Monday, August 25, 2014

Vinik Chooses Office Space Over Baseball...For Now

I've long written about Jeff Vinik's plan for Downtown Tampa and how baseball doesn't seem to fit into it.  Well, according to Richard Danielson and Jamal Thalji, the next priority after his hotel and Channelside Bay Plaza is not another's office space {link to Times' site}:
The latest piece of his plan is a 202,000-square-foot office building that Vinik's companies propose to build north of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
This news doesn't mean much to Tampa stadium proponents, but expect many more announcements like this over the next few years from Vinik.  Just don't expect him to announce any new stadium plans.

In fact, for the first time, Mayor Bob Buckhorn seems to be acknowledging what this blog has long suggested:
Buckhorn, who has talked to Vinik about the idea, has expressed doubts that a new ballpark would make business sense for Vinik.

For one thing, bringing in the Rays could hurt the Lightning's suite sales, advertising and ticket sales. And while an L.A. Live-style entertainment district could boost the value of Vinik's property, baseball teams in mid-sized markets typically don't pay much rent to the owners of their stadiums.

So while the mayor does not necessarily expect a stadium, he is looking for Vinik to follow up with plans for entertainment uses, residential and possibly more hotels.

"I think this is the first of some pretty exciting developments that will occur as a result of Jeff's ability to acquire that much land down there," he said. "I'm excited by it."

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