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Downtown Partnership releases 2022 St. Pete Development Guide

From I love the 'burg by BY BOB CARSKADON

The St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership released its 2022 Downtown St. Pete Development Guide, and the numbers back up what so many in the area are seeing – the Sunshine City is in the middle of an unprecedented period of growth.

The guide is designed for developers, property owners, investors, employers and entrepreneurs, with the intention of helping to guide future development and inform decisions made on the future of St. Pete. With more and more people and communities moving in, demand is rising and has begun to outpace the supply for residential and business properties alike. The guide is meant to be a tool to document change and help create a more sustainable and equitable city within that growth.

Much of the guide focuses on downtown and its neighboring districts, but city-wide highlights show the exceptional growth St. Petersburg has seen, including how well the Burg is outperforming the rest of the country when it comes to many measurements for standard of living.

Among the high notes, the guide noted a 31% increase in economic impact from tourism in 2021, 2,350 new residential units announced, a 54% increase in new business formation in Pinellas County, and 214,000 square feet of new office space announced in 2021. Even with many businesses yet to open, the area has experienced a 16% uptick in job growth over the last five years.

The guide also notes the many accolades St. Pete received over the last year, such as being named the No. 1 city for outdoor enthusiasts and being listed as one of the Top 10 U.S. cities to visit.

Growth presents both challenges and opportunities

Jason Mathis, CEO of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, said the historic level of growth creates pressure points that must be acknowledged and acted upon. He also expressed a belief in the city’s ability to take advantage of the opportunities that growth provides while keeping intact the things that make St. Pete so special.

“St. Pete is facing growth pressures that are unprecedented in our history,” Mathis said. “This presents both challenges and opportunities. The Development Guide is designed to quantify and document the growth, while offering public and private sector leaders recommendations about how to preserve the essence of who we are and maintain the sense of place that defines our community.”

The full report can be viewed online at the partnership’s website, where more city-centric resources are also available.

St. Pete by the numbers

  • Tourism sees 31% increase in economic impact
  • Named #1 city for outdoor enthusiasts by SmartAsset
  • Per capita income $36,621 (outperforming national average)
  • Median household income of $61,631
  • 4.7% unemployment rate
  • 63.5% homeownership rate
  • 43% African-American homeownership rate (outperforming national average)
  • 46.7% of population in middle class (outperforming national average)
  • 18 new projects announced in 2021
  • 2,350 new residential units announced
  • #1 for new business formations via Florida Census Bureau
  • 214,000 square feet of new office space announced
  • #1 in Higher Education from US News and World Report
  • St. Pete Innovation District: Largest concentration of life science, marine science, education, art, and technology organizations in the Southeastern United States
  • 54% increase in new business formation in Pinellas over last 5 years
  • 16% job growth in last 5 years
  • Top 10 US Cities to visit via Conde Nast

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