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HISTORY OF PINELLAS COUNTY

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH


“I liked the place, I thought it was the most beautiful place on God’s green footstool, and I think so yet.”  Quoted by pioneer settler Harvey K. Hendrick many years after he arrived in Indian Rocks Beach around 1890.

There are two legends about how Indian Rocks Beach got its name.  The first is that of a medicine man who used the local waters to heal his very ill chief (Native American Indian Chief Chic-a-Si).  After the miraculous healing, the Indians returned to the site each year to fish and drink the water.  Early settlers are said to have observed the Indians ‘going to the rocks’ each year-hence the name.  The second legend came from the Native American Indians crossing over from the mainland to the island to fish along the shore.  They chose a narrow spot to cross, where the rocks protruding from the water made it easy for them to walk across to the island.  So, the rocks became known as Indian Rocks.

Indian Rocks Beach was developed in the early 1920’s as a weekend getaway destination for the wealthy.  It became known as “Tampa’s playground” when the Tampa and Gulf Coast railroad built a spur from the city to the beach.  Tampans flocked to their newly discovered paradise, seeking relief from the summer heat and the pressures of boom era city life.

Indian Rocks Beach was incorporated in 1956 after the creation of the longest fishing pier in Florida, and the biggest attraction of all: Tiki Gardens.  The multi-acre Polynesian paradise that drew 300,000 visitors a year during its prime years.  Today, a diverse, colorful blend of people from all age groups, and places old and new, give Indian Rocks Beach its unique, eclectic “cottage” character.  Located on the barrier island Sand Key, there are 26 public beach accesses.  Indian Rocks Beach is a mix that residents prize and visitors seek out year after year. 

According to the US Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles, of which 0.9 square miles is land and 0.5 square miles is water.  The 2020 Census reported the population to be 4,285.

In 2020 there were 199 properties that sold with an average sales price of $678,635 and an average of 56 days on market.  There are currently 13 properties listed for sale with an average list price of $754,623.

Visit us here again next week as we take a look at Indian Shores!

HISTORY OF PINELLAS COUNTY

GULFPORT


Gulfport has been known as Disston City, Bonifacio, and Veteran City over the years.  Then in 1910, the name officially changed to Gulfport when it was incorporated.  Gulfport, located in an area commonly referred to as “Old Florida,” is today a lovely waterfront community.

The 1990’s were a period of growth and renewal for this small community, areas were revitalized, and the population grew.  However, even with this increase, the city retains to this day its small-town charm.

As part of the lovely “Old Florida” area, it boasts a mix of small businesses, shops, and quaint cottages.  Today, Gulfport is becoming known for its arts district, as well as for its restaurants.  It continues to be a popular area for fishing, and the maintains Williams Pier as a public fishing area, as well as a full-service marina.

The city’s two parks, the Casino Ballroom, and the beautiful tropical scenery make it an attractive area for visitors and artisans.  From its humble beginnings and numerous setbacks, Gulfport has been transformed into a quaint, pleasant city that is attractive to residents and visitors alike.

According to the US Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles, of which 2.8 square miles is land and 1.0 square mile of water.  The 2020 Census reported the population to be 12,342.

In 2020 there were 418 properties sold with an average sales price of $350,220 with an average of 50 days on market.  There are currently 23 properties listed for sale with an average list price of $655,587.

Stop by next week as we take a closer look at Indian Rocks Beach!

HISTORY OF PINELLAS COUNTY

DUNEDIN

In 1852, the settlement was originally named Jonesboro by George Jones, the owner of the area mercantile.  Two Scotsmen, J.O. Douglas and James Somerville later named the settlement Dunedin after applying for the first post office in northern Pinellas County.  The name is taken from the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh.   Dunedin was incorporated in 1925.

With a dock built to accommodate larger sailing vessels, Dunedin became an important trading center and at one time it had the largest fleet of sailing vessels in the state. 

“Delightful” Dunedin’s village-like atmosphere and a relaxed lifestyle has lured people from around the world for decades.  The downtown business district is notable for its absence of large commercial signage, corporate franchise restaurants or chain retail stores.

Dunedin’s quality of life is linked to its appreciation of its diverse and colorful past, and to the country that helped shape it future…Scotland.  In commemoration of its ancestral ties Dunedin has chosen Stirling, Scotland, and Summerside, Prince Edward Island as its sister cities. 

Dunedin is proud of its “firsts” which are chronicled in “Dunedin Through the Years” by William L. Davidson.  The amphibious tractor, the Alligator, assembled in Dunedin and used in WWII, played a decisive role in the Pacific phase of the war.  Frozen orange juice concentrate, and the “Pram” sailboat racer both originated here.  Dunedin was the first home of the prestigious PGA (Professional Golfers Association).  The first radio signals from Pinellas County were sent from Dunedin.  The oldest continuous garden club on Florida’s west coast is the Dunedin Garden Club.

Dunedin is home to several beaches, including Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island, and Caladesi Island State Park, which is consistently rated among the best beaches in the world.  It is also one of the few open waterfront communities where buildings do not obscure the view of the Intercoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico beyond.

According to the US Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.2 square miles, of which 10.4 square miles is land and 17.8 square miles is water.  The 2020 Census reported the population to be 36,537.

In 2020 there were 1,013 properties sold with an average sales price of $323,526 and an average of 41 days on the market.  There are currently 65 properties for sale with an average list price of $555,358.

Check us out again next week when we take a closer look at Gulfport!

HISTORY OF PINELLAS COUNTY

BELLEAIR SHORE


The Town of Belleair Shore was established in 1955 along one mile of beachfront consisting of 57 properties.  Belleair Shore is a community of private homes on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Mexico.  The town lies four miles directly south of the City of Clearwater Beach and one mile west of the City of Belleair Bluffs.  Residents of Belleair Shore enjoy an unobstructed view of the western sky from their homes.
 
The Town Government consists of a Mayor and four Commissioners who serve two-year terms and are elected by the town’s residents.  The Mayor and Commissioners recognize their responsibility to the founders of the town and jealously guard the single-family zoning regulations specified in the charter and ordinances.  Commercial and multi-family high rise buildings are prohibited and set-back and height limitations are designed to protect the continuity of the area.
 
One of Florida’s smallest and thinnest incorporated towns, Belleair Shore is located entirely on the west side of Gulf Boulevard.  According to the US Census Bureau, the town has a total area of  0.5 square miles. Of which 0.1 square miles is land and 0.4 square miles is water.  The 2020 Census reported the population to be 114.
 
In 2020 there were 5 properties sold with an average sales price of $4,242,000 with an average of 379 days on market.  There are currently no properties listed for sale.
 
Check us out again next week when we look at Dunedin!

FEBRUARY 2021 REAL ESTATE MARKET STATS

NEW LISTINGS

Gulf Beaches: 43 – $755,795 average list price

St. Petersburg: 230 – $497,795 average list price

Clearwater: 129 – $347,088 average list price

Seminole: 39 – $278,255 average list price

Largo: 67 – $263,045 average list price

Pinellas County: 698 – $443,882 average list price

SALES

Gulf Beaches: 106 – $638,646 average sales price – 71 average days on market

St. Petersburg: 584 – $380,916 average sales price – 42 average days on market

Clearwater: 317 – $313,498 average sales price – 44 average days on market

Seminole: 103 – $335,571 average sales price – 33 average days on market

Largo: 147 – $280,060 average sales price – 34 average days on market

Pinellas County: 1,850 – $367,601 average sales price – 16 average days on market

Are you interested in more detailed market information?  Thinking of selling your home?  Looking for a new nest?  Curious to know the market value of your home? 

…Contact one of the Price Group Realtors!

HISTORY OF PINELLAS COUNTY

BELLEAIR BLUFFS


  “Some said it couldn’t be done – others said we’d never make it.”  That quote from one of the city’s founders was made on March 4, 1963 when a New England type town meeting was held and the Town of Belleair Bluffs on the western shore of Pinellas County was born.
 
Belleair Bluffs town is in a local administrative entity run by a mayor.  The current Mayor is Chris Arbutine, he has held this position since 2001 and is Pinellas County’s longest-serving mayor.
 
Local attractions include the Belleair Causeway Boat Ramp which has a dog park under the bridge to watch the pups play in the water.  The city is home to William Dean Chocolates where you can get your sweet tooth fix as well as attend cooking classes!  Additionally, there are several boat charters, rentals and fishing guides.
 
According to the US Census Bureau, the city has a total area of .61 square miles, of which .46 square miles is land and .15 square miles is water.  The 2020 Census reported the population to be 2,329.
 
In 2020 there were 72 properties sold with an average sales price of $717,343 with an average of 67 days on market.  There are currently 7 properties for sale with an average list price of $599,543.
 
Check us out again next week when we look at Belleair Shore!

HISTORY OF PINELLAS COUNTY

BELLEAIR BEACH


The City of Belleair Beach, chartered in 1950, is an upscale residential community located in west-central Pinellas County.  This lovely town is situated on a barrier island and serves as the home to a variety of families including those with children, empty nesters, retirees, and seasonal residents.
 
Belleair Beach maintains a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere providing all the advantages of waterfront living and the charm of an old-fashioned neighborhood.  Belleair Beach residents are proud to have preserved one of the last strictly residential beach communities in Pinellas County with three ‘resident only’ beaches. Local attractions include the Belleair Beach Bird Sanctuary, the Marina and a system of twelve parks.  The Marina features 20 boat slips and is located along the Inter-coastal Waterway.
 
According to the US Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles, of which 0.46 square miles is land and 1.2 square miles is water.  The 2020 Census reported the population to be 1,625.
 
In 2020 there were 80 homes that sold with an average sales price of $812,070 with 54 days on the market.  There are currently 11 homes for sale with an average sales price of $1,447,536.
 
Check us out again next week when we look at Belleaire Bluffs!

THE HISTORY OF PINELLAS COUNTY BELLEAIR, FLORIDA

Belleair, Florida began as a resort town with the construction of the Bellevue Hotel by businessman Henry B. Plant in 1896.  The hotel increased tourist interest in the area and created demand for a residential neighborhood.   Construction of the first subdivision began in 1924 and the town incorporated in 1925, choosing to be a separate entity from the neighboring City of Clearwater.  The Eagles Nest Japanese Gardens, a popular tourist attraction in the town, opened in 1938.  As a result of World War II, the gardens were closed in 1952 and turned into the Eagles Nest subdivision.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Belleair has a total area of 2.8 square miles, of which 1.8 square miles is land and 1.0 square mile is water.  As of the last census, the population of Belleair is 3,869. In 2020 there were 10 properties that sold with an average sales price of $589,690 with an average of 80 days on market

HISTORY OF PINELLAS COUNTY

CLEARWATER, FL

Welcome back to our series as we explore the various cities within Pinellas   County.   This week is all about the county seat, Clearwater.

The original inhabitants of the area were the Tocobaga Indians.  These Indians lived in villages around Tampa Bay.  Evidence of their existence is now found in the communal and ceremonial mounds that have been excavated in the area. While the biggest are found in neighboring Safety Harbor, they have been seen in the entire area.

Spanish explorers were next.  They were attracted to the area by the natural mineral springs.  In 1528 Panfilo de Narvaez, a Spanish explorer, landed in the area. 

Around 1835 the US Army built Fort Harrison to be used as an outpost during the Seminole Wars.  It was located on a bluff overlooking Clearwater Harbor.  It later became part of a development called Harbor Oaks.

During the American Civil War, Union gunboats repeatedly raided the cities supplies.  Most here fought for the Confederate Army.  The city of Clearwater was incorporated on May 27, 1915 and its popularity as a vacation destination grew after railroad magnate Henry B. Plant built a sprawling Victorian resort hotel named Belleview Biltmore just south of Clearwater. 

 The library was built in 1916 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie.  In that same year, the city built the first wooden bridge to Clearwater Beach, opening it up for development.

Here are a few noteworthy years, helping in the growth of Clearwater.

1918 – Pinellas County Courthouse was built.

1926 – Fort Harrison Hotel was re-built.

1976 – Church of Scientology headquartered in Clearwater.

2005 –  Clearwater Memorial Causeway opens.

Going forward we’ll highlight the cities in alphabetical order, so next up is Belleair on February 10th.

Stay tuned!

JANUARY 2021 REAL ESTATE MARKET STATS

NEW LISTINGS

Gulf Beaches: 59 – $711,407 average list price

St. Petersburg: 296 – $477,175 average list price

Clearwater: 146 – $324,517 average list price

Seminole: 36 – $281,858 average list price

Largo: 54 – $232,029 average list price

Pinellas County: 827 – $455,891 average list price

SALES

Gulf Beaches: 92 – $586,876 average sales price – 66 average days on market

St. Petersburg: 504 – $379,219 average sales price – 37 average days on market

Clearwater: 269 – $304,011 average sales price – 38 average days on market

Seminole: 96 – $312,741 average sales price – 23 average days on market

Largo: 122 – $235,990 average sales price – 31 average days on market

Pinellas County: 1,578 – $357,676 average sales price – 39 average days on market

Are you interested in more detailed market information?  Thinking of selling your home?  Looking for a new nest?  Curious to know the market value of your home? 

Go to www.pricegrouprealtors.com for a list of our knowledgeable Realtors available to answer all of your real estate questions!