TAMPA, FLA. -- The area across the street from Amalie Arena can be a bit of an eyesore. You'll find big construction trucks and unpaved lots, but Lightning owner Jeff Vinik hopes his vision will transform the area.

Friday, a crowd of involved and eager members of Tampa Bay greeted Vinik at a meeting of the Tampa Tiger Bay Club. They asked him about hockey, but more importantly his plan to build up Channelside.

"Hopefully we'll change this community for generations to come," Vinik said.

His plan would include places to live, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, the University of South Florida's school of medicine and much more. So, a lot of questions centered on how will the district fit Tampa's identity.

Vinik's vision for Tampa Bay transformation  WTSP

"If we build something that looks like Miami, looks like Boston, works in Austin, Texas etc., if we do all of that then we're going to fail on our mission here."

The development would be sure to attract a lot of people, so you can't forget about traffic issues backed up on people's minds.

"I think everything is on the table when you look at improving the horizontal flow of workers in this area as well as visitors as well as people who are living here."

Tampa Bay's estimated 4.4 million population includes of a lot of people from different ethnicities and backgrounds, so including minorities in the plans was a big talking point.

"It's super important, especially at these times that we're having a disconnect across the country of African Americans not having jobs," said Bishop Michelle Patty who attended the Tiger Bay meeting.

"We hope to develop a very diverse community with diverse people living here with diverse people working here," Vinik said.

With a steadily growing area and bigger fan base for the local sports teams, the question now is when will it all be finished?

Vinik said construction for the Channelside development could start in about 12 to 18 months and be completely finished in four or more years.