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Now Serving Residents of Tampa and St. Petersburg!

The Urban Dog Group is excited to announce that we have recently registered with the Coldwell Banker Realty office in St. Petersburg. We are now able to serve clients for both residential and commercial sales in both Tampa (pictured above) and St. Petersburg. Given our new status, we wanted to take a look at the histories of both of these western Florida cities.

The History of Tampa

Like most of the United States, Florida was home to Indigenous tribes prior to the first white settlers. Led by Ponce de Leon, Spanish explorers first arrived in the Tampa Bay area in 1513. However, they focused on settling eastern Florida and left the western side of the state mostly untouched. In 1824, the first American settlers arrived. The U.S. Army soon established Fort Brooke to protect the harbor at Tampa Bay.

The area became part of the United States in 1845 and saw steady growth in the years following. In 1884, the railroad extension to the Hillsborough River allowed greater access to the land, and developer Henry B. Plant built luxury hotels along the rails to attract visitors. Phosphates were soon discovered nearby, prompting mining and shipping industries to open.

By 1920, Tampa was the second-most populous city in Florida with 51,000 residents. Developers continued to expand the city’s footprint with new neighborhoods, including Sulpher Springs, Palma Ceia, Davis Islands, and Temple Terrace. Additionally, West Tampa officially joined the city of Tampa in 1925.

Since the 1960s, the downtown business district has seen steady growth. Tampa is now a multicultural city with major banks and other corporations choosing to base their headquarters there. It’s the state’s third fastest-growing city, behind only Jacksonville and Miami. Meanwhile, the port is the seventh largest in the nation and operates phosphate and shrimp trades as well as a cruise line.

The History of St. Petersburg

Settlers first arrived in the area during the 1830s and 1840s. They established homesteads, planted citrus and other crops, and raised livestock. Given the prosperity of the land, it’s no surprise that the city saw enormous growth after the Civil War.

In 1875, lured by the warm sunshine and the beautiful waterfront, John Constantine Williams of Detroit, Michigan relocated to Tampa and purchased 2,500 acres of land. Thirteen years later, he transferred a portion of the land to Peter Demens, a Russian aristocrat in exile. In exchange, Demens extended the Orange Belt Railroad to the land. The first train arrived in 1888 with empty freight cars and a single passenger.

Rumor has it that Williams and Demens flipped a coin to determine who would name the city. Demens won and named it after Saint Petersburg in Russia. Williams, then, named the city’s first hotel after his hometown of Detroit. St. Petersburg, with a population of only a few hundred people, was incorporated as a city in 1903.

Tampa and St. Petersburg Today

Today, residents of both Tampa and St. Petersburg (pictured above) rave about the urban-suburban feel, the diversity, and the above-average school systems. Over 380,000 citizens call Tampa home. They love the fun downtown area, numerous parks and beaches, and charming historical atmosphere. Many citizens also value the nightlife — specifically the bars and clubs in Ybor — and diverse food choices.

A bit smaller, St. Petersburg boasts a population of nearly 260,000, many of whom are retirees. In fact, ranks it the 4th Best City to Retire in America! The city is renowned for its sense of community and the friendliness of the residents. Many people describe it as a paradise that offers “tropical, island-like living in the state of Florida.” Plus, it’s a great spot for dog lovers. As a citizen recently raved in an online review, “This city on the water is a fantastic place to explore and meet all walks of life (especially dogs!).”

Let The Urban Dog Group help you with your real estate needs. Contact Christine Elias at Stay tuned for details about two upcoming events in St. Petersburg!


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