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How is St Pete viewed?

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Is St Pete viewed as a nice alternative to Ft Lauterdale or Charleston with its great beaches, nice climate and laid back atmosphere, or is it seen as just another retirment destination where hardly anyone under the age of 50 lives.

(BTW I know St pete is a great place to live, im just curious of what people outside of the region think, from your impressions)

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I don't really like the Charleston comparison but the Ft Lauderdale comparison is apt in many ways. I think St Pete seems a little cleaner, safer, and upscale than Tampa proper. It also has the good fortune of being near the beaches. Pass-a-Grille is beautiful but most of the rest of the beach communities in Pinellas need a lot of work to get to the standard of what's in Ft Lauderdale or Southwest Florida south of Tampa Bay. I absolutely love the way downtown St Pete is organized, it's a beautiful town. It may not be bustling but it's more logically laid out than Tampa. The Pier is a wonderful, unique feature. I had no feeling on St Pete one way or another before visiting but I left with a quite positive connotation of the area, though less so for the beaches.

Disclaimer: this is all based on a weeklong visit last year.

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St. Petersburg is viewed as Tampa's sister across the bridge. Tampa's the big brother (the action, nightlife, job market and happenings), St. Petersburg is the rapidly-growing little sister with her own nightlife, booming job market, development and downtown.

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St. Petersburg is viewed as Tampa's sister across the bridge. Tampa's the big brother (the action, nightlife, job market and happenings), St. Petersburg is the rapidly-growing little sister with her own nightlife, booming job market, development and downtown.

Thats basically how i view ST. Pete. thats where my mom was born, so we try to make it up there every once in a while and it is definately makings serious strides to its own identity. Tampas got Ybor though which a lot of tourists flock to.

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Definitely. St. Pete will get a nightlife district that will put it on the map, comparable to Ybor.

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^^^Yeah, I believe DT St. Pete will eventually develop into a nice alternative to Ybor City and the other districts in Tampa.

From my experience, people outside of the bay area don't identify St. Pete as it's own place. Most people identify it with Tampa -- that's if they know where it is. Others either haven't really heard of it or they've heard of it but don't know quite where it is.

I think the view from within the bay area is just like you said EbonyGardens.

St. Petersburg is viewed as Tampa's sister across the bridge. Tampa's the big brother (the action, nightlife, job market and happenings), St. Petersburg is the rapidly-growing little sister with her own nightlife, booming job market, development and downtown.

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St. Petersburg is definitely coming into its own. For those who don't know where St. Pete is, think of the Twin Cities. Like Minneapolis & St. Paul are separated by the MS River, Tampa & St. Pete face each other from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay.

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St. Petersburg is definitely coming into its own

This vibe is so obvious to an outsider. My dad lived in Driftwood (St Pete) for years and now lives in Brooksville. My husband and I are leaving "hip, happening" Portland, OR in February 07 specifically to move to St. Pete because we can tell it has SOMETHING coming on...and it is sunny and beachy and we get Seasonal Affective Disorder 8 months out of the year in this pit! We know we will miss a lot of the obvious comforts of Portland, but are REALLY looking forward to what is happening and being a part of St. Pete.

***Anyone know of good landlords/property managers--let me know! We will have to rent until we get settled in--also, any social workers/therapists/counselors etc? Contact me--i'd love to make connections.***

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"For those who don't know where St. Pete is, think of the Twin Cities. Like Minneapolis & St. Paul are separated by the MS River, Tampa & St. Pete face each other from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay."

The local media seems to love generalizations and comparisons of Tampa and St Pete, which I don't think necessarily benefits either side directly or the area as a whole.

I'm curious as to whether or not MSP-St Paul has the same competitive undercurrent that exists in the Bay area. Being only separated by a river, I would presume that those cities have a more 'cohesive' feeling than Tampa and St Pete, with more synergy and cooperation.

If there's a forummer familiar with that area, I'd love to hear their viewpoint.

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St. Petersburg is definitely coming into its own. For those who don't know where St. Pete is, think of the Twin Cities. Like Minneapolis & St. Paul are separated by the MS River, Tampa & St. Pete face each other from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay.

Well, actually, the Skyway doesnt connect Tampa and St. Pete. Its more the Howard Franklin and Gandy Bridge. Courtney Campbell is more for Clearwater, but you could add it too.

I think people see the area as Tampa/St. Petersburg. Most out-of-state people I know refer to it as that.

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St. Pete may be viewed at the "little brother" to Tampa, but I would venture to say that he is definitely spry and better looking. Tampa is grimy. St. Pete is not.

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Both Metros are moving up. However, St Pete is still viewed as Tampa's little brother. Even with all the redevelopment, the larger projects are in Tampa.

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As someone with a truly objective view, Tampa is viewed as more of an Orlando-esque, undefined sprawl and St. Pete a more unique, up-n-coming, hipper small town/city. Both have their problems, but St. Pete has more of an identity and originality. Tampa has its merits, to be sure, but it remains very unfocused.

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As someone with a truly objective view, Tampa is viewed as more of an Orlando-esque, undefined sprawl and St. Pete a more unique, up-n-coming, hipper small town/city. Both have their problems, but St. Pete has more of an identity and originality. Tampa has its merits, to be sure, but it remains very unfocused.

As a somewhat outsider (Orlando), I am starting to view St. Pete as more of a Ft. Lauderdale. I think it has a growing gay population (Ft. Lauderdale is gay-central in Florida) and has a much more South Florida look to it's neighborhoods. I don't think of a Minneapolis/St. Paul but more of a Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. (This is not to say Tampa holds a candle to Miami, but the similarities of St. Pete to Lauderdale are becoming more apparent.) I don't like the idea of Tampa being quoted as being more Orlando-esque at all. Orlando (like St. Pete) is surrounded by clean, orderly neighborhoods and "clean" industries. Tampa is very industrial looking, kind of like a mid-western city on the bay. Maybe that's why so many mid-westerners vacation and retire/move to the Tampa Bay area, whearas in Orlando the majority of newcomers come from New York, California, Puerto Rico and South Florida. Tampa has cleaned up a bit over the last decade but is not a clean, well-kept city like Orlando, Lauderdale, West Palm, St. Pete. or even Miami for that matter. In the past I would never had considered a move to St. Pete but it is definetly becoming more desireable. ( I don't care for the cities and Pinellas to the north of St. Pete, all those highways that cross the peninsula look identical. The zoning is not too great and just a mass of CVS's, Walgreens and strip centers. They never give an impression of being in an upscale suburb, they all look like Casselberry (an Orlando suburb) to me. But St. Pete and the areas to the south are beautiful along the Pinellas Bayway(?) and those islands that jut out towards Ft. Desoto have a definete Ft. Lauderdale appeal to them, (Tropical landscaping, beautiful homes on the water with beautiful boats. I think Pinellas is lacking in upscale retail, they need a "Millenia" or "Galleria" somewhere over there on that side of the bay. As far as Charleston goes, I've never been there but from what I've seen in pictures it seems to be more of a southern, historical city, like Savannah or St. Augustine, St. Pete has a developing skyline and doesn't look southern at all.

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The Tampa suburbs which some are a part of the City of Tampa Proper or use Tampa addresses have a suburban Orlando look (ex. New Tampa, Westchase, Citrus Park, Lutz, Trinity, Palm Harbor, & Valrico) Basically they are clean and polished with many new large gated neighborhoods. I agree that the city of Tampa is more corporate like in the Downtown & Westshore area and more industrial around the port. Tampa's inner city neighborhoods seem larger and more historical.

Yes, I think there are many Mid-Westerners, but I think the NY/NJ/CT metro base constitute a much larger transplant than maybe even Orlando. It might be my personal experience, but some parts of Tampa Bay seem more of a suburb of the NY/NJ/CT/PA metro.

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The Tampa suburbs which some are a part of the City of Tampa Proper or use Tampa addresses have a suburban Orlando look (ex. New Tampa, Westchase, Citrus Park, Lutz, Trinity, Palm Harbor, & Valrico) Basically they are clean and polished with many new large gated neighborhoods. I agree that the city of Tampa is more corporate like in the Downtown & Westshore area and more industrial around the port. Tampa's inner city neighborhoods seem larger and more historical.

Yes, I think there are many Mid-Westerners, but I think the NY/NJ/CT metro base constitute a much larger transplant than maybe even Orlando. It might be my personal experience, but some parts of Tampa Bay seem more of a suburb of the NY/NJ/CT/PA metro.

You are probably correct about the Tampa suburbs, I haven't really seen much of them, especially recently. Do most of them have town centers with lofts and condos above the shops and traditional looking houses with back alleys and rear garages like so many here? Actually I got those transplant numbers from Central Florida Business Section in The Orlando Sentinel. Every year they always give the top 5 places of origin for our newcomers and they usually include Tampa/Jax/and Miami. I suppose historically the east coast cities follow I-95 and the west coast cities follow I-75. I know when I lived in Ohio for a short time when I was in the military, Florida meant Clearwater for folks up there. I can't copy the article, the page has expired in my favorites but here are the numbers:

Coming to Orlando:

!. New York

2. New Jersey

3. California

4. Puerto Rico

5. South Florida

Leaving Orlando:

1. North Carolina

2. California

3. Tennessee

4. Atlanta

5. Jacksonville

Coming to Tampa:

1. Michigan

2. Ohio

3. New York

4. Illinois

5. Texas

Leaving Tampa:

1. Jacksonville

2. Atlanta

3. North Carolina

4. California

5. Texas

Coming to Jacksonville:

1. Charlotte

2. Virginia

3. South Florida

4. Texas

5. New Jersey

Leaving Jacksonville:

1. Tampa

2. Orlando

3. Atlanta

4. California

5. Texas

Coming to South Florida:

1. New York

2. New Jersey

3. California

4. DC/Maryland/Virginia

5. South America

Leaving South Florida:

1. Orlando

2. Jacksonville

3. Tampa Bay Area

4. New York

5. California

I would say that Downtown Orlando (basically most of Orlando proper is the downtown area, the city limits are so small) is and always has been highly residential--like St. Pete. We are known as a city of neighborhoods (or "parks") usually based on the lake the neighborhood surrounds. Our major city Neighborhoods: Delaney Park, Cherokee Park, Eola Heights, Thornton Park, College Park, Colonialtown South, Colonialtown North, Wadeview Park, The Dovers, Hampton Park, Audobon Parkk, Baldwin Park, Metro West, Lake Nona, Vista Lakes,Lake Como, Lake Underhill, ViMi District, Park Lake, Englewood Park, Azalea Park, Monterey Manor, Lake Frederica, Rosemont, Washington Shores, Parramore, Callahan Heights, Carver Shores, Richmond Heights, Isle of Catalina (too much information!! :lol: ) etc...And of course there is Winter Park which is an urban enclave just to the north of downtown. I don't know if you know this or not but besides all the huge "new urbanism" developments in the unincorporated areas, almost everyone of our suburban cities are building brand new downtowns and town centers. Most of our suburban cities have a pretty high tax base. Have you seen the huge new Uptown Altamonte? It really is amazing! Then there is the new Winter Springs Town Center, the Maitland Town Center, the new Downtown Oviedo project, the new Downtown Casselberry Project, the Longwood Town Center project, Colonial Town Park (which is like Downtown Heathrow/Lake Mary.)

I know the developer of Downtown Baldwin Park was supposed to build the new Downtown Temple Terrace but they left the project, too many disputes occuring. I haven't really noticed anything to these extents in Tampa, except around the downtown area, but I think Tampa doesn't have nearly as many independent suburban cities, a large portion of Hillsborough County is Tampa. Our surrounding cities are trying to urbanize themselves with more density around our new rapid transit system which is quietly becoming a reality. Like I said, while I like St. Pete, the area of Pinellas north of the city limits is a pretty dull turnoff.

DON'T GET ME WRONG about Tampa, I have always liked that city and could live there without any regrets, I am fascinated by the history and the fact that it is on the water. I love the sidewalk on Bayshore and I would love to see more development in Ybor and maybe in to that area to the north of I-4 around Ybor. That looks like it has plenty of "loft" potential. I feel with the age of the city of Tampa and how large it was early in Florida's history that it should be a "Houston" by now but it seems that Orlando and Tampa are both becoming "cosmopolitinized" at the same time. Tampa must have gone through a long stagnant period sometime between the 50's and the 80's. So maybe that's what's meant by Tampa being more "Orlando-eque" than St. Pete. I feel our cities really compliment the entire "I-4 corridor" and each is developing its own uniqueness that the W.Palm/Lauderdale/Miami corridor doesn't have. We have Gulf beach cities, Tampa's historical "big city" look, Lakeland's southern atmosphere, Orlando's (don't laugh) "Glitz & Glamour" of it's semi-entertainment business and secret residents with money (lots of Saudis, sport stars and people with money in general that don't seem to be employed in the Orlando area making area wages, but aren't retiree aged either, and also the "old money" cities of Winter Park and Windermere (even though Metro Orlando is the most liberal area of Central Florida) which are the only two zip codes in the entire I-4 corridor which were coded as "high fund raising zips for the GOP" (yuk) on the same caliber as Palm Beach, Naples and some zip codes in Dade and Broward, Buckhead,etc. (There was an actual zip code map and story about this around election time in the Orlando Sentinel.) I believe that's why Orlando is the corridor's best retail center. And finally Daytona which is trying to turn itself around and gain a more favorable image/identity. Sorry for the long post and hope I haven't offended anybody and I did get my information from news stories and the Orlando Sentinel is always a great source for growth statistics and information, check it out online and click on the growth link.

(And before anyone gets upset about the zip code thing, I think the main reason there was no high-high end zip code in the Tampa area may just be because of the way the zip codes are set up and the mixture of neighborhoods in each zip. The reason metro Orlando had those two zip codes is because they are the zip codes of individually wealthy cities, and Tampa's wealthiest may actually be in the city of Tampa. The zips on the map were color coded with blue being those "Palm Beach" types and green being the next wealthy area which Tampa had several of and Orlando had a few of those ,also.)(Downtown Orlando, Edgewood,Belle Isle, Heathrow.)

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^^ Actually the city limits of Tampa are rather small also. City pop is around 350k while Hillborough county is over 1.1 million and the whole Metro area is over 2.5 million.

Not offended but just wanted to add my opinion and clear some things up.

You are counting all the counties around the Orlando Metro Area but seem to limit Tampa as a metro area to Hillsborough County only. The Tampa Bay Metro (2.5million) area contains Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas. Polk, Hernando, Manatee and Sarasota Counties are all within an easy commute to DT Tampa or St. Pete but not counted in the TB Metro area.

Most of Tampa's surrounding cities do have and have had downtown cores forever - St. Pete, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Plant City all surround Tampa and have urban centers and downtowns. Cities to the north in Pasco County - Zephyrhills, Dade City have had downtowns for over a 100 years. New Port Richie is rebuilding theirs and there are others.

Also, alot of the neighborhoods in the city of Tampa also have downtown areas - Hyde Park, Palma Ceia, Ybor, West Tampa and the Westshore area has tall buildings all around. This just to name a few neighborhoods within the Tampa city limits.

This area is not building as many new DTs like Orlando Metro. A nice example of new developement is Westchase, a new suburb in NW Hillsborough county and it has a dowtown with lofts/apts above retail etc. DT Temple Terrace was put on hold...who knows if it is dead or not.

The stagnant period did happen and you were right on the time:

The Highway projects of the 50's and 60's split and destroyed many of Tampa's oldest neighborhoods and it has taken decades to recover:

I4 Cut Ybor in half and 100's or 1000's of homes were destroyed

I75 (Now I275) cut through West Tampa and headed north and split Tampa Heights, Seminole Heights etc.

Seminole and Tampa Heights are both undergoing transfermation. Ybor has been for many years. There are many projects going on all throughout Ybor - lofts, townhomes, apartments etc. The Ybor area North of I4 will mostly remain single family and townhomes.

p.s. Winter Park is one of my favorite spots in all of Central Fla!!

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Yes, There are more new faux downtown areas going in and around the Tampa Bay Metro with the rear garages and such. Some have the neo-traditional design. In addition, to the neighborhoods many new retail development are following the Main Street design.

Westchase Area: West Park Village, The Avenue at Westchase

Trinity/New Port Richey: Longleaf (Pasco Co.)

Land O' Lakes: Connerton (This place is going to be huge!!)

Hillsborough County: Garden District at Fishhawk Ranch (Greater Brandon)

Manatee County: Main Street at Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton)

Temple Terrace: Had one planned with the same developers of Baldwin Park. Unfortunately, It has not gotten off the ground.

I loved what I saw in Orlando with Avalon Park.

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Interestingly, the Mainstreet at Lakewood Ranch is trying to become a postal district...which we all knows follows to being a town which would make it a real downtown area eventually.

Steve

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Definitely good news for Orlando. Moves you guys up to the Big Time!

I can't help but feel a little shafted....jealousy? Yes!!

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Definitely good news for Orlando. Moves you guys up to the Big Time!

I can't help but feel a little shafted....jealousy? Yes!!

Check out the Orlando Thread "Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit." It's been blowing up the past 2 days, everyone is in disbelief!

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Back in '98 I lived in St. Pete & worked downtown Tampa. I LOVED it there b/c of the sunshine and warm temps . . .there was always something fun to do and new to explore. Not going to get into why I moved back to the great white North but I definitely would go back to St. Pete/Tampa given the right opportunity. I am yearning to be there after reading this site . . . . enjoy!

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I can tell you that I'm more impressed with what's going on in downtown St. Pete than in downtown Tampa. And I would further contend that the quality of architecture in St. Pete's new highrises is miles ahead of Tampa's.

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I love the burg and live in Downtown St. Petersburg and am watching towers from The Signature, The Sage, The Heights at The Madison, 400 Beach, Progress Energy Tower, The Orien, 4th St Hotel/Loft, The W Projects....they have even cleared the land for the Ovation and the historic hotel is gone. Nothing is even touched at the Grady sites, and they won't be, the chances of him building are thin at this point. But there are several smaller projects being finished from the private USF dorms and Parking Garage/Barnes & Noble to the Progress Energy Arts Site and Park, the city art projects are rising... Southside City Lofts are finished and people are moving into right now on 5th. Not to mention the large private hospital project off of I-175. The Kressler Hotel/Condo, The Edge seem to be unknown now...

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