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Your complete guide to Sparkman Wharf

Excerpted from Tampa Bay Business Journal story.

A place to shop and work

Beyond the waterfront dining and biergarten, Sparkman Wharf will also contain retail and office space: 180,000 square feet of loft-style office space with up to 40-foot ceilings in the spaces that were previously occupied by a movie theater and other entertainment concepts.

The office space is being marketed at record-high rents for Tampa Bay. Chad Rupp, a Franklin Street executive who’s overseeing the office leasing at Sparkman Wharf, said the gross rent is in the “mid to upper $40s” per square foot.

Gross rent is all-inclusive. The highest office rents in downtown Tampa are currently in the mid $30s; the overall asking rent for top-tier space is $31 per square foot, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

“We’ve had reactions on both ends of the spectrum,” Rupp said. “Some recognize the uniqueness in the opportunity and what it could mean for their business and recruiting top talent. Others obviously have sticker shock based on historical rents in downtown.”

For full story, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2018/08/03/your-complete-guide-to-sparkman-wharf.html

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Sparkman Wharf: Tampa’s waterfront destination for work, outdoor recreation, and dining

Tampa, Fla. – Strategic Property Partners, LLC (“SPP”), a Tampa-based real estate development company, today unveiled plans for Sparkman Wharf, a creative mixed-use redevelopment near Water Street Tampa. Sparkman Wharf was born from the former Channelside Bay Plaza retail center, located along the Garrison Channel in downtown Tampa.

Sparkman Wharf combines approximately 180,000 square feet of reimagined, waterfront loft-style office space with 65,000 square feet of refreshed ground level retail oriented towards a dynamic park-like environment, which will feature an intimate dining garden, biergarten, and lawn for recreation.

Currently under construction by Tampa-based contractor EWI, the grand opening of the dining garden, biergarten, and recreational lawn is planned for October 2018.

Feel a spark? Follow @SparkmanWharf on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or sign up for the newsletter at SparkmanWharf.com to stay up to speed with everything planned for Sparkman Wharf.

The Lawn at Sparkman Wharf: A place to have a group chat – in person.

Sparkman Wharf’s expansive lawn overlooks the waterfront, and will offer engaging activities, games, and recreation throughout the week with plenty of space to just sit, relax, and enjoy the view.

Extending from the lawn, guests will be able to enjoy food and drink on the wharf or simply delight in a walk along the water’s edge.

To bring live music to the park, Sparkman Wharf has partnered with Gasparilla Music Festival to program it as a bandstage, celebrating local artists who are making their mark on this community and beyond. Be sure to check SparkmanWharf.com for information on upcoming musical events.

A substantial 9.5-foot by 17-foot LED screen will showcase a range of programming, including TED talks,

Tampa Bay Lightning games and other local sports teams, and movies on the lawn at dusk.

The Dining Garden: Go al fresco.

Tucked under large shade trees, the intimate dining garden will feature ten of Tampa’s best chefs and restaurateurs. While the chefs and restauranteurs are well-known in the Tampa Bay community, they will be experimenting with new street-food concepts and menus not found anywhere else in the area. 

Each culinary concept will be housed in a repurposed shipping container wrapped with visually engaging murals inspired by the Florida habitat, painted by local design firm, Pep Rally.

Sparkman Wharf is pleased to announce the first two of ten concepts in the dining garden: Foundation Coffee, a well-known area coffee purveyor, and Whatever Pops, whose popsicles and other cold treats will be perfect to enjoy on the lawn and along the Riverwalk.

“Foundation Coffee is incredibly excited and proud to be a part of Sparkman Wharf. It’s refreshing and inspiring to work alongside great minds with confidence that the goal is to not only support local businesses but to also connect the entire Tampa community in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. That aspect alone is why we are committed to this project and believe in its unlimited potential and future,” said Jason Smith, owner of Foundation Coffee. Learn more about @foundationcoffeeco on Instagram and Facebook.

“We are beyond excited to be part of Sparkman Wharf. Truly, we are happy-dancing in our kitchen! Whatever Pops is all about cheerful foods that are thoughtfully prepared, and celebrating our home, the city of Tampa!” said Steve McGlocklin, owner of Whatever Pops. For more on the coolest popsicles in Tampa Bay, find @whateverpops on Instagram and Facebook.

Details about the eight remaining concepts will be shared in the coming weeks.

The Biergarten: Offering shade and summer shandies, all year-long.

Fermented Reality, an open-air biergarten, is planned to become a destination for a waterside draft. With over 30 taps emphasizing Florida craft beer — wine, ice tea and natural soda will also be available.

Fermented Reality will be run Joel Bigham and Daniel K. Charley.

“We are students of our trade and take great pride in learning as much as we can about craft beer and passing that along to our customers. Everyone desires to be part of something bigger than themselves, and the vision for Sparkman Wharf combined with Tampa’s top culinary talent made this project hard to resist being a part of. My partner, Dan Charley, and I feel honored to be part of this exciting time,” says Joel
Bigham, founder of Fermented Reality. Stay tuned with what’s on tap by following @frbiergarten on Instagram and Facebook.

Situated adjacent to the lawn and dining garden, a 3,000-square foot covered bar will provide an intimate space to sit in the shade and enjoy a drink with flexible seating, outdoor televisions, and a cooling mister system.

Office Space: Work works better on the waterfront.

The existing building is being transformed into loft-like office space. The re-imagined light-filled offices with up to 40-foot ceiling heights will overlook the water and feature private outdoor terraces exclusive for the office tenants’ use. The office space is unlike any other in Tampa and is being specifically targeted to creative and innovation-oriented tenants, who often seek this type of unique space. 

Beginning this Winter, the existing Mediterranean style façade will be completely updated to a more industrially-inspired exterior. A new two-story office lobby will be located mid-block along Channelside Drive, providing a new identity and centralized, direct access to the office space.

With approximately 180,000 square feet of rentable office space, Sparkman Wharf is the next chapter in the world of work downtown. Construction has already begun on the office space and will continue through 2019, bringing new energy and new tenants to this iconic location.

Franklin Street is handling the office leasing at Sparkman Wharf. To connect with the leasing team, please visit SparkmanWharf.com.

Sparkman: The game-changing legacy.

Sparkman Wharf is named after Stephen Sparkman, one of Tampa’s original movers and shakers. A true disruptor in every sense of the word, he brought innovation and transformation that pushed the boundaries of what was being done in the city at the time.

As the region’s first congressman, Sparkman secured the federal funding to dig the deep-water channels to downtown, creating Port Tampa Bay and allowing larger ships to come closer to downtown and historic Ybor City.

With its physical wharf, Sparkman Wharf draws on the area’s industrial and maritime history and the complex’s proximity to the waterfront.

Stephen Sparkman forever changed the economic and physical landscape of downtown Tampa. In his legacy, Sparkman Wharf celebrates the disruptors, the people who do things differently and push our city forward.

About Sparkman Wharf:
Sparkman Wharf features approximately 180,000 square feet of reimagined, spacious loft-style office space, 65,000 square feet of ground-level retail, and a one- acre dynamic park-like environment, which will feature an intimate dining garden, biergarten, and lawn for recreation, situated in a relaxed, outdoor setting along the Garrison Channel in downtown Tampa. The dining garden will feature ten of Tampa’s best restauranteurs and chefs experimenting with new culinary concepts. Sparkman Wharf is owned and operated by Strategic Property Partners, LLC, the partnership between Cascade Investment LLC, and Jeff Vinik. SPP is a full-service commercial real estate development firm based in Tampa, Florida. Feel the spark? Learn more about Sparkman Wharf at SparkmanWharf.com and follow @SparkmanWharf on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

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Office space in Water Street’s Sparkman Wharf is under construction at a pivotal point for the downtown Tampa market

Excerpted from Tampa Bay Business Journal story.

Chad Rupp hasn’t finalized the formal marketing materials for the office space in Sparkman Wharf, but there’s already so much interest in the property that he wishes he had “double” the 180,000 square feet to lease.

“I’ve had tremendous interest, even though we’re doing soft marketing at this point,” said Rupp, managing director of office and industrial services at Franklin Street.

Rupp is overseeing the office leasing at Sparkman Wharf — known previously as Channelside Bay Plaza — for Strategic Property Partners. SPP on Thursday unveiled redevelopment plans for the property that include not only office space but also 65,000 square feet of retail space, a dining garden and a biergarten.

For full story, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2018/07/27/office-space-in-water-streets-sparkman-wharf-is.html

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Channelside Bay Plaza to be reborn as Sparkman Wharf

Excerpted from Tampa Bay Business Journal story.

Strategic Property Partners is handling the retail leasing of Sparkman Wharf internally. Franklin Street, which has managed the property since 2014, is overseeing the office leasing.

For full story, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2018/07/26/channelside-bay-plaza-to-be-reborn-as-sparkman.html

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Update on Channelside Bay Plaza plans coming next week

The CEO of Strategic Property Partners will provide an update on redevelopment plans for Channelside Bay Plaza next week.

A presentation by James Nozar, CEO of SPP, is scheduled during Port Tampa Bay’s monthly board meeting on Tuesday. Nozar said previously the presentation would include an update on the beleaguered waterfront mall.

SPP, which is controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, acquired the ground lease to the plaza in 2014. Port Tampa Bay owns the land underneath the mall.

A Port Tampa Bay board member told Nozar at the April meeting that tenants have been ” crying out” for action at the property.

While the mall has struggled since it opened in the early 2000s, it’s a key part of SPP’s $2 billion, mixed-use development between the Channel district waterfront and downtown Tampa. A redevelopment could mean anything from a scrape-and-rebuild scenario to demolishing a portion of the property, which an SPP executive mentioned publicly in 2015.

Another idea for the property that’s been floated includes using it as an incubator for retail and restaurant tenants that eventually want to open in the new construction component of SPP’s district. Creating the street-level experience through a mix of restaurants, retail, entertainment and cultural concepts is a top priority for SPP.

Since acquiring the ground lease, SPP has spent millions on cosmetic improvements to the property. SPP has also retained Franklin Street to manage the plaza and plan events there, in an effort to boost foot traffic. In recent months, SPP has launched a VIP card for the plaza, which provides discounts to those living in the neighborhoods surrounding the property.

This summer, SPP moved its offices into Channelside Bay Plaza from Amalie Arena. One reason for that move, Nozar previously told the port authority, was to make the group more visible and accessible to tenants in the mall.

View the original story here: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2016/09/15/update-on-channelside-bay-plaza-plans-coming-next.html?ana=e_ae_set1&s=article_du&ed=2016-09-15&u=6mYEZ%2F1M%2F0PB%2BPQCZtwzaA06b7b21b&t=1473974244&j=75798972
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With Channelside Bay Plaza in flux, Vinik-Cascade team launches program to buoy tenants

The Vinik-Cascade real estate team is looking to buoy tenants in Channelside Bay Plaza with a new promotion meant to reel in residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

Strategic Property Partners and Franklin Street — which SPP tapped to lease and manage the property — have launched the “Channelside Bay Plaza VIP card,” which is good for special promotions and offers at the plaza. Currently, for example, there’s a buy one get one free offer at Cold Stone Creamery and 25 percent off bowling, food and beverages at Splitsville.

Ali Glisson, a spokeswoman for SPP, said 12,000 households received the mailing.

“Thanks to our partners at Port Tampa Bay, we were able to open the wharf to the public earlier this summer, and now, in partnership with the plaza tenants, we’re launching this program as another way to connect with our neighbors in the Channel District,” Glisson wrote in an email Monday. “Ultimately, the plan is to grow and extend it to include other offers, such as special pricing for entrance to events hosted at Channelside Bay Plaza.”

The VIP program comes as the fate of the beleaguered retail property is still in flux. The plaza is part of the $2 billion mixed-use district that SPP is planning in downtown Tampa. SPP, controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, acquired the ground lease to the plaza in 2014. Port Tampa Bay owns the land underneath the plaza.

SPP CEO James Nozar said Monday that he would be giving an update on the property to the port board on Sept. 20. He declined to specify whether that presentation would be a general update on the plaza or include redevelopment plans for the property.

Since taking over the ground lease, SPP has spent ” seven figures” on cosmetic upgrades to the plaza. In April, SPP moved its offices from Amalie Arena to 8,000 square feet on the second floor of the plaza as it prepared to ramp up hiring.

SPP has also hired an events manager to oversee programming at the plaza.

“We think by being there, clearly, we’ll be a lot more visible and approachable to the tenants as well,” Nozar told the port authority in April.

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Channelside Bay Plaza restaurant to close

A restaurant in Channelside Bay Plaza will close next month, leaving the waterfront property with a large vacancy.

Flambé International Bar & Grill will close on June 6, a spokeswoman for Franklin Street wrote in an email Friday. Franklin Street handles the leasing and property management of the plaza.

The restaurant, which serves American, Mediterranean and Mexican dishes, is 8,900 square feet, according to Kelsy Van Camp, director of marketing and public relations at Franklin Street.

“Strategic Property Partners has committed to present a long-term vision for Channelside Bay Plaza to Port Tampa Bay at the end of the summer,” Van Camp wrote. “The port board will have an opportunity to weigh in on those next steps, and at that point, we’ll be better positioned to speak to leasing.”

Strategic Property Partners is the real estate company controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC. Vinik won the ground lease to the plaza in 2014, and the property is slated for a major overhaul as part of SPP’s planned $2 billion district in downtown Tampa.

The restaurant opened as Taverna Opa in December 2009, Van Camp said.

General Manager Chad Bolsinger could not be reached for comment Friday. An assistant general manager who answered the phone on Thursday declined comment on a closure.

Several tenants have said business has improved since SPP took over the plaza, between improvements to the property events meant to drive foot traffic to the businesses there.

In early May, SPP moved its offices to the plaza from Amalie Arena. At the April 19 port authority meeting, SPP CEO James Nozar is still vetting ideas for the renovation to the property.

“We think by being there, clearly, we’ll be a lot more visible and approachable to the tenants as well,” Nozar told the port authority.

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Tampa’s Strong Job Growth Leads to Retail Market’s Boom

Tampa’s retail market has achieved a full recovery, as proven by rising rents and the tightening of space, making it ripe for new construction. Tampa has historically been a $16 per square foot average rent market, but rents are expected to climb as high as $18 per square foot on average in the coming years.

Fueling the recovery, Tampa’s job growth continues to outpace the rest of the state. The Tampa-St. Petersburg- Clearwater market led Florida’s metropolitan areas in job creation in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., with an additional 38,800 jobs created, a 3.1 percent year-overyear increase and a 138 percent increase in the same period from 2013 to 2014. Many new jobs announced last year will be filled in 2016, supporting growth in the office, housing and retail sectors, as well as a strong overall economy.

Boom in Development

The biggest retail opening in recent months was Simon Property Group’s Tampa Premium Outlets, which was 100 percent leased when the 441,000-square-foot property opened in October 2015. The property is located within the Wesley Chapel area, which has been a hotbed of retail activity since the Shops at Wiregrass opened in 2008. In a similar vein, Tampa Premium Outlets has already sparked additional development adjacent to the property and across State Road 56. Costco Wholesale is currently under development on a 155,000-square-foot store west of the property, and there’s talk of a potential power center on parcels of land on the north side of State Road 56. There will also be numerous freestanding and smaller multi-tenant retail and restaurant projects on both sides of SR 56. The Shops at Wiregrass is also working on a Phase II expansion.

Southeast Hillsborough County has been another hotbed of activity thanks to the addition of St. Joseph’s Hospital- South, which opened last year. Two more hospitals are planned in the area, and the corridor is likely to become a regional medical destination. The trade area is currently underserved for retail and restaurants, and as a result we expect to see some new development taking shape there to serve the growing demand.

Hyde Park Village in south Tampa is undergoing a long-awaited redevelopment. WS Development is successfully transforming Hyde Park Village by adding new-to-market retailers such as Suitsupply, The Shade Store and Vineyard Vines, as well as new restaurants Bartaco, On Swann, Meat Market and a revival of iconic Tampa restaurant brand Goody Goody. 

Downtown is becoming more dense and urban, with numerous development and redevelopment projects that will add more residents and additional retail space to the area. The relocation of the University of South Florida Medical School to downtown is a game changer and will certainly fuel the demand to live, work and play downtown. We are excited to watch and participate in the redevelopment of Channelside Bay Plaza, which Franklin Street manages and leases.

Retailers Seeking Entry

In Tampa we are seeing similar trend lines to what’s occurring nationwide, with grocers, sporting goods stores and restaurants seeking to grow withinor enter the market. While Florida has been and will likely continue to be largely dominated by Publix, organic grocers such as Sprouts Farmers Market, Earth Fare and Lucky’s Market are actively seeking space. Grocery stores remain a strong anchor for new developments and redevelopments, and we expect to continue to see them pop up on site plans in coming years. 

Sporting goods retailers including Bass Pro Shops and Dick’s Sporting Goods have had solid expansion in the market, and Cabela’s and Academy Sports + Outdoors are both rumored to be working on sites in Tampa Bay. Even with Sports Authority announcing its bankruptcy in early March, there is actually potential for some of those locations to be backfilled by other sporting goods retailers.

The big growth category remains quick service restaurants (QSRs). With a more stable economy, people are spending money to go out to eat again, and developers and landlords are seeing restaurants serve as anchor tenants. With the strong demand for restaurant space, landlords have the ability to qualify and choose the appropriate restaurant concepts to anchor their properties. Even established chains are having limited success securing new locations. There are numerous full-service restaurants and QSR brands struggling to find suitable real estate for their first locations in the market. Rising rents and strong demand are finally fueling an upcoming wave of retail development and redevelopment that will help usher new tenants to the market.

Strong Investment Sales

With the triple-net and multifamily markets at pricing higher than what we saw pre- recession, buyers have looked to retail to achieve higher yields. Tampa and Central Florida are unique to other areas of the state in that the foreign buyer that started buying in southeast Florida has had to move north to find better yields as returns are further compressed in the
southern part of the state.

Historically low interest rates, uncertainty in other investment vehicles like stocks, bonds and energy and a lack of supply have all contributed to the resurgence of the retail market. While cap rates on triple-net and Publix grocery- anchored shopping centers are at historic lows, cap rates for unanchored retail or non-grocery anchored centers are still very attractive in today’s frothy market. Generally speaking, cap rates today for this product have not dropped to what we saw in 2007 and 2008 but are getting close to those numbers. Brokers have continued to push cap rates down, but in the last six months we have started to see that buyers are starting to push back on how low they will go.

We are seeing a lot of “price reductions” or deals sitting on the market because brokers pushed the envelope beyond what the buyer pool is willing to accept. We do not foresee much change to the cap rates or sales velocity in 2016 even if the Fed increases the fund rate another 25 basis points.

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Channelside Bay Plaza tenants holding out for Vinik’s big plans

It has been more than a year since Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik bought Channelside Bay Plaza, but plans for the waterfront entertainment center’s future remain unclear.

Bay Plaza hasn’t changed much since Vinik’s company, CBP Development LLC, took over. The center is still 70 percent vacant, and much of the time, so are the remaining restaurants and bars that are still in business there. The year old Hablo Taco, a Mexican restaurant known for its tequila cocktails, is the newest tenant.

Vinik’s big plans to redevelop downtown Tampa, including the 230,532-square-foot Bay Plaza, will take years to get started. Bay Plaza’s remaining tenants are cautiously optimistic that they’ll still be in business by the time that happens.

“Until Channelside becomes a sense of place again, most people are going to avoid it,” said Jim Kovacs, managing director of retail services with Colliers International in Tampa. “It’s not really a friendly destination this point. People don’t have a reason to go there.”

Channelside Bay Plaza is a key component in Vinik’s $2 billion plan to redevelop the 40-acre urban core of downtown Tampa with the support of Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ investment fund, Cascade Investment. But tenants and the management team Vinik’s company hired in 2014 to run the day-to-day operations at the center don’t know what’s coming next.

Adam Vosding was hired as Bay Plaza’s general manager in March, with the intention of bringing life back into the center. He works for Franklin Street, the company Vinik hired to manage the center’s operations.

“The goal is to make Channelside a cool and fun place to come back to, and to rebrand it after a few years of neglect from the previous owners,” Vosding said. “Since there are no finalized plans for redevelopment yet, we’re in a holding pattern.”

That means they’re not leasing out vacant space, like the shuttered movie theater or vacant restaurant spaces on the second floor.

“The remaining tenants have toughed it out and we try to plan events as often as we can. We’re all in this together,” he said.

CBP Development paid $7.1 million to buy Channelside from its previous owner, the Irish Bank Resolution Corp. in 2014. The IBRC took over the Irish bank that foreclosed on the property adjacent to Port Tampa Bay in 2010. Vinik’s company pledged to invest at least $10 million into renovations at Bay Plaza when the property was bought. Final plans will have to be approved the board of directors at Port Tampa Bay.

While there haven’t been any major noticeable upgrades to Bay Plaza since the change in ownership, Vosding said most of the work that’s been done has been behind the scenes. The building was painted. Lights and electrical wiring were replaced. They added new landscaping.

“It’s definitely been a challenge, and still is a challenge,” Vosding said about revamping Bay Plaza and its reputation.

Still, business has been steadily going up, thanks in part to attractions like firework displays on New Years Eve and Fourth of July and events like “Brews by the Bay.” But it was the Tampa Bay Lightning’s successful run in the National Hockey League playoffs that became a boon for the center. Bay Plaza hosted the official watch parties for away games last season, and continues to do so once a month this season.

Bay Plaza hosts its own farmers market once a month and renovated an empty restaurant into an event space. In December, it hosted several corporate parties, Vosding said.

“Is business where I want it to be? No. But is it okay? Yes,” said local restaurateur Guy Revelle, who with his business partner, Mark Gibson, opened Hablo Taco last year and run Splitsville bowling center in Bay Plaza. They opened Stump’s Supper Club and Howl at the Moon in Bay Plaza, two of the center’s original tenants, but closed them 2012.

“We don’t know everything that’s going to happen, but I think we fit nicely into what Vinik wants to do there,” he said. “I know there are some places that are doing better than others in Channelside right now, but it would be great to have bigger concepts, like a movie theater up and running, that would generate more traffic for us.”

For the first four months, Hablo Taco wasn’t open for lunch. But business picked up so the restaurant is open for lunch every day now, Revelle said.

Precinct Pizza in Channelside said that 2015 was the busiest year in its nine years of business there, said owner Rick Drury. He attributes that to the excitement of the NHL playoffs. And new apartments and condos in the Channel District have kept business steady.

“We love to see all of construction of new housing in the Channel District and cannot wait till USF’s Morsani College of Medicine opens up diagonally across the street,” Drury said. “Every new apartment building only brings more potential customers so we will take all the apartment construction projects we can handle in the area.”

He said he has “no idea” what Vinik’s plans are for the center, but said he doesn’t mind waiting as long as it is done right.

“It’s no secret that Channelside has had enough failed projects and people who did not have the best of intentions for its tenants so we are very optimistic about Mr. Vinik’s vision,” Drury said. “The tenants here believe in Mr. Vinik and that he will do the right thing for the tenants and for the district.”

Bay Plaza is just one piece of the puzzle. In the next three to four years, Vinik’s plans will start to come online. That include USF’s Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute, a 400-plus room hotel next to Amalie Arena, at least one office building, about 1,000 residences and 200,000 square feet of space for restaurants and stores. In addition, the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina will be revamped.

Port Tampa Bay also has plans in place to develop $1.7 billion worth of hotels, offices, apartments and a bigger cruise ship terminal in the next 15 years.

“Vinik doesn’t have pixie dust. We know all these changes are going to take time,” Revelle said. “We’re just excited to be a part of it.”

Remaining tenants in Channelside Bay Plaza:

Hooters, Habla Taco, David O’Keefe Pop Culture Icons, Cold Stone Creamery, Splitsville Luxury Lanes, Flambe restaurant, LIT Premium Cigar Lounge, Oishi, Magic Carpet Glide Tampa Bay Segway Tours, Surf Down Under, Precinct Pizza, The Kingdome, Tampa4U.com Realty, Wet Willie’s bar, White House Gear and American Classics, Thai Thani restaurant

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Lookback 2015 25 People to Watch: Andrew Wright

Our annual 25 People to Watch list always is one of the most popular projects of the year. One of the Tampa Bay Business Journal’ s most significant value propositions is introducing our readers and event-goers to the business people in Tampa Bay who we believe are doing exceptional work.

The 25 People to Watch is a slight variation on that. Not everybody on the Watch List is there because we expect great things — sometimes it’s because we know how hot their seat is.

In advance of the 2016 Watch List release, we scored the 25 people we chose to keep an eye on this year. Each photo in the gallery breaks down how we think we did.

 

Andrew Wright 25 people to watch TBBJ 500 px

Andrew Wright, CEO of Franklin Street

Did we watch him: 3.5 stars
Was he worth watching: 4 stars
Franklin Street had more visitors at Channelside Bay Plaza in 2015 than the retail center had seen in years. That was mostly because of the Tampa Bay’s Lightning’s Stanley Cup Playoff run, played out in large by watch parties that filled the plaza during away games. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik hired Franklin Street to oversee the property while the larger plan for Vinik’s properties downtown take shape. The team hired Adam Vosding away from Publix this year to manage the plaza.

Did we watch them like a hawk? Five binoculars.
Did we completely ignore them? Zero binoculars.
And since hindsight is 20/20, we say if we think they were worth watching at all.
Were they dealmaking right and left? Five binoculars.
Did they hibernate from the business scene in 2015? Zero binoculars.

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