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St. Pete Neighborhood Spotlight: Old Northeast



old northeast neighborhood in st. petersburg florida

If you’re a long-time visitor to our blog, you know we love to spotlight our favorite Florida neighborhoods.


For today’s post, let’s take a close at Old Northeast, the first established neighborhood in St. Petersburg.


During the late 1800s, many small farms, mostly citrus groves, operated here. Developer C. Perry Snell soon saw residential possibilities in the land. In 1905, he organized the Bayshore Land Company and developed the area east of 1st Street from 5th Avenue to 12th Avenue North. Working together with F.A. Wood, A.E. Hoxie, and A.C. Clewis, they leveled the land, poured the streets, and added water, sewer, and additional service capabilities. Then, they promoted the area as the “premier residential address,” selling lots for subdivisions named Bayshore and Bayfront. 


In 1910, Snell teamed up with J.C. Hamlett to purchase 600 acres from 13th Avenue to Coffee Pot Bayou. Originally filled with palmetto scrub, creeks, and pounds, they transformed the rough landscape with trolley lines, sidewalks, seawalls, and a waterfront park. This new subdivision was named North Shore.


Snell’s efforts continued in 1925 with the beginning of Granada Terrace. Here, he mandated that all houses be built in Spanish or Italian style with stucco exteriors in specific paint colors. 


Residential development in Old Northeast declined during the Great Depression. 


Throughout the next few decades, new homes were slowly built on vacant lots until the neighborhoods were filled in the 1950s. The appeal of new areas led homebuyers to look elsewhere and leave Old Northeast. 


In an effort to stop the downward spiral, the Old Northeast neighborhood association was founded in 1974. Inspired by an increased desire for urban living and tax laws that supported home rehabilitation, the neighborhood began to thrive again in the 1980s. After threatened demolition, the historic Vinoy Hotel was completely renovated and reopened in 1992 — serving as the start of a renewed interest in the area’s historic homes. 


In 2003, thanks to widespread preservation efforts, Old Northeast was designated as a landmark in the National Register of Historic Places. Many areas within the neighborhood, including Grenada Terrace, later received Local Historic District designation by the City of St. Petersburg. 


Today, Old Northeast is home to nearly 2,500 households. 


Thanks to brick streets and alleys, granite curbs, oak tree canopies, and big front porches, the historic charm of the area is a defining feature. In total, the area claims almost 3,000 historic buildings! Today’s architecture is a mix of Mediterranean and bungalow style with an emphasis on native plants like jacaranda, pines, palms, and magnolias. 


The neighborhood also boasts a proximity to downtown St. Petersburg as well as several other parks and amenities. North Shore Park offers residents an opportunity to swim, bike, walk, and explore the white sand beach, while Coffee Pot Bay is known for its manatee sightings. 


Perhaps most notably, Old Northeast is known for its sense of community. An article in the St. Petersburg Times from July 2001 summed it up beautifully:


“If the heart of St. Petersburg is its downtown, the city’s soul probably resides in the North Shore area. It was there, in the section now called Old Northeast, that St. Petersburg blossomed from a village of farmers’ homesteads to a town born of boom-time prosperity.”



Let The Urban Dog Group help you with your real estate needs. Contact Christine Elias at caerealestate@gmail.com.


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