Strategic Property Partners has picked up a very small — yet very prominent — piece of land for its $2 billion district in downtown Tampa.

SPP, which is controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, said Friday it has acquired a .26-acre parcel along Channelside Drive.

SPP paid $2.2 million for the site, according to a Hillsborough County deed filed Friday. The seller was Zachary P. Schwartz, as successor trustee of the Robert P. Schwartz Living Trust, according to the deed.

The site is bordered on the west by South Jefferson Street and on the east by South Nebraska Avenue. The property is bordered on the north by Ferg’s Live — which is also situated on a parcel owned by SPP.

“The purchase allows us to create contiguous retail street frontage along Channelside Drive, which is key to achieving the active streetscape that we desire," Jim Shimberg, executive vice president and general counsel of SPP, said in a statement.

The Vinik-Cascade group's purchases have helped bolster land values in downtown Tampa. In December 2014, SPP paid $18 million for the 4-acre Southgate site, which is at the southeast corner of Florida Avenue and Whiting Street, bordered by Morgan Street to the east and Brorein Street to the south.

SPP plans to develop the combined properties into retail and office uses. In the interim before the redevelopment begins, the newly acquired parcel will continue to operate as surface parking by the current lessee.

The first visible phase of SPP's development, roadwork and infrastructure construction, is slated to begin this summer.

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