Vinik Discusses Plans For Lightning, Tampa Real Estate As He Scales Back Hedge Fund
Lightning Owner JEFF VINIK has "grand plans for his hockey team, his charitable foundation and, particularly, his considerable downtown real estate holdings" in Tampa, according to a front-page piece by Harrington & Thalji of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Vinik on Thursday said, "We're dreaming big. I want a thriving center of energy down here in this district. We see a huge amount of potential." Vinik "declined to speculate, discuss specifics or release financial details about most topics." But he did say that he has "recruited real estate experts to help map out developing nearly 20 acres of downtown property he owns near the Tampa Bay Times Forum." He added that he is "compiling a master plan for his Channel District holdings." That project will "likely be built in phases over several years," but Vinik "offered no start date." He "didn't rule out any options: It could be a mix of residential, retail, restaurants and hotels." Vinik said that his "Tampa Live" concept -- similar to the L.A. Live complex next to Staples Center -- is "still in play." Vinik is in the process of "shuttering his hedge fund," but he "didn't rule out jumping back into a hedge fund eventually." He said, "I love the market. I love competing against the market. But I tell you, I worked until 11:30 p.m. at night for the last 25 [years]. I'm looking forward to spending more time with the Lightning." Vinik pledged to "spend more on customer service" following a "major remodeling of the Times Forum," improve food and beverage options and upgrade the locker room (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 5/10).