The Davis Islands are getting ready to boom! You know that I have been a commercial real estate broker for over 30 years and after all of this time, I am starting to get good at it. My office is on Davis Islands, about three blocks from my home. I have lived in my house for over 25 years and remodeled just about every square inch of the place, inside and out. That also includes planting a garden that surrounds the house. After all of this time, I’ve got the homestead looking perfect.
I love living on Davis Islands, how could you not? It has a wide array of amenities, all of which my family has used at one time or another: Clay tennis courts, a swimming pool, softball fields, a playground, a dog park, a yacht basis (public) and a yacht club (private, yet affordable) a horizontal park/sidewalk, a vibrant downtown with shops, restaurants, two gas stations, two banks, a post office outpost, and a compounding pharmacy that delivers.
Of late, neighbors are jettisoning their cars in favor of golf carts to run about. It has the feel of a large resort. Oh, and there are no traffic lights!
The residential market is stronger than ever. As buyers filtered onto the island during and after the recession, they bought at great prices, given the depressed market. There was a strong flight to quality and those homebuyers have seen their values increase tremendously. It seems as though the value of my home is not in the house at all. Rather it is in the two lots that my house straddles. As redevelopment has crept over to my side of the Island, many buyers of houses on my street are actually home builders: they are buying the houses for the multiple lots and constructing 2-3 new houses in its place. Is this the time to consider what the next move with my house is?
While I have some commercial development experience, I am considering redeveloping my own lots into two homes and even living in one for a while.
As I look at the landscape of what is happening in Downtown, on the Tribune site and in Channelside, I ponder when is the best time to do this project? I am very encouraged with the development vision for Downtown and Channelside initiated by Jeff Vinik’s group, Strategic Property Partners (SPP). The group is redeveloping over 50 acres into a mixed use urban waterfront district. One of the key components will be the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and the USF Health Heart Institute. The building is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2019. I feel that this concentration of top tier students and heart researchers will be the catalyst in attracting biotech and biomedical firms to the area. It may also underscore just how desirable living on Davis Islands can be, if one works at this facility!
Davis Islands has always been an attractive place for physicians who work at Tampa General Hospital, located just over the bridge from downtown on the Island. The new facility might serve to strengthen this demand, not just on Davis Island, but on Harbour Island and all of Hyde Park.
I am planting the seeds to be ready to redevelop my lots to meet what should be increasing demand for private residences in 2019/2020. I am excited for what is to come for the Islands.