Downtown St. Petersburg becoming a hotspot for commercial projects, new residents

A coastal jewel that’s long been a popular vacation spot, St. Petersburg has the advantage of being surrounded by white sand beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Venturing beyond those beaches is also rewarding, since St. Petersburg is also well known for its cultural activities, from the Salvador Dali Museum that houses thousands of works by the Spanish surrealist, to Locale Market, a 20,000-square-foot gourmet marketplace.

In fact, that downtown arts and cultural scene have made this cosmopolitan city an appealing location, and that’s helped to draw more people to the historic neighborhoods close to downtown and the beaches.

That’s also helped attract additional commercial development in downtown, which has brought new jobs and economic activity to St. Petersburg’s urban core through 2018. The economic wave that Florida is riding, giving the Sunshine State one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, is taking St. Petersburg along with it.

And as more people relocate to St. Pete’s for job opportunities, the housing market will be riding that wave as well.

 

What’s Happening in bustling downtown St. Petersburg?

 

Considering how popular downtown St. Petersburg is, it would be a mistake to say it’s undergoing a renaissance. But there’s no question a growing number of commercial developers are eagerly looking for a piece of the action there.

In April, Hall Structured Finance lined up $35.5 million in financing to begin construction of The Vantage, a new development in the Edge district, one mile from downtown. It’s expected to become an 11-story apartment complex, completed by September 2019, in a building with amenities that will include a rooftop swimming pool, yoga room, and gym. And it’s in a choice location since the Edge district is a popular spot where art galleries, nightclubs, and restaurants in boutique retail stores are readily available.

There are other new commercial projects on the way. Jabil Inc., an advanced manufacturing solutions provider which has been in the city for three decades, plans to construct a new worldwide headquarters in St. Petersburg, expanding operations at its current site.

Jabil CEO Mark Mondello has pledged that this new site “will bring our local employees together on a single, safe, modern, environmentally friendly campus.” Jabil is projecting revenue of $5.2-5.6 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, which ended on Aug. 31, which increase Jabil’s revenue for the full year to nearly $22 billion. That’s a healthy business to have in St. Petersburg.

Liberty Investment Properties just announced the grand opening of a new self-storage facility in downtown St. Petersburg, one that stands four stories tall and has nearly 600 units within its 92,000 square feet of space.

Adam Mikkelson, president of Liberty Investment Properties, Inc., noted that he saw a need for a large storage facility in a community that was expanding, and fast.

“There seems to be no slowing down in downtown St. Pete,” he said. “Growth keeps moving outward in every direction with walk-ability being a key draw for residents and businesses.”

That facility will be adjacent to the new St. Petersburg Police Department Headquarters that’s under construction, in a neighborhood that appears ripe for even more commercial revitalization.

At the same time, these commercial projects are not intruding on what makes downtown St. Pete seem like a special place to begin with: its historic properties and resources. In 2004, the area secured a designation as a Downtown Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

And that mix of the historic and charming and the new and innovative has meant something else: downtown’s real estate market has heated up as well.

 

How is St. Petersburg’s housing market doing?

 

According to the most recent Census figures, fewer Americans are moving to metro areas that have the densest urban cores. Instead, people are migrating to smaller metropolitan areas than megacities like New York and Los Angeles.

One region with plenty of growth leaders in 2017 and so far in 2018 was the Sun Belt, where cities like Austin, Dallas–Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Raleigh, and Charlotte all saw healthy population increases. That list also included Tampa–St. Petersburg.

What’s boosting the population here? A strong economy creating new jobs is one clear factor. That’s a key reason why commercial developers want to build in and around the Tampa and St. Petersburg downtowns.

Another key factor, though, is price. According to the Trulia real estate guide, the median sales price in St. Petersburg is $202,000, below the national average.

Likewise, according to ATTOM Data Solutions‘ “Q1 2018 U.S. Home Affordability Report,” median home prices in 2018 were not affordable for average wage earners in 304 of 446 U.S. counties analyzed in the report – or 68 percent of all counties in the nation.

The study found that people were gravitating to metro areas where median-priced homes were still affordable. Among the counties analyzed in the affordability report, those with the largest net migration increases in 2017 and 2018 included Hillsborough County in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area, which had a net migration increase of 20,603.

And for many newcomers, St. Pete is likely to offer something else: an unbeatable lifestyle choice. They can start with the five miles of white sand and clear waters of St. Pete Beach.

Then, close to the Dali Museum in the center of downtown and steps from the waterfront is St. Petersburg’s revitalized Sundial complex, offering some hip spots for food, drinks and shopping. They can also check out St. Pete’s history at the octagonal observation tower of the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, which has been a favorite spot for snowbirds since 1925.

With tropical year-round weather and the lure of the jobs being created within the Tampa Bay area, it’s no wonder more and more people are discovering just how much St. Pete has to offer.

 

Conclusion

 

St. Pete routinely shows up on lists of the best vacation spots or best beach vacations in the U.S. With a growing population, commercial developers are seeing the customer base they want for their new projects. That’s why downtown St. Pete is attracting more commercial builders.

As more and more people look to relocate to St. Pete, the housing market will continue to need new homes to accommodate them.

Domain Homes is the Tampa Bay area’s Urban Neighborhood new home builder. Domain Homes procures sites in Tampa Bay’s most highly desirable and sought-after neighborhoods. That includes St. Petersburg, as well as other established neighborhoods like South Tampa, West Tampa, North Hyde Park, and the Heights.

Domain Homes purchases older, dilapidated homes that are often badly in need of repair and replaces them with move in-ready new homes. Domain Homes believes that buyers shouldn’t have to settle for a “used” home once they’ve discovered how beautiful St. Petersburg is.

And right now, Domain Homes is building new homes in these neighborhoods, which could include your dream home in an ideal location in St. Petersburg. Contact Domain Homes today at 813-580-8111 to learn about the homes we have available there.

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