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Tampa to unveil 'ambitious' Channelside master plan

Tampa to unveil 'ambitious' Channelside master plan
A new master plan for Port Tampa Bay's Channelside property, which encompasses cruise terminals, is scheduled to be announced Thursday.

A source with knowledge of the plan told Seatrade Cruise News it is 'probably the most ambitious port/city/cruise plan ever,' adding: 'It's really cool.'

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is expected to play a key role in Thursday's announcement.

The mayor recently told Tampa Bay Business Journal the port is planning long-term options for its property and that cruise operations are likely to become less important in the downtown location due to the trend of larger ships. He said Tampa is not writing off the cruise business.

The limitations are related to Sunshine Skyway Bridge's 180-foot air draft limitation. A 2014 report by the Florida Department of Transportation proposed alternatives to handle larger ships including raising a section of the bridge or building a new port seaward of the bridge.

Check back Thursday afternoon for a report on the new Channelside master plan.