St. Pete’s Smart Growth Continues With Development of Skyway Marina District

Tremendous private, public and community commitment go together to make The Skyway Marina District a great place to live, work or play! This District not only offers a great economic opportunity, it boasts premium views, great accessibility (bordering the Interstate), large parcels for sizable projects and great proximity to both national and international tourists as well as residents of nearby supportive neighborhoods. St. Pete’s newest business district, The Skyway Marine District is located in the southern portion of St. Pete at the city’s last I-275 exit.

The most recent and largest private commitment so far is a newly approved mixed use nine-acre project that will include 316 residential apartment units, 13,000 square feet of commercial and 100,000 square feet of self-storage.  This commitment was made by a Tampa construction firm,-Phillips Development and Realty, for a projected investment of $70 million. Gary Jones, City Project Manager for the Skyway Marina District since 2013, says he believes that this large new investment will bring many more private commitments to the District.  

Another major commitment to the Skyway Marine District is the Bay Pointe Plaza upgrade by Brixmor and IGY Marinas. This will include a complete marina makeover and a waterfront restaurant. IGY currently manages numerous marinas including one in the New York Harbor and another 20-million-dollar improvement in the Hamptons, scheduled to be finished in 2018. 

To encourage development of the Skyway Marina District, the City of St Petersburg is offering great incentives including Transit Amenities, City Marketing and Promotions, Overall Branding, Sales Promotions, Special Events and Business Assistance Programs, all designed to make this District yet another great location for business and recreation in St Petersburg. Some specific programs include a $50,000 incentive for qualifying retail and restaurants opening in this District. Many attractive visual improvements have already been completed including gateway signs and landscaping with specimen palms as the backdrop. Additional landscaping and pedestrian decorative lights are placed throughout the district. 

The City has approved a density of 45 residential units per acre and a density of 60 residential units per acre south of 38th Avenue South, which is some of the highest density found outside of downtown St. Pete.

Community commitments and opportunities favor additional growth in this District. The community surveyed will support additional retail and restaurants.  It is estimated that a $247 million discretionary income leakage is available within a ten-minute proximity to the District.  In fact, Terre Verde, which is also less than 10 minutes from the Skyway Marina District, was recently ranked the 3rd wealthiest zip code in the Tampa Bay region. 

The area near the Skyway Marine District also includes Eckerd College with over 2,000 students and staff located on the southern edge of the District. Eckerd College is a private institution where most students live on campus. St. Petersburg College, also in the District, has over 600 students and employees on its campus daily with plans to attract additional students. Another factor favoring this development is the 540,000 persons who visit Fort DeSoto Beach/County Park each year, most of whom travel through or adjacent to the Skyway Marina District, and 6.1 million tourists who annually visit Pinellas County.

St Petersburg is already the largest city in Pinellas County and the fifth largest in the state with 259,906 residents. The Sunshine City, named as one of the “Top Places to Visit” by the New York Times, offers seven miles of waterfront parks, a vibrant downtown filled with amazing arts, culture, shopping, and dining, and proximity to some of the nation’s top ranked beaches. Favorable tax codes, an opportune real estate market, and a growing, talented workforce create a sunny business climate, making St. Petersburg one of the easiest and most cost-effective regions to conduct business in the United States.

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