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Old 01-15-2011, 08:27 AM
1 posts, read 2,232 times
Reputation: 10


Hey all,

I'm moving to Tampa for a job in May and was hoping to get a start on where to look. As a background, I know very, very little about the area so any links to guides or general info sites would be appreciated!

About me:
I'm a 24 y/o guy recently engaged that likes to go out to nicer (but not horribly expensive, ideally!) bars and restaurants and enjoy the company of others my age. My job is in Palm Harbor, which I know is a way out of the way, so I have accepted that I'll need to commute (hours are somewhat flexible, and I can work from home 1 day a week). My fiance is an ER nurse and will likely need to be somewhat near a hospital. We have a dog that would love to run around, but I'm not overly concerned that we live specifically in a "pet friendly" area. As I have no kids, living in a neighborhood with a good family / good school feel is irrelevant (if anything, I tend to avoid kids ).

What I'm looking for:
An apartment in or as close as possible to a nice progressive, young, and fun neighborhood with newer/unique restaurants and bars. I'd like something with a modern feel (I'm from around Chicago and love the industrial loft look) and a decent amount of space (1 bedroom + enough room for my rather full bookcase and computer desk). I've always had a dream of living near a beach, so having that in short distance would always be a plus (embarrassing question, I know - are Tampa's beaches nice?) I certainly wouldn't mind going through a realtor as my company will be flying me out in early May to search through neighborhoods for the move, so any recommendations would be great. My budget is around $1000-1200, but for the perfect place, I could probably be encouraged to go higher.

Thanks for reading and for the help. Let me know if you have any other questions!
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:03 AM
451 posts, read 880,158 times
Reputation: 745
Hey CubbiesFan,
Having lived in Chicago for 8 years before moving down to Tampa, I can give you plenty of advice. I recently gave a comparison of Chicago to Tampa in another thread. I'll paste the response below with a link to that conversation. But my answer, in short, is SoHo / Hyde Park. In fact, you might want to look at the Madison at SoHo as a place to live. You can get a 1 bedroom within your price range in an unbeatable location with top notch amenities. Anyway, here's that response-- feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.

SoHo / Hyde Park is the closest you'll get to Lincoln Park / Lakeview in Florida. Two years ago this April, my fiance and I spent 5 days here after months of research, to determine if it was a place we could see ourselves living. We moved here this summer and absolutely love it.

As a city, Tampa has about 1/10th the population of Chicago, although the Tampa Bay at large has a population equivalent to those living with the city of Chicago itself. There is a lot of sprawl here, as different areas are separated by water, by road and by quite a bit of space. This is the greatest difference between a city like Tampa and a city like Chicago. That said, you can find much of the feel of Chicago in Tampa on a much smaller scale.

SoHo / Hyde Park is like a carbon copy of Lakeview / Lincoln Park. Instead of Lake Michigan to the East, Hyde Park is bordered by the waters of the Tampa Bay. The old architecture on the side streets of Lincoln Park is the same here in Hyde Park, but instead of gray stone three-flats, here it's about rehabbed bungalows that are preserved with much pride. The night life of Lincoln Park is located in SoHo here, packed with 20-somethings and early 30-somethings living it up across a long stretch of locally-owned bars and restaurants.

Wicker Park also has a duplicate here, but again, on a smaller scale. Ybor City, on the other side of downtown Tampa, has the same feel of Wicker Park but with better architecture. Ybor City is the cigar capitol of the U.S., a section of Tampa that was built by a cigar magnate-- the streets are dotted with cigar shops where smokes are hand-rolled right in front of you.

The comparisons are numerous, beyond Hyde Park to Lincoln and Wicker Park to Ybor:
Evanston? Palma Ceia / Ballast Point (just south of Hyde Park).
Schaumburg? Westshore.
Navy Pier? Channelside.

The downtown area here is nothing at all like the loop in downtown Chicago. It is quite small, quite dead on nights and weekends, but it is improving the town is working on building it into a destination. That's not to say it isn't nice, but do not expect it to resemble anything like Chicago. Technically, Hyde Park is closer to Tampa's downtown area than Lincoln Park is to Chicago's downtown. It starts where the skyscrapers end and continues along the bay for miles.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:41 AM
463 posts, read 991,420 times
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Well palm Harbor will be quite a bit away from Soho/Hyde park, but it might be the only neighborhood that fits your description. You might find something in St. Pete which might be closer to your work than south Tampa.
But if you don't mind longer commute, i would say find something in south Tampa. There are also quite a few hospitals around, where your fiance can get a job as a nurse.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:47 AM
Location: Tampa Bay Area
494 posts, read 1,573,910 times
Reputation: 221
I think for Palm Harbor I'd look at Dunedin and Clearwater Beach. I'd try to be near the water or the Dunedin Historic area. You would want to peek at Tarpon Springs, but in all of them stay near the water. Plenty of work for nurses in FL. If those are too small or quaint your going to likely need to drive from Tampa. From a traffic standpoint it's kind of a rough commute on both 580 or US 19.

Good luck
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