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Tampa, Florida-- The Tampa Port Authority and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) met in secret session Tuesday to discuss legal matters, and the Port Authority's plan to purchase Channelside in its entirety.

Shortly after 6:00 p.m., it was announced that the Port Authority and the bank made a deal that involved the sale of Channelside Bay Plaza to the Port Authority for $5,750,000.

The agreement also settled lawsuits between the Port Authority andthe Irish Bank, which held the mortgage on the bankrupt complex.

PHOTOS: Channelside Bay Plaza, as it is today

According to a release from the Port Authority, both the Port and IBRC have agreed to take necessary actions to get required approval of the settlement agreement, and follow standard procedure to make the sale official over the next several weeks.

At that time, it is believed the Port will then sell it to whomever they so choose. A likely candidate, according to Tampa Mayor and Tampa Port Authority Board member Bob Buckhorn, may be owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jeff Vinik.

Vinik was once a leading person in line to buy the property, but hepulled out of the deal in October of 2012 after running into roadblocks and legal challenges from the bank.

His former plans for the area included making the area morepeople-friendly by adding a pedestrian bridge between Channelside and the parking garage, adding another building, more entertainment and possibly a hotel.

In response to Tuesday's deal, the Port's president and CEO, Paul Anderson, provided the following statement:

"The Port and IBRC worked hard to find the best solution for the best interest for the tenants and the entire community. We appreciate that IBRC worked quickly and diligently with us to reach a solution to a very complex problem.This is the first step in a process but we look forward to a new beginning at Channelside Bay Plaza."

Anderson also said the deal was very hush hush because the IBRC did not want it negotiated in the media.

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