The legal fights appear to be over, at least for now, in the drawn-out battle for control of Channelside.
A judge approved a settlement on Monday giving Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, effective control of the property.
Vinik won a bankruptcy auction earlier this month and agreed to pay $7.1 million for Channelside. He had also earned the approval of the Tampa Port Authority, which owns the property where the troubled outdoor mall sits.
But Liberty Channelside LLC challenged the auction, contending the proceedings were fixed in favor of Vinik. The group said it was willing to offer $10 million for the property.
Channelside has endured bankruptcy problems and the closing of several stores and a movie theater.
Vinik has proposed rebuilding the complex into a venue featuring updated stores and eateries stretching from the Florida Aquarium to the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The following statements have been released after today's announcement:
Statement from CBP Development LLC
"We are happy with this agreement as it now creates a path for the turnaround of a very important community asset," said Jim Shimberg, an executive of CBP Development. "We appreciate the efforts of Liberty Channelside, Port Tampa Bay and IBRC in helping resolve this matter."
Statement from Port Tampa Bay
"Port Tampa Bay worked hard in the best interest of the tenants and the entire community, and was able to reach the best solution to a very complex problem," said Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay president and chief operating officer. "This is the first step in a process and we look forward to a new beginning with CBP Development at Channelside Bay Plaza."
Statement from Liberty Channelside LLC
"We are pleased this issue is resolved and are confident in Mr. Vinik's plans to redevelop the Channelside retail center," said Santosh Govindaraju, a principal of Liberty Channelside, LLC.