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Bank files foreclosure suit against owner of Channelside Bay Plaza

TAMPA — The Irish bank that financed the owner of Channelside Bay Plaza wants to bring in new management while trying to foreclose on the waterfront entertainment center.

Irish Anglo Bank of Dublin last month filed a foreclosure suit against Channelside Bay Mall LLC, owned by New York real estate firm Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp.

The bank loaned the partnership $27 million in 2006. Channelside Bay Mall hasn't made a payment in more than a year and owes $26.1 million, plus interest, the suit states. All the while, the partnership kept collecting rent from tenants, the bank says.

Irish Anglo also filed an emergency motion in Hillsborough County Circuit Court for a receiver from property leasing firm Madison Marquette to take over operating the center. A judge is scheduled to hear the request June 3.

Business is good, but new management could infuse energy into the Channelside plaza, said Guy Revelle, a partner in four venues, including Splitsville and Stump's Supper Club, that occupy 48,000 square feet of the center.

"We're not going anywhere,'' he said. "It can only be a positive for someone with Tampa Bay roots to take over. I'd love to have a local take it to the next level.''

In February, the public agency that owns the land under Channelside Bay Plaza sued to evict the owners.

The suit by the Tampa Port Authority, which is pending, charged that Channelside Bay Mall owed $330,000 and late fees, violated Tampa fire codes and let the entertainment center fall into disrepair.

Merchants validate parking stubs so patrons can get a discounted rate in the Port Authority's garage. Channelside must pay $252,000 a year for the discount, but hadn't made a payment in more than a year.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

Bank files foreclosure suit against owner of Channelside Bay Plaza 04/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 11:55pm]
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