Top St. Petersburg areas for investors

Published: Feb 18, 2022
Updated:
St. Petersburg is benefiting from the real estate boom in nearby Tampa. Local spots like the Olde Bay Cafe above provide investors with a different charm than the big city. (Credit:VisitStPeteClearwater.com)

Author: Brian Boucher

St. Petersburg has the well-deserved name as the Sunshine City for its 361 sunny days a year, and it’s only about 30 minutes across Tampa Bay to the fast-growing city of Tampa.

Home to about 260,000, the city boasts two white-sand beaches, Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach, that routinely rate at the top of the world’s beaches on TripAdvisor.

Zillow’s typical home value stands at about $313,000 in the city, having risen more than a quarter over the last year.

“St. Petersburg is on a little peninsula, and there’s not a lot of land left for development,” says Bryan Waters, a broker in the St. Petersburg office for Mynd.

For that reason, it’s tough to find good deals, but homes are likely to appreciate in value, making it pretty recession-proof, he points out.

During the pandemic, people have come to appreciate places like St. Petersburg all the more, he says.

“People have room here, and Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach have soft sand and not a lot of waves,” Waters said. “So it’s very relaxing, and the sunsets are beautiful.”

There is a lot of demand for housing in Tampa, which has a population of about 390,000, he says, and nearby areas benefit from the proximity.

St. Petersburg’s tiny downtown includes the Museum of Fine Arts, the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, and the Chihuly Collection, featuring the crowd-pleasing and unique glass sculptures of artist Dale Chihuly.

Nearby is Vinoy Park, which hosts numerous concerts and festivals, like Reggae Rise Up every March.

“Last weekend in Vinoy Park was the Beer, Bacon and Barbecue Fest,” says Waters. This food and music event, held in mid-January, is one of the city’s many outdoor celebrations on the calendar.Waters identifies four neighborhoods that ring downtown and offer plenty of potential for investors.

The Overflowing Brewery and its Lego taps are a popular neighborhood spot in Palmetto Park. (Credit: VisitStPeteClearwater.com) 

1. Palmetto Park  

Ten minutes’ drive west of downtown, Palmetto Park is very close to Tropicana Field (or the Trop, as locals call it), where Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays play.

This is the best area to find what deals there are to be had, says Waters. “Lots of developers are tearing down homes and building new ones that are selling for $750,000, and selling fast.”

It’s also very close to the cultural attractions of the Grand Central District and the Warehouse District, and the upscale eatery Urban Stillhouse, where it takes two or three months to get a reservation.

Can’t get a seat there? Within walking distance of each other are the Three Daughters Brewery, Bayboro Brewing Co., and Grand Central Brewery.

  • Zillow’s typical home value: $259,559
  • Increase year-over-year: 25.6 percent

2. North Kenwood

This sparse suburban neighborhood 10 minutes northwest of downtown currently has “a ton of development,” says Waters, but still room for more.

It’s just a few blocks from Route 275, giving speedy access to points north and south. Historic Kenwood, just to the south, is fairly well built out with lots of bungalows.

  • Zillow’s typical home value: $300,431
  • Increase year-over-year: 30.4 percent
Four hundred thousand international visitors flock annually to the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg. (Credit: VisitStPeteClearwater.com)

3. Historic Roser Park

Directly to the south of downtown is Historic Roser Park, at the center of which is Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital; a few blocks to the east is the Waterfront Arts District and the Salvador Dalí Museum, where 400,000 international visitors flock annually to see the creations of the Spanish Surrealist.

A few blocks to the northeast of the neighborhood is the St. Pete Pier, which has been completely redeveloped with restaurants and bars.

“It’s mostly a non-flood zone even though it’s close to Beach Drive,” a ritzy area that’s great for strolling, says Waters.

“Anything south of there is a little rougher, with a little more pockets of crime and older homes,” says Waters, but he adds that even there, people are busily flipping properties.

  • Zillow’s typical home value: $450,940
  • Increase year-over-year: 28.1 percent
Leo Gomez is a design studio specializing in murals and branding. Their studio is in Magnolia Heights, a nod to the city's art scene. (Credit: VisitStPeteClearwater.com) 

4. Magnolia Heights

This neighborhood north of downtown has “a ton of potential,” says Waters. Nearby is the Vinoy Golf Club and Route 275, offering quick access to Tampa and points to the north and south.

The mostly residential area is close to Fourth Street North, which has plenty of dining and drinking opportunities. Also nearby are desirable neighborhoods like Greater Woodlawn, Crescent Heights, Woodlawn, and Allendale, which will likely drive home prices here even higher.

  • Redfin’s median home price: $320,000
  • Increase year-over-year: 6.5 percent
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