Strategic Property Partners has a new home.
The real estate company, which is controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, has moved to Channelside Bay Plaza, in suite 201, on the eastern end of the property.
SPP will occupy about 8,000 square feet in the plaza, a spokeswoman said Tuesday. SPP was previously working out of office space in Amalie Arena, alongside Lightning employees.
Channelside Bay Plaza is a waterfront complex along Channelside Drive. Vinik acquired the ground lease to the property — it’s owned by Port Tampa Bay — in August 2014.
SPP CEO James Nozar, who joined the organization March 1, told the port authority board on April 19 that SPP would double its number of employees by the end of summer.
“With that growth, we have actually sized ourself out of the Amalie Arena,” Nozar told the board.
The plaza’s ultimate role in SPP’s $2 billion mixed-use district is yet to be determined. But in the meantime, SPP has hired Franklin Street in Tampa to lease and manage the property. In October 2014, Franklin Street hired a full-time events manager to activate the property with programming.
At the April 19 meeting, board chairman Stephen Swindal asked Nozar for an update on renovation plans for the plaza.
“Obviously, the tenants that are currently there have been crying out, ‘When are they going to do something? When are they going to do something?'” Swindal said.
Nozar said while SPP has several ideas for the plaza, the group wanted to “vet them out a little further” before presenting them to the board. But moving SPP’s offices to the plaza, Nozar said, would make the group more accessible to the businesses currently there.
“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 May 2015, Franklin Street presented conceptual plans for a redeveloped plaza to national retailers, restaurants and entertainment concepts at the International Council of Shopping Centers annual convention in Las Vegas. The groups that saw the plans were largely receptive, a Franklin Street director said at the time.
SPP executives have said publicly that the group has looked at demolishing a small portion of southwest wing of the plaza to open the property to the waterfront and extend Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park west to the plaza.
Lightning watch parties and other regular events, along with cosmetic improvements to the property, were already boosting some of Channelside’s businesses a few months after Vinik acquired the ground lease.
SPP’s new office space was previously occupied by a retail leasing team from Franklin Street.
When Franklin Street moved to a new office in Westshore, the retail brokers were relocated to that office, a Franklin Street spokeswoman said Tuesday.