Neighborly Downtown St Petersburg

Vinoy Club Near Downtown St Petersburg

By Nick Stubbs, Tampa Bay Times:  If you like what big cities have to offer but value quiet, friendly and neighborly communities, then the downtown area of St. Petersburg may have it all.

The city, founded in 1888, is famous for surprising people with its art culture, abundance of historic homes, brick streets, hexagon- paved sidewalks, decorative iron street lamps, and shady oaks. Many of the neighborhoods are a short walk from downtown and are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. They are easily identified by the word “historic” preceding their names. Their charm and character have wooed many.

A little farther from the downtown hub, but still in biking distance, are neighborhoods like Magnolia Heights and Snell Isle to the north, where many of the homes were built between the 1950s and 1970s. To the souththere’s Bartlett Park, Harbordale and Cromwell Heights, with a mix of mostly older homes. These outliers are nearly asaccessible to downtown, thanks to networks of sidewalks and biking trails. In all directions there are many small studios, larger apartments and condos for rent for those not ready to make the plunge into ownership.

All offer an eclectic city lifestyle without the drawbacks associated with big cities, said Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. It has all the amenities and cultural draws of a big city, but “it works because its scale is not intimidating.” “We are blessed,” he said, adding that St. Petersburg is the ‘largest little city on Earth.”

Steinocher lives in the historic Crescent Lake community just north of downtown. To the east is the Historic Old Northeast neighborhood, established in 1911; to the west is Euclid Place-St. Paul’s, a historic district nearly as old.

What’s great about these neighborhoods is that each has a local park or public green space, and everything downtown has to offer is within biking or walking distance. Steinocher said it’s the reason the area is drawing so many younger residents.

“It’s unlike anything you’ll find anywhere in Florida,” Steinocher said. “It’s a place where you can divorce your car; it’s pedestrian- safe and bike-friendly.”

Katie Shotts, chief operating officer of the Pinellas Realtor Organization, agrees. She bought a home in Shore Acres north of downtown. She can’t part with her car because she works in Clearwater, but gets to downtown St. Pete by the bike route through Snell Isle and merges onto Beach Drive heading south.

Shotts did a lot of research to whittle her dream community down to St. Pete. “I run, bike and swim and this area is extremely pedestrian friendly,” she said. “There’s always a lot of people out (walking or biking) and there is a lot of respect for pedestrians among drivers.”

But there is a lot more about living near downtown that helped close the deal, said Shotts. “It’s a strong community with people who really care about their neighborhoods—people who care about their quality of life,” she said. Socializing with fellow walkers and bikers brings people together, Shotts said, but in addition to all the people to see, there are places to go—plenty of them.

Steinocher notes that the city has six museums, hosts the largest Salvador Dali collection outside Europe and is home tothe Florida Orchestra and Mahaffey Theater. It also is home to the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team and the Tkmpa Bay Rowdies soccer team, and SunkenGardens. Artists are drawn to the “Burg” forits architecture, its “scene” and its scenery.Downtown buildings themselves are art canvases adorned with murals; there’s avibrant nightlife; and

the downtown region is overflowing with microbreweries, restaurants and shops. Some 1,000 events are held every year, drawing as many as 10 million visitors.

Many residents are former visitors who discovered the charm of the downtown area. Some of those areas include:

• Historic Roser Park is just south of downtown. Founded in 1911 by Charles Roser, inventor of the Fig Newton, upon entering the enclave one is transported to another world of rolling hills that emerge like magic from the surrounding flat topography.

• Old Southeast was officially established in the 1950s and has some 1,300 residents. It surrounds picturesque Lassing Park on Tampa Bay.

• Historic Kenwood is a 375acre neighborhood and an artists’ enclave with ornamental street lights and Craftsman bungalows dating from 1913. Many of them have been highlighted in the community’s annual Bungalow Fest.

• The Round Lake Historic District is six blocks west of Vinoy Park. With its 1,000 historic buildings, it was named a U.S. historical district in 2003.

Many other neighborhoods, newer and older, surround downtown. Buyers and renters can expect most single-family homes to date anywhere from around the turn of the century to the 1970s or ’80s. There are limited numbers of new homes and townhomes on the market at any given time, along with newer condos and apartments.

The bad news for buyers? Downtown-area residents are settled into their “forever homes” and availability can be a problem, said Brad Billings, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in St. Pete. “The biggest problem is there just isn’t enough inventory,” he said. “Downtown is exciting and vibrant; those already here don’t want to leave, but buyers keep coming.”

Buyers need to be preapproved, know what they want and be able to pounce when they find it, said Billings. Be prepared for potentially protracted house hunting, he warned. One of his clients is renting while searching for a home, even though it could mean having to pay a penalty for breaking a rental lease when the right home comes along. Another client waited two days to think about a deal and lost out.

The market will likely soften for sellers going forward, and there are a couple of new townhome developments in the works, Billings adds. There also are opportunities to buy older homes that can be approved for demolition to build a new house. He advises working with a Realtor to ensure access to the newest listings, and discourages snoozing.

“Move quickly” when you find what you like, he said. Right now, “the days of thinking about it overnight are over” when it comes to the “hot” downtown St. Petersburg market.

via Tampa Bay Times’ correspondent Nick Stubbs 

Welcome Home To Historic Kenwood

Located just west of downtown St. Petersburg, Historic Kenwood is a charming neighborhood filled with historic bungalows and tree-lined brick streets, where residents enthusiastically embrace the arts, and actively cultivate an authentic, friendly culture where people are welcoming, diverse, and engaged.

Historic KenwoodThe neighborhood association actively promotes a wide range of activities aimed at making Historic Kenwood a better and better place to live and work.

The Kenwood Historic District is a 375-acre residential area best known for its historic bungalows with architecture typical of St. Petersburg in the 1920s through the 1950s. A housing survey completed in 1995 identified 1104 structures in Historic Kenwood. Of these, 95% are considered contributing structures to their official entry in the National Registry of Historic Places. Although almost 100 years have passed since the original development of Historic Kenwood, very few homes have been destroyed and most renovations have kept the architectural integrity of the original structures intact.

A Historic Kenwood Christmas

The neighborhood is greatly enriched by the artists who live, work, and sell their wares here. Here you’ll find galleries and working studios in the Grand Central District on on the southern border. Throughout Historic Kenwood, you’ll find painters, potters, quilters, jazz musicians, opera singers, concert pianists, writers, poets, dancers, and many others living in our midst. This is a more vibrant, creative community because it embraces the arts and their artists. In Oct. 2014, they became an Artist Enclave Overlay District, in which artists benefit by being able to work, teach, and sell their wares in home studios.

We would love to help you find the perfect home in this wonderful neighborhood.  Please give us a call… 727-895-6200.

Information and photos via 

New Construction In Northeast St Petersburg

NEW Construction Listing in NE St Pete… Completion Anticipated by Early January.

BURG Development, LLC, St Petersburg, FLDesigned by nationally renowned architectural firm Sharp Design Studio, this 4 Bedroom, 3 Bath with Bonus Room home includes a large front porch and a covered Breezeway leading to an Oversized 2-Car Detached Garage.

2,791AC/SF (3,916SF Total)

NEW CONSTRUCTION: First floor has a Great Room with Open Kitchen and Butler’s Pantry, Dining Room, Bedroom/Den and Full Bath. The 2nd floor houses an oversized Master Suite, two add’l bedrooms, a bonus/flex room, laundry room and bath with dual vanities.

BURG 1 Craftsman FloorplanSound proofing between bedrooms and floors; energy efficient windows; large open kitchen with stainless steel GE ENERGY STAR appliances; gas cooktop; shaker stained cabinetry with 42″ uppers; granite countertops throughout; pre-wired for ceiling fixtures, alarm and speakers; HVAC with programmable thermostat and a gas tankless water heater.

Detached 2 1/2 car garage with alley access and a covered breezeway to home. Sodded and landscaped homesite with sprinkler system. Anticipated completion is early January, 2016. Minutes from downtown and seconds from the shops, grocery stores and restaurants along 4th St. and 9th St.

Please give Steve McAuliffe a call if you want to take a peek. 727-580-4143.

If you’d like additional information. please click here.

Welcome to the Crescent Heights Neighborhood

Crescent HeightsThe Crescent Heights neighborhood with its brick streets, hex-block sidewalks, acorn lights, and old shade trees, is located just north of Crescent Lake Park, bounded on the South by 22nd Ave N, on the North by 30th Ave N, on the East by 4th St N, and on the West by 9th St N (also known as MLK St).

The neighborhood consists of several subdivisions mostly platted in the 1920’s. Consistent with the standards of the time, the subdivisions largely continued the city’s grid system through the neighborhood. However there are minor variations in lot sizes, street widths and alley configurations depending on the particular developer’s preferences.

Despite the fact that Crescent Heights was built-out over a 40-year period, which provides a pleasant variety in the architectural styles, there is a consistent overall character and scale to the neighborhood. Enhancing this architectural character is the mature landscaping throughout the neighborhood.

The neighborhood is bordered at its southern edge by the 48 acre Crescent Lake Park featuring Crescent Lake. from which the neighborhood derives its name. Although officially outside Crescent Heights Neighborhood’s boundaries, the park is heavily used by neighborhood residents.


Welcome to the Crescent Lake Neighborhood

Crescent Lake lies at the center of this beautiful neighborhood, surrounded by a manicured 56-acre public park. East of the lake is the “Great Banyan Tree”, a living “jungle gym” for generations of our children. It is featured on the neighborhood logo. To the south is Huggins-Stengel Field, once Spring Training home for the New York Yankees and now serving the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Further south still is the neighborhood’s most visible landmark, a 1923 water tower, recently repainted as a giant salt water aquarium by local muralist, Tom Stovall.

Crescent Lake NeighborhoodEast and west of the park, residential streets, some with brick paving and hex-block sidewalks, slumber beneath stately trees. Nearly every street has a view of the lake. Beyond the residential sections lie busy 4th and 9th (Dr. M. L. King) Streets North. New businesses along these streets are rapidly transforming our area into an antique shopper’s Mecca.

The Crescent Lake Neighborhood is located one mile north of St.Petersburg’s central business district and is a short drive from shopping, restaurants, medical facilities, waterfront parks and the interstate.

The architecture of Crescent Lake is an eclectic mix of early and mid-twentieth century styles. Early styles include Foursquare, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Mediterranean Revival, Art Deco and Tudor. Eighth Street has a particularly fine collection of 1920s Tudor houses. Later styles include Minimal Traditional, Postwar and Ranch. Along the lake are some early Ranch-type houses dating from the late 1930s.

The buildings are diverse in form as well as style. The housing stock includes single-family homes, garage apartments and small multi-family structures. Businesses along 9th Street occupy large converted dwellings, helping this busy street retain the air of the grand residential boulevard that it once was. 

A cypress dugout canoe dredged from Crescent Lake in 1924, provided evidence of a Native American presence in the neighborhood. The canoe, now in the Museum of History, is thought to date from about 1800.

In the 1870s and 1880s, settlers of European origin arrived and put the land to agricultural use, chiefly citrus groves. This way of life did not last long. With the completion of a streetcar line out 9th Street to 34th Avenue in 1914, the groves became valuable suburban property and subdividing began.

The opening of Crescent Lake Park in 1927, heightened the neighborhood’s appeal. The park was the brainchild of master developer Perry Snell, who acquired and held the necessary parcels until the city was able to buy them. Shortly after the park opened, the city built a ballfield for the New York Yankees at the south end, ensuring that national sports figures like Babe Ruth, Lou Gerhig and Joe DiMaggio would join a long list of local business and civic leaders who have been our neighbors.

The neighborhood acquired its final form just before World War II, when palm-lined drives went in alongside the lake. The building boom that gripped St. Petersburg and the nation immediately following that war quickly filled all remaining lots.

Because of its natural beauty, the neighborhood has remained popular. Renewed strength in the current decade, evidenced by the growth of the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association and the adoption of the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Plan, has led to greater visibility for the neighborhood, higher property values, restoration of aging structures, and a higher standard of maintenance. The future looks bright.

Info via Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association

If you would like to learn more about the Crescent Lake neighborhood, please give us a call… we’d love to present it to your first hand. 727-895-6200