Make us your home page

Tampa Port Authority hopes for smooth sailing en route to Channelside purchase

TAMPA — Stop if you've heard this one before, but the impending sale of Channelside Bay Plaza is on track for approval.

And the Tampa Port Authority really means it this time.

Last week the port struck a deal with the Irish Bank Resolution Corp. to resolve the Channelside mess once and for all by buying the retail center from the bank for $5.75 million.

But this is Channelside, after all, the downtown complex that has spent years mired in financial and legal turmoil while losing tenants, customers and relevance. In the past, if something could go wrong at Channelside, it did. So what could go wrong this time?

"I don't want to speculate on that," said the port's general counsel, Charles Klug, after Tuesday's monthly board meeting. He also laughed nervously.

Last week's surprise agreement resolves the impasse preventing a turnaround for Channelside: The port and bank were divided over finding a developer to remake Channelside. The port owns the land, but the bank owns the building. Both must agree on the choice.

Further complicating matters was that the port sued the bank. The trial was set to take place in a Hillsborough County courtroom in November. That lawsuit was further complicated by the Irish bank seeking federal bankruptcy protection for its U.S. assets.

But since both sides agree to the sale, Klug said the deal likely will play out in one of two ways:

• • •

The sale could be delayed if a federal judge grants the IBRC bankruptcy protection at a hearing Friday. Creditors would then have 14 days to protest Channelside's sale. Klug said that shouldn't be a problem because Channelside has no creditors.

But if the IBRC's other creditors attempt to object and meddle in the Channelside sale, then the port and bank would have to challenge those claims at a hearing. Under that scenario, Klug said, approval could be pushed back to November.

• • •

But if the federal bankruptcy court denies the bank's petition Friday, then all the bank and port have to do is get a local judge to approve the deal. That could happen in October.

Once the sale is final, port staff will come up with a process to solicit and examine bids from developers. The port could sign a lease giving a developer the right to use the building, or it could sell the entire building to a new developer. It depends on what the port board wants to do.

"We haven't actually thought about whether we're selling or leasing it," Klug said. "The process right now is to finish this."

Tampa Port Authority hopes for smooth sailing en route to Channelside purchase 09/17/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients


    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel


    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]