Port Authority: Channelside fireworks will happen - FOX 13 News

Port Authority: Channelside fireworks will happen

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Take a look at Tampa's Channelside shopping plaza and you will see stores and restaurants. Take a closer look at you will see a few issues.

"The guard railing was a possibility, if someone leaned on it, someone could fall from the first floor to the second floor," said Tampa Port Authority Deputy Director Charles Klug.

Eighteen problems in all, according to inspectors for the Port Authority.

"There was a light post that was exposed and being used as an ashtray," continued Klug.

A damaged fire alarm and exposed wires threatened to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks show, which draws thousands to the area.

"The more foot traffic, more people are out, the more buying power," said Jeff Nolan, owner of Del Sol.

Nolan's business consists of color-changing T-shirts and other items. He relies on that holiday exposure.

"It generates more word of mouth to say, we have cool products, come see us," he said.

The Port Authority owns the land the complex sits on. The Irish Bank Resolution Corp. has owned the actual complex ever since the previous owner defaulted on its loan.

"They have a responsibility, also, to get us somebody in here and fix these things," said Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman.

If those repairs are not done in time for the big fireworks show, Klug said the Port Authority will fix the problems itself.

"The idea is that the show will go on, that the July 4th celebrations will occur," he said.

Still, Channelside's future remains uncertain. Several deals to buy it have fallen through. Store owner Jeff Nolan just wants customers to keep coming and shopping.

"We had mixed giving about it. I was pretty sure that everybody would come together," he said.

Channelside's owners told FOX 13 that they have completed all requested repairs except for the railings. They will be fixed next week in time for the Fourth of July fireworks show.

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