A moribund corner of the Channel district could be revitalized with a craft distillery, brewery or new retail development.

The Patel Group has closed on 1242 Channelside Drive, which is adjacent to the two warehouses it already owns on North 12th Street. The group paid $800,000 for the .43-acre site, according to a Hillsborough County deed filed Friday.

The vacant lot is currently used for cruise passenger parking. It adds 120 feet of frontage along Channelside Drive to Patel Group's property and brings the total assemblage to 1.5 acres between North 12th Street and Channelside Drive.

In July, Patel Group paid $1.2 million for the two warehouses at 635 and 629 North 12th Street. With the vacant lot, the group is considering a retail development, said Scott Dobbins, principal of Hybridge Commercial Real Estate.

Hybridge is marketing the site for lease to potential tenants, Dobbins said, and there are two scenarios for the site under evaluation.

Patel Group's original plan for the site — a craft distillery or brewery in the warehouses — is still on the table. But the additional acreage adds a new possibility: Retail development.

Alternatively, Dobbins said, the warehouses would be scraped "to make way for single or multi-tenant ground lease or build to suit scenarios with national tenants" such as grocers or restaurants.

Hybridge has a better shot at attracting national retailers and restaurants to the Channel district than ever before. On Dec. 1, Publix Super Markets Inc. confirmed it is planning a store in the Channel district — just two blocks from the Patel site.

Grocers — especially one as successful as Lakeland-based Publix — are a bellwether of retail viability. Once a company like Publix has committed to an area, other retailers are likely to follow suit.