The preliminary redevelopment plans for Channelside Bay Plaza will be unveiled to a national audience in Las Vegas later this month.
Franklin Street, which Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik hired to oversee the leasing and management of the plaza, will market the property at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ national convention May 18-20.
“We are planning on going there with a renovation plan that’s inspiring. People aren’t going to believe what we’ve been able to plan there,” Franklin Street CEO Andrew Wright said Tuesday. “It won’t look like a remodel. It’ll look like a totally new building.”
Vinik took over the ground lease to the plaza in August and has since spent millions on improving the property and hiring an events manager and a property manager. It is one of the anchors of the billion-dollar, mixed-use district Vinik is planning to build on vacant land between Amalie Arena and downtown Tampa.
Wright said that 40,000 to 50,000 people — retailers, restaurants, entertainment concepts, brokers and developers — are expected to attend the national ICSC convention. The renovation plans will include more public space and better connectivity to the port authority parking garage — a “total redesign of the look and feel of the property,” he said.
“We’re casting a wide net,” Wright said. “There’s a lot of interest in the project from a lot of angles and it’s really a matter of exposing it in the best light.”
Any changes to the property are subject to approval by Port Tampa Bay, which owns the land the plaza is built on. Wright said the port is being kept informed of the plans, but the board won’t have time to formally approve the plans before ICSC.
“The port and us recognize the huge opportunity that it is to present there,” Wright said. “We’re keeping them informed and explaining to everyone that everything requires their approval.”
A Port Tampa Bay spokesman was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.