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Old 02-12-2009, 01:08 PM
 
9 posts, read 18,680 times
Reputation: 12

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Hello - I am looking to moving to Tampa Bay and more specifically to St. Pete. Now I lived in St. Pete, as we used to call it, back in the late 90's briefly while working on a project there. So I have some familiarity with Pinellas but it is both limited and quite dated.

So a few points/questions:

1 - I'm interested in a location where I can find a nice Cottage - something cozy (around 2 bedrooms is nice) with a decent sized yard, lots of trees and greenery in a decent neighborhood - not somewhere corporate or conservative, etc, just with a mix of people from different backgrounds. Sorry if that ruffles some feathers or irks some readers but I know what I'm looking for.. I remember driving around some neighborhoods like this some years ago in St. Pete proper, maybe in the central part of the city, but don't recall the name (kenneth city?).
Any suggestions for what part of town to find this in pinellas - whether in st. pete proper or clearwater or other area?

2 - What is the commute like from St. Pete to Tampa? Back at the time I worked in downtown st. pete and lived in the city so my commute, if you can call it that, was a breeze. I realize that it all depends on what part of the city you live in - but let's just assume a starting point of downtown St. Pete to the most common work centers in Tampa (downtown?) using either 275 or the gandy bridge, I think that's what it was called, as your route. Since I work in IT, I'm guessing I'd probably end up working in Tampa.

3 - How has the area changed since the late 90's? New museums? Restaurants? When I left I remember that they had just opened that big shopping area in downtown, Baywalk or something, and the baseball team had only been there a short time.

4 - Among other things, I would ride my bicycle to work which was at the time, sometimes a bit sketchy. Are there any new bike lanes (not bike trails, as I know all about the pinellas trail) that have been built? I know there are plenty of recreational cyclists who use Bayshore drive and what not, but I'm talking more in a commuting sense along other roads/streets.

5 - Since I expect to work in Tampa, I realize the commute might be long and tedious from Pinellas so I'm open to Hillsborough County if it would be a better situation. Are there any alternatives in Tampa proper that might fit my description? Admittedly I don't know Tampa very well beyond the usual spots like Ybor City.

6 - does honeymoon island still have that cool little dog beach?

7 - has public transit improved at all? do the buses run more often? more routes?

Thank you in advance for reading/answering.

Last edited by infragrrl; 02-12-2009 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,480 posts, read 4,628,482 times
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You're not talking about riding your bike from St. Pete to Tampa, are you? Forget it - the only bike lanes are around the downtown area, I'm pretty sure you'd die trying to get to Tampa and it would take half the day if you made it.

Commuting by car however is not too bad. The worst of the grid-lock seems to be going into Tampa in the evening - you'd have the reverse commute. You could very well find IT work on this side of the bridge - Jabil, Tech Data, Raymond James, to name a few.

The choice neighborhood for you would be the Old North-East - which is (you guessed it) north-east of downtown. On a map, look north of downtown St. Pete in between 4th St. (on left) and the water (on right) up to around 22nd. Snell Isle has a very suburban feel - cul-de-sacs, no sidewalks, etc. This area could be prohibitively expensive, though. Kenwood is another historic neighborhood to the west but considerably farther from downtown and is lacking in trees, greenery, and entertainment. There are other good neighborhoods, I'm sure - these are just the ones I know. In Tampa you might like Riverside Heights and Tampa Heights (north-west of downtown) but they lack sidewalks and you won't find many bike lanes on that side of the bay. South Tampa can be cool and a short ride to downtown, but that's more of the competitive, young, yuppie wanna-be crowd and buying will be expensive there, too. St. Pete is chill. Try the Old North-East first.

Baywalk is nearing foreclosure but a few businesses are hanging on. The surrounding area, Central Ave. especially, has a good vibe going. There's a lot of new restaurants, an art museum, I think the Dali museum is expanding or moving soon, but nothing yet. The Rays went to the World Series, so there are actually more Rays fans than visiting team fans at some games! There was a big push to move the stadium to the waterfront, where Al Lang Field is. That was a city divided! "$16 million to move a stadium 12 blocks?!" was the cry - red signs on the lawn opposed, blue in support - "Let's build the ball-park!" The idea being that they could draw people deep into downtown so they'd spend more money rather than getting right on the highway after the games. That has since calmed - the recession put it out of the question, no doubt. I wouldn't be surprised if they make the push again, especially after the Rays did so well. They're doing a lot to try and make Central Ave. the hot spot, but they've had some challenges and lost momentum.

Honeymoon Island still has the dog beach. I haven't used public transit for some time, and that was in Tampa when I did. I got around okay, I guess. It's a high priority for Mayor Pam (in Tampa) and the bus service seems solid in St. Pete, though I've never used it. I hear they have little electric carts that will shuttle you around for free in Tampa at night. There's also the quaint, old-timey, street-car that shuttles tourists from the Harbour Side bridge downtown to Ybor. It's.... cute. They're still bickering over light-rail, no real progress on that. Pam is pushing hard, though, bless her heart.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:17 PM
 
9 posts, read 18,680 times
Reputation: 12
Much appreciate your articulate and candid response!

The old northeast is pretty cool and definitely one I'd look into seriously. Snell Isle I vaguely recall - mostly both how big the homes were and the price tages - yikes! As for Kenwood and the other neighborhoods you alluded to - I'll definitely research them further. It helps to have names as you then have a place to commence your research.

Heh, no I'd never try to bike i-275 across the bay. I meant more within the peninsula and st. pete. I used to do so but there were very few routes and they were all informal as no official routes existed back then.

Wow - no kidding on baywalk closing. I'm not surprised though as, if memory serves me right, it was mostly big corporate outfits that situated themselves there. We all know what's going on with that, suffice to say. I'm glad to hear however, that the other, I'm assuming local, businesses around downtown are doing alright.

Thanks
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:51 PM
 
9 posts, read 63,868 times
Reputation: 16
Sounds like the neighborhood you are referring to might be Historic Kenwood. That area is known for its bungalows.

Old Southeast is another more diverse alternative to Old Northeast.

The area, especially downtown St Pete, has really started to wake up since the late 90s. The problems at the Baywalk are indicative of mismanagement and poormarketing. The rest of downtown is booming.
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