Plaza’s fate in hands of accounting company
TAMPA - Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, there’s a new, Irish-themed wrinkle to the long struggle over Channelside Bay Plaza. The accounting giant KPMG has been put in charge of winding down the former Anglo Irish Bank entity that owns the mortgage on the property and was deciding which local investor might take over the increasingly desolate property. Those bidders at one time included Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, a group led by St. Petersburg-based Bill Edwards, and the partnership of Tampa-based developers Convergent Capital and Liberty Group. Port commissioners have grown impatient as the Anglo Irish Bank failed and was nationalized by the Irish government last year and renamed the IBRC. Port attorneys have filed papers in court in Tampa to retake control of the property through foreclosure. A hearing on a potential court date could come this month.The Irish Legislature voted on the transfer to KPMG several weeks ago, but Port officials were not formally told of KPMG’s appointment. Just how a transfer of authority to KPMG could affect this process is yet to be determined. Reuters has reported KPMG’s Irish-based Padraic Monaghan was given responsibility to run the IBRC board. Officials with the Irish consulate and embassies in the United States and KPMG executives in Ireland were out Friday for St. Patrick’s Day and could not be reached. The complex’s vacancy rate is over 60 percent.