Jeff Vinick, Port accused of Channelside collusion

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No sooner had Noah Pransky suggested the legal potholes of a Tampa Port Authority-approved Jeff Vinik bid for Channelside Bay Plaza, did the losing party, Liberty Channelside LLC, file a motion in court claiming collusion.  This, according to the reporting of Jamal Thalji:

Liberty is trying to scuttle Vinik’s winning bid while also proposing a new deal to the judge overseeing the Channelside auction: Liberty offered $10 million for the fading downtown Tampa mall.

Liberty will present its case to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi on July 15. The judge is handling the liquidation of Channelside’s owner, the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., and still has to approve Vinik’s winning bid.

Even before the auction started, Liberty indicated that it would challenge the result. Liberty attended the auction in New York but didn’t make a bid. It made the $10 million offer in Tuesday’s court filing.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.