A Look At The Channelside Saga

The sale of the Channelside complex in downtown Tampa could be summed up in one word—saga. Since 2011 the Channelside sale has been an on again/off again/on again/off again/off again—well you get the point. Still it can get a little confusing as the complex goes through the various courts to decide who will get ownership of the maligned complex.


Irish Bank Resolution Corp (IBRC) takes owner ship of Channelside after the previous owner defaulted on $27 million in loans. Tampa Port Authority has final say over sale of Channelside.


IBRC begins looking for a buyer.


Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik contemplates “Channelside Live” similar to LA live and it is speculated that Vinik would make an offer to purchase the property but due to the legal drama so far between Port of Tampa and IBRC.


Sept 2013–Tampa Port Authority  avoids lawsuit with IBRC and makes deal  to purchase Channelside complex for $5.75 million.

Dec. 2013–Liberty Channelside LLC’s bid to purchase complex is shot down by a unanimous decision of the Port Authority.


Feb 2014– IBRC and Port Authority try to finalize deal to purchase Channelside but Port Authority needs money but bankruptcy judge throws out $5.75 million. Port agrees to go higher than $7 million offered by Liberty LLC. Liberty has lawsuit against Port and IBRC to prevent sale.

June —IBRC announces  that Channelside will go up for auction again in July.

July 2 —Jeff Vinik wins bid with $7.1 million offer and port confirms Vinik as buyer. Liberty LLC does not place bid during the auction.

July 8th –Liberty challenges credibility of Vinik’s bid, claiming that Port, IBRC and Vinik colluded to hand the complex over to Vinik.

July 15th—Judge hears case on whether or not collusion took place in the July 2nd bid.

July 18th—Judge withholds ruling until Monday and admits to having issues with the how the auction process took place.

Now there are a few ways the judge can rule all of which can lead to the end of the saga. One the judge can accept Vinik’s bid, but that seems unlikely as he had some questions about the bidding process. The second way the judge can rule is have them redo the auction process allowing both Liberty and Vinik to resubmit their bids. The only way to know for sure is to wait until Monday when the judge finally decides.  As of now, everything is up in the air on who the new owner of Channelside will be.

information from TBO.com and Tampa Bay Times was used in this report.