Make us your home page
Instagram

Suitor seeks to block sale of Channelside to Port of Tampa

The latest legal back-and-forth over Tampa’s Channelside Bay Plaza threatens to further delay a sale of the faded downtown mall that was supposed to take place by the 2013 holidays. 

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

The latest legal back-and-forth over Tampa’s Channelside Bay Plaza threatens to further delay a sale of the faded downtown mall that was supposed to take place by the 2013 holidays. 

TAMPA — The owners of Channelside Bay Plaza sought a federal judge's approval last week for a speedy sale of the faded downtown mall to the Tampa Port Authority.

A former suitor is saying not so fast.

Liberty Channelside LLC, which tried and failed to buy the mall last year, asked the judge to block the sale until a court rules on Liberty's claims that the port improperly thwarted its bid to purchase the mall from current owner Irish Bank Resolution Corp.

It's the latest legal back-and-forth over Channelside and threatens to further delay a sale that was supposed take place by the 2013 holidays.

"The Sale Motion should be denied and the Court should provide for an auction … ," reads the motion Liberty filed on Monday, "that not only provide for a full and fair sale but which also re(-)mediate the abusive and overreaching tactics of the Port Authority in tainting the competitive sale process."

Last year, the port and the Irish bank resolved their long and bitter feud over choosing a new developer to turn the nearly empty retail center around. In September, the port authority, which owns the land, agreed to buy the Channelside building from the bank for $5.75 million so that it can have sole power to choose a new developer.

But the sale needs the approval of the federal court because last year the bank sought Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection for its American assets.

After months of delay, the bank asked the judge on Friday to approve the Channelside sale as soon as possible and to waive the standard 14-day window for anyone to challenge the deal in court.

Liberty quickly challenged the expedited sale. Negotiations over its own offer to purchase Channelside for $5.5 million grew contentious last spring, and in May the port board voted to reject the sale.

Then, after the port signed its own deal to buy Channelside, Liberty sued both the port and the bank in federal court in December.

In its filings Monday, Liberty's attorney said that neither the port nor the bank has responded to the allegation in its December lawsuit: that the port intentionally sabotaged its deal.

Liberty not only wants Channelside to be auctioned off, but it is also seeking unspecified monetary damages against the port.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at (813) 226-3404, [email protected] or @jthalji on Twitter.

Suitor seeks to block sale of Channelside to Port of Tampa 01/20/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 20, 2014 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Equifax CEO Richard Smith steps down amid hacking scandal

    Personal Finance

    The chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will retire, effective Tuesday, according to a statement by the company.

    Richard Smith, chief executive of Equifax, the troubled credit reporting agency that suffered a massive data breach that affected as many as 143 million people, will reportedly retire effective Tuesday.
[File photo: Joey Ivansco/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP]
  2. Bass Pro acquires Cabela's for $4 billion

    Retail

    Bass Pro Shops has acquired competitor Cabela's for a reported $4 billion. Bass Pro indicated it is seeking to appeal to all "outdoor enthusiasts" with the move, roping in hunting customers from Cabela's.

    Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela's for $4 billion, Bass Pro announced Tuesday. | [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  3. Tampa International named among least expensive airports

    News

    TAMPA — Florida airports apparently have a knack for getting it done cheaply.

    According to RewardExpert, Tampa International Airport is the fifth least expensive domestic airport. 
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
 file photo]

  4. Tampa-based vXchnge secures $200M loan to expand operations

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based vXchnge, which operates data centers in 14 metro areas, has secured a loan for roughly $200 million for "major expansions and enhancements."

    Tampa-based vXchnge, a data center provider, secured a $200 million loan. Pictured is CEO Keith Olsen. | [Courtesy of vXchnge]
  5. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]