Jeff vinik’s $1 billion plan for downtown tampa finally revealed specjalizacja z gastroenterologii


From the Tampa Convention Center to the Florida Aquarium, the southern end of downtown would become the city’s new entertainment district. But Vinik hopes that it will be more than that: a new biotech hub, a new office center, a new neighborhood, a new waterfront.

Vinik owns 30 acres downtown and controls another 10. More than a dozen new buildings will rise there and will be melded with his existing properties: the Marriott Waterside, Channelside Bay Plaza and the center of his real estate empire, the Amalie Arena.

Strategic Property Partners LLC, the Vinik-controlled firm overseeing the project, said it could inject $900 million of economic output into the local economy and create 3,700 jobs in Hillsborough County. It could also add $35 million in new tax revenue a year.

Driving the project is Vinik, the former Wall Street star who bought the Lightning in 2010. Soon after he bought the team, he started buying the vacant land around the arena. Then he assembled a team of real estate experts and traveled the country to research the vision that was laid out Wednesday.

The project’s primary financier is Cascade Investment LLC, the personal investment fund of the world’s richest man, Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates. Vinik refused to answer questions about that financial arrangement, including how much of his own money and how much of Cascade’s money is financing the project. He also didn’t rule out taking on more investors.

But Team Vinik will also seek taxpayer funds to help pay for fixing the street grid, stormwater work, landscaping and streetscaping. His firm will propose spending $25 million to $30 million on that and then be reimbursed by the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area, or CRA, which allows property taxes to be reinvested into the area they came from.

Team Vinik also wants city and county officials to help get downtown’s struggling trolley system on the right track — and extend that track to the north end of downtown, by the museums. The trolley needs to run more frequently so more people will use it, Vinik said, but service was cut because ridership was low. The mayor echoed that goal.

Vinik is also chasing a big corporate relocation to help launch the office component of his plan. That will require more public investment in the form of incentives from Enterprise Florida and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. to attract new companies.

But Vinik himself will be a part of that push. He vowed to travel the country to sell corporations on the joys of Tampa Bay life — great weather, friendly folks — that the former Boston resident discovered when he moved his family and his businesses down here.

Team Vinik wants to extend Tampa’s Riverwalk to the Tampa Bay History Center by adding a boardwalk along the mangroves of Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. That waterfront boardwalk would also add space for boats and other recreational water uses. Doctors and medical students could also use ferries to get from Tampa General Hospital to USF’s campus.

• But other decisions have yet to be made. Vinik’s group is still unsure of what to do with Channelside itself. In the short-term, the southwest end of the building could be knocked down to link it to the new park. But in the long-term, even bigger changes could be coming.

The first construction work will start this summer, after hockey season, to start fixing the street grid where USF’s new medical school will go up at the corner of Channelside Drive and S Meridian Avenue. Once USF gets state funding, the medical school could start construction in 2016 and be done by 2018. Vinik has also pledged to build a medical office tower next door and a parking garage to service the medical school.