Pinellas County Economic Development
Robin Sollie, President
Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commere
The Beaches of Pinellas
Spanning the Gulf Boulevard corridor- from Clearwater in the north to St. Pete Beach in the south, eleven barrier island communities provide a combined 35 miles of beachfront, serving as the premiere tourism corridor in Pinellas County.
Each community has its own character, ranging from intensive, tourist-oriented development, to traditionally-styled beach villages, to quiet neighborhoods of estate homes. Most of the area is tourist-oriented, with commercial, recreational and multifamily uses intermixed with single-family residential neighborhoods.
Clearwater Beach, Courtesy of Visit St. Pete - Clearwater
Clearwater Beach is the northern anchor of the beach tourism market and continues to attract new hotel development. In 2014, Shephard's Beach Resort opened an eight-story, 93 room expansion with an attached parking garage. Opal Sands, a 15-story, 230 room crescent-shaped resort is under construction and expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
St. Pete Beach’s (pop. 10,026) Redevelopment District occupies 284 acres and includes two major areas – Gulf Boulevard and the Downtown District. The city has plans for streetscape improvements around Corey Avenue and Boca Ciega Drive. The $60 million Bayway Bridge Replacement provides a new four-lane fixed span high level structure with bike and walking paths to encourage tourism and beach business.
Hotel Zamora, St. Pete Beach, Courtesy of Visit St. Pete - Clearwater
Treasure Island (pop. 7,430) plans to redevelop its downtown with higher-end retail, restaurants, residences and mixed-use developments in a more pedestrian-friendly environment. A Downtown Special Area Plan and investments in two new bridges, a Central Beach Trail and the undergrounding of utilities on Gulf Blvd. are expected to spur new private investment.
Indian Rocks Beach (pop. 5,076) is home to many beach bungalows, motels and condominiums, but does without large chain hotels. Its locally-owned restaurants are some of the best along the beaches including the legendary Crabby Bill’s. The city is planning to expand the range of commercial and office uses in the city and revitalize it Business District Triangle. The Cove at IRB is a 50-home gated community under construction, and the Holiday Inn Harborside is constructing a 100-room expansion and water park expected to open in late 2015.
John's Pass Village & Boardwalk, Courtesy of Visit St. Pete - Clearwater
Madeira Beach (pop. 4,304) known as the Grouper Capital of the World, is home to John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk, a fishing village converted into a shopping area with 110 shops, galleries and restaurants. Redevelopment plans for the town center area are expected to attract new accommodations, restaurants, retail and residential projects. Two new hotels, a Marriott and the Shoreline Resort, as well as a 12-unit gulf front condo project, The Beach Club of Madeira, were completed in 2015.
Redington Shores (pop. 2,475) is primarily a residential community with single-family dwellings, low-rise condominiums and shops and eateries. The city has buried utility lines along Gulf Blvd., created three beach walkovers, replaced street signs and is completing upgrades to Del Bello Park.
Indian Shores (pop. 1,797) is a quiet beach community hosting small shops, restaurants, motels, condos, time shares and the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. Extensive improvements have already been completed to Gulf Blvd., including buried utilities and new bike lanes that create an excellent investment environment. A 54-unit townhome community, The Watersdie of Indian Shores, is under construction.
Tierra Verde is an unincorporated area near St. Petersburg with a residential community of high-end single family homes and luxury condominiums. It also serves as the gateway to the award-winning beach, Fort Desoto. Redevelopment plans are underway to demolish the former Tierra Verde Resort and build a new 100-room hotel and restaurant. Phase 1 will bring a new high & dry with 200 berths, open space, and a marina facility, and Phase II features the hotel, restaurant, pool, outdoor stage, boardwalk and landscaping.
Redington Beach (pop. 1,531) is a small residential town with a few hotels, four parks, five public beach accesses, and a causeway with benches for relaxing and fishing. The town is planning $1.55 million in additional improvements to Gulf Blvd. including the potential to bury utility lines.
North Redington Beach (pop. 1,477) is a small community with quaint shops and accommodations. A recent beach renourishment was completed from North Redington Beach to Sand Key Beach.
Significant investment continues along Gulf Boulevard to ensure this important corridor remains competitive for future tourism, including major new bridges. Many communities have buried utility lines, improved roadways and sidewalks, and created new bike lanes and crosswalks. A new $35 million project is a cooperative effort between the beach communities and Pinellas County that will make additional improvements beginning next year.
An increasing number of visitors whose household incomes have increased dramatically have created the need for higher-end accommodations and retail/entertainment development. Opportunities differ for each community ranging from resort and high density hotel projects, to mixed-use town center development, to smaller commercial and residential infill projects.