Tampa Bay Lighting owner and downtown Tampa developer officially gets the Channelside District redevelopment plan underway with the closure of Channelside Drive starting at South Jefferson Street so the City of Tampa can install some infrastructure in August. The roadway is expected to be closed to traffic for about eight weeks.
It the first step toward $1 billion in redevelopment spearheaded by Vinik, the Tampa Bay Lightning owner, to transform about 30 acres of mostly vacant waterfront property into an entertainment and commerce district
“I’m excited about it,” said Troy Manthey, owner of Yacht StarShip, as preliminary redevelopment work starts in the Channel District, home of his business. “It’s going to bring more people down to the area and get more people to buy tickets for my boat cruise.”
Most everyone in the area is excited.
“It’s a great thing for the city,” said Harbour Island resident Bob Johnson, 73. “It’s been asleep for so long, now everything is possible… it’s all good.”
The closure will create a few logistical issues with events that are planned for downtown Tampa.
Amalie Arena events, including the Cirque du Soleil “Varekai” production Wednesday through Aug. 9, a WWE Monday Night Raw wrestling event on Aug. 31, and Ed Sheeran and Janet Jackson concerts in September, are still on, said Bill Wickett, spokesman for the arena.