Friday, January 19, 2018
Business

Port Tampa Bay approves demolition of part of Channelside Bay Plaza

TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay's board of directors unanimously approved a plan to demolish part of Channelside Bay Plaza to make room for new restaurants, retailers and waterfront views.

Port officials voted in favor of amending Strategic Property Partners' ground lease on the 230,532-square-foot retail plaza adjacent to the port at a meeting Tuesday morning.

This amendment allows SPP — the real estate firm owned by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates' Cascade Investment — to demolish the southwest portion of the retail center to create better views of the waterfront and enhance the visibility of Bay Plaza.

The demolition of the building that houses the Hablo Taco and Thai Thani restaurants will begin this summer, said Bryan Moll, an executive with SPP who led a presentation at the port meeting. SPP is working with Hablo Taco and Thai Thani owners about relocating the restaurants to another wing of Channelside, though their long-term future there is uncertain. Restaurant owners did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

SPP wants to replace the building with a waterfront park, which will have a stage for music and outdoor film screenings. In addition, SPP wants to lease out temporary, pop up "kiosks" to local chefs and retailers to create an outdoor market-like setting. A communal dining space and pedestrian trails are also part of the plan.

"Our plan is to create a vibrant yet functional waterfront," Moll said at the meeting. "The idea is to be open as soon as possible to coincide with the Lightning and event season. This is an interim step to improve the area before our longterm vision gets underway, which will allow for complete redevelopment."

The kiosks will be available on short term leases of one-to-two years, Moll said, but those owners will have the option to move to more permanent retail and restaurant space once long-term renovations for the Channelside Bay Plaza area are completed.

In September, SPP CEO James Nozar revealed long-term renovation plans for Channelside Bay Plaza to the Port Tampa Bay's board of directors. The multi-million-dollar plans, which include new waterfront condos, restaurants and a park, would demolish the entire existing Bay Plaza structure. The project has not yet been approved by port commissioners.

The port owns the land on which Channelside Bay Plaza sits and will need to approve any renovation. The demolition is part of SPP's $3 billion plan to reinvent the 53-acre area around Amalie Arena.

Previous Coverage: Channelside Bay Plaza could be demolished to make way for a new park, restaurants and condos

Port officials said that CBP Development LLC, an entity owned and operated by SPP, has been negotiating "in good faith" with the port to sign a long-term lease agreement for the future of Channelside Bay Plaza and an adjoining surface parking lot. The current ground lease restricts SPP's ability to add new uses to the retail center, which is why this amendment is being considered before the approval of SPP's long-term renovation plans for the plaza.

When the board of directors approved the amendment, it extended SPP's lease of the facility by 18 months.

"This comes at a really good time," said Hillsborough County Commissioner, Sandra Murman. "I don't think we make enough good use of our waterfront. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens over the next 18 months."

In addition to the demolition this summer, Moll said SPP is working to renovate other wings of Channelside Bay Plaza to add more office space. He said the former movie theater space is prime for office redevelopment. SPP is trying to attract more short-term office tenants, like Tampa Bay Wave and Suffolk Construction, which opened offices there earlier this year. Similar to the pop up retail and restaurants, these leases would be available in the short term only, before long-term renovation plans begin.

Contact Justine Griffin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

   
Comments
Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

A Georgia mother has gone viral for charging her 5-year-old "rent." Yup — the kid pays up for food, water, cable and electric, too.Essense Evans described in a Facebook post how she handles her daughter’s allowance. The post, written on Saturday, was...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

Addicted to your smartphone? Now there’s an app for that

Did you text? Sorry, I can’t see messages right now. Arianna Huffington locked my phone.The media tycoon turned wellness entrepreneur wants to keep you out of your phone, too, with a new app called Thrive. Its goal is to make it cool for a generation...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

ST. PETERSBURG — Tony Jannus’s history-making flight in an early seaplane — simultaneously as ungainly and graceful as a pelican on the wing — is what Mayor Rick Kriseman calls an "under-told and under-appreciated" story, but a team of local history ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest hope for transportation in the Tampa Bay area is a bus rapid transit system projected to cover the 41-miles separating St. Petersburg from Wesley Chapel and attract 4,500 new riders at a fraction of the cost of light rail....
Updated: 2 hours ago

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

ST. PETERSBURG — Transportation planners on Friday unveiled a new transit vision for Tampa Bay leaders on Friday morning: Bus rapid transit.Also known as BRT, it has arisen as the leading option in an ongoing study to find the best regional transit p...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

Amazon boosts monthly Prime membership fees by 20 percent

NEW YORK — Amazon is raising the price of its Prime membership monthly plan by nearly 20 percent. The fee of $99 for an annual membership will not change, the company said Friday. The online retailer had added the monthly payment option about two yea...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Cuba’s tourism is booming despite Trump’s tougher policy

Cuba’s tourism is booming despite Trump’s tougher policy

HAVANA — On a sweltering early summer afternoon in Miami’s Little Havana, President Donald Trump told a cheering Cuban-American crowd that he was rolling back some of Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba in order to starve the island’s military-run economy...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

TAMPA — You could sketch an economic history of the city of Tampa — and maybe get a glimpse of its future — just by looking at the old J. Seidenberg & Co./Havana-American Cigar Factory.It opened in 1894, making it Ybor City’s second oldest brick ciga...
Published: 01/19/18
Florida’s economy expected to stay strong for 2018

Florida’s economy expected to stay strong for 2018

Florida’s economic performance last year was about as sunny as it gets. The state’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest levels in more than a decade. More people returned to the work force and found positions. And the year ended with a 3.7 percen...
Updated: 16 minutes ago