaraju and Punit Shah, who tried to buy it last year and have since been in litigation; and the Tampa Port Authority, which wants to choose the complex's savior.

The first part of the auction will focus on bid price. Vinik's CBP Development turned in the highest starting bid, $7.1 million. That's $100,000 more than Liberty's $7 million bid. The Tampa Port Authority's bid is $5.75 million, but it can spend up to $15 million if necessary.

The second part of the auction is more complex. Channelside is an asset of the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., which is being liquidated. The bank's liquidators and the firm running the auction, DJM Real Estate, must determine what bidder has the best chance of "adequate assurance of future performance" — in short, who has the means and the money to fix Channelside.

That's because whoever wins the auction also inherits the contracts regulating the property. A contract with the Tampa Port Authority, which owns the land under Channelside, calls for its owner to run a "first-class retail and restaurant facility."

"It's designed to assure that the person coming into the contract has a good chance of actually being able to fulfill the contract," said Stetson University College of Law professor Theresa Pulley Radwan.

After the auctioneers have picked the winner, a bankruptcy judge will have to approve the result at a July 15 hearing.

A real-world example of how complicated a bankruptcy auction can be is the recent battle in Baltimore for control of 1st Mariner Bank. At first, National Penn won the auction with a bid of $13.7 million, according to the Baltimore Sun, though that offer was $150,000 less than what RKJS Bank bid. But 1st Mariner's auctioneer chose the low bidder, according to the Sun, because it believed National Penn was more likely to get approval from regulators. RKJS challenged the auction in court and eventually won control of 1st Mariner by raising its bid to $18.7 million, striking deals with creditors and getting regulatory approval.

Liberty has signaled it is willing to challenge the Channelside auction in court.

But the Vinik group enters with a big advantage: After unveiling its "Channelside Live" plans Monday, the Tampa Port Authority voted to start negotiating a lease with Vinik's CBP Development. The port believes it has veto power over any sale of Channelside, and according to the auction rules, getting the port's approval would be a big plus for the eventual winner.

And if the port wins the auction, it can sign a development deal for Channelside with anyone it wishes, including Vinik.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Comments
Amazon raising price of annual Prime membership to $119

Amazon raising price of annual Prime membership to $119

NEW YORK — Amazon is raising the price of its annual Prime membership fee by 20 percent starting next month. The company said Thursday that Prime members in the U.S. will now pay $119 a year, up from $99, starting May 11 for new members. The new pric...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Cities turn to private inspectors as construction booms, and problems follow

Cities turn to private inspectors as construction booms, and problems follow

ST. PETERSBURG --- With construction booming throughout Florida, private inspectors are increasingly reviewing the work of building contractors. But that has sometimes led to missed code violations and other problems.Now the city of St. Petersburg is...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Almost half of all homes for sale in Tampa Bay are unaffordable for first-time buyers

Almost half of all homes for sale in Tampa Bay are unaffordable for first-time buyers

Times Staff WriterAlmost half of all homes on the market in the Tampa Bay area are unaffordable for many buyers. According to Zillow, 48.7 percent of homes for sale are "high-end --- more than $348,0000 in Tampa Bay -- while just 20.5 percent are "l...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecast in first quarter

Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecast in first quarter

TAMPA — Growing sales at Outback Steakhouse have once again led parent company Bloomin’ Brands to beat Wall Street’s expectations, the latest quarterly report shows.But the Tampa-based restaurant group’s other chains are failing to keep up. Bloomin’ ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Focus crossover and Mustang will be only Ford sedans sold in North American dealerships

Focus crossover and Mustang will be only Ford sedans sold in North American dealerships

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will shed most of its North American car lineup as part of broad plan to save money and make the company more competitive in a fast-changing marketplace.The changes include getting rid of all cars in...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Domino’s lifts curtain on ‘pizza theater’ in Lutz

Domino’s lifts curtain on ‘pizza theater’ in Lutz

LUTZ — Domino’s new ‘pizza theater’ store recently opened in Lutz, just outside of the Ballantrae subdivision. The store features the open-concept pizza theater design which offers viewing of the food preparation process.There is also a comfortable l...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Engaged couple opens chiropractic practice for all ages on W Hillsborough Ave

Engaged couple opens chiropractic practice for all ages on W Hillsborough Ave

TAMPA — Dr. Kaylee Canalungo and Dr. Kace Groff were attending Palmer College of Chiropractic in different states when a mutual friend introduced them. After graduating and working together at a chiropractic office in New York, they are engaged to be...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Clean Juice gets 3rd spot in Hyde Park Village

Michelle Piniella forecast about another South Tampa Clean Juice location in March, and now it’s official. The healthy, fresh juice concept has secured a lease with Hyde Park Village.The opening date is to be announced this summer as it is currently ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Cuban cuisine transformed at Armature Works

Cuban cuisine transformed at Armature Works

DOWNTOWN — Felicia Lacalle says cuban cooking is in her blood as she traditionally learned from her mother growing up. Since then she has perfected her craft finding ways to recreate classic dishes with a modern twist and now she aims to change the C...
Updated: 9 hours ago
PolitiFact: False claim circulates about Allegiant Air offering 2 free tickets

PolitiFact: False claim circulates about Allegiant Air offering 2 free tickets

The statement"Allegiant Air is rewarding everyone with 2 free plane tickets to celebrate April Aviation Week!"Bloggers, April 22 in a blog postThe rulingContrary to a false claim on a phony website, Allegiant Air is not offering two free tickets in e...
Updated: 26 minutes ago