Tampa Bay Lightning owner, Jeff Vinik has a lot of money, and thus, power here in the Tampa Bay community. Between paying for the multimillion dollar expansion of the Forum all by himself, giving $50,000 to a local charity every Lightning home game, and recently donating $500,000 to the Florida Aquarium’s Rising Tides Campaign, we think it’s safe to say Jeff Vinik tends to yield his monetary power for the greater good.
Which is why the purchase of two properties across and near the Tampa Bay Times Forum is all the more intriguing. Vinik is part of groups that have now purchased separate properties near the Forum – one across from it where The Hut bar/restaurant used to reside and one across from the Channelside Bay Plaza complex where a restaurant and law firm once operated.
With the group that now owns The Hut property, Vinik is a “non-controlling” participant, but something tells us his fingerprints will be all over whatever the property turns into.
These purchases could easily be part of Jeff Vinik’s master plan to redevelop the sub-par Channelside District into something much bigger and better than it is now.
It’s widely known that Vinik is planning to purchase and redevelop the dwindling Channelside Bay Plaza as well. Within these upcoming summer months, Vinik will meet with Tampa officials and present a proposed redevelopment design for the shopping complex.