TAMPA — A section of Channelside Bay Plaza could be razed sooner rather than later to make way for future renovations and give visitors a better view of the city's waterfront.
Port Tampa Bay officials will vote to amend Strategic Property Partners' ground lease on the 230,532-square-foot retail plaza adjacent to the port at a meeting Tuesday morning. This amendment would allow 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, according to port documents.
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, have 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.
If approved, the demolition, part of SPP's $3 billion plan to reinvent the 53-acre area around Amalie Arena, could occur by 2018.
Meeting documents say 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.
SPP would be responsible for the cost and expense of razing the southwest building site, which currently houses tenants like Hablo Taco and Thai Thani restaurants, among other tenants.
Contact Justine Griffin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.