As fireworks lit up the sky at Channelside in downtown Tampa, businesses there hoped to see light in their future.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but with the discussion going on it’s like an answered prayer,” said Janet Griffin, owner of White House Gear, of plans for the future of the waterfront shopping and dining complex.
“It’s a pity it had to go on so long like it was, but Channelside is going to be amazing again," Griffin said. "There was never any doubt that it was just a matter of when and it looks like we can see the light now.”
The Fourth of July is one of the busiest holidays of the year for stores, shops and restaurants at Channelside.
They hope to stay busy now that Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s investment group, CBP Development, unveiled plans to revitalize the commercial district.
The company submitted the winning bid at auction for the property Wednesday. A bankruptcy judge still needs to approve the result. That hearing should take place in two weeks.
“You slow down in your ordering, you work more hours yourself," Griffin said. "There comes a point, we were closed more than we used to be. You just have to make tough decisions sometimes thinking 'I want to be here, when it actual possibility of it being what it once was is again.”