Retail is coming to Channelside Bay Plaza, but not in the form of permanent stores that the struggling center needs.
As part of Tampa Bay Fashion Week, organizers are setting up temporary, popup stores in vacant storefronts along Channelside Drive. Karma: The Shops at Channelside will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 21 with more than a dozen retailers and designers selling handbags, jewelry, clothing and other items.
A VIP preview event will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 19. Tickets are $35. Tampa Bay Fashion Week runs Sept. 13-21 with various events, including a kickoff party at International Plaza with author/speaker Jackie Walker and a runway show on Sept. 20.
A similar popup shopping event was held last year during Fashion Week at the former Exchange National Bank at 611 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa. Popup stores are designed to promote retail in the urban core and raise awareness of retailers who might not have brick and mortar stores.