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🚧 Tampa & Pinellas Spend Big for Future & Life in North vs. South Pinellas

Mark Fazzini

Whether you are buying or selling a property, Mark will go out of his way to find out the key factors that are most important to you, so that he can p...

Whether you are buying or selling a property, Mark will go out of his way to find out the key factors that are most important to you, so that he can p...

Jun 29 9 minutes read

🏗️ Tampa's $57 Million Riverwalk Project Moves Forward Amid Concerns

Driving the news: The Tampa City Council has approved a significant cost increase for the West Riverwalk project, voting 5-2 in favor of the amendment. 

This increase may lead to a notable bond issuance.



Details: Tampa won a $24 million federal grant in 2020, initially requiring a $6 million contribution from the city. The city's contribution is now set to rise by an additional $27 million, bringing the total to nearly $33 million.

A potential 30-year loan at an assumed 4.5% interest rate could add over $22 million in interest costs. Tampa CFO Dennis Rogero stated that such a bond issuance wouldn't affect the city's bond rating.

The project will add 1.6 miles of riverfront sidewalk, 2.75 miles of complete streets with a separated bicycle/pedestrian path, and two bicycle/pedestrian bridges across the Hillsborough River.

Why it matters: This expansion aligns with the Tampa MOVES mobility plan, promoting multimodal transportation and enhancing safety and economic development. 

However, the increased cost and potential bond issuance have raised concerns among council members and residents about the project's affordability.



The big picture: The West Riverwalk project aims to enhance connectivity and mobility in Tampa. It was not conceived in isolation but as part of a broader vision for the city's development. 



What’s next: The council will hold a second hearing on July 18 to execute the updated design-build contract with The Haskell Co., the firm leading the trail's construction. 

Tampa will also submit an amended grant agreement reflecting changes to the project schedule, now targeting substantial completion by January 2027.



The bottom line: While the West Riverwalk project promises to improve mobility and safety in Tampa, the significant cost increase and potential financial burden on the city has sparked debate among council members and the community. 

The outcome of the second hearing will be crucial in determining the project's future.

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See all 70+ photos

🚧 $43.5M Overhaul for Clearwater Beach Marina Moves Forward

Driving the news: The Clearwater Beach Marina is set for a major rebuild, with the project's cost escalating to $43.5 million from the initial $18 million budget set in 2021. 

Despite the significant price increase, city officials believe in the necessity of this investment due to the marina's critical role in local tourism and its current state of severe disrepair.



Details:

  • The Clearwater City Council voted unanimously to approve the new budget, but a final vote is pending on July 15 due to an $18 million funding shortfall.

  • The additional funds will come from a no-interest loan from the city’s capital projects fund, expected to be repaid over 10 to 20 years with revenue from marina operations and potential grants.

  • Pinellas County’s Tourist Development Council has allocated a $10 million grant for the project, contingent on final approval.

  • The remaining funds are sourced from $23 million in Penny for Pinellas sales tax revenue, $4.7 million from marina revenue, and $750,000 from the general fund.



Why it matters: The marina, a hub for Clearwater Beach tourism, is essential for local businesses offering fishing charters, dinner cruises, and excursions. 

Its current dilapidated state, with failing utilities and infrastructure, poses a risk to both the economy and safety.



The big picture: The cost increase is driven by rising construction expenses and scope changes, including a $4 million seawall replacement added in 2022. 

Additionally, the marina was discovered to be in a federally regulated channel, requiring legislative action to proceed with the rebuild.



Between the lines: The project's approval reflects a broader trend of rising costs in infrastructure projects, necessitating careful financial planning and innovative funding solutions to bridge budget gaps.



What’s next: The final approval vote on July 15 will determine if the project can move forward as scheduled. 

If approved, construction will begin in October with completion targeted for May 2026, aiming to revitalize a key asset for Clearwater Beach's tourism industry.



The bottom line: Despite the ballooning costs, the Clearwater Beach Marina rebuild is a crucial investment to support the local economy and ensure the safety and functionality of this vital infrastructure.

🏡 Discover Your Ideal Home in
North or South Pinellas

Driving the news: Deciding between North and South Pinellas County in the Tampa Bay area can be challenging for potential homebuyers. 



Details: Let's look at an in-depth comparison between North and South Pinellas to help you make informed decisions about where to live.



South Pinellas:

  • Location: Proximity to downtown Tampa via Franklin or Gandy Bridge, a 30-minute drive to Tampa International Airport.

  • Lifestyle: Urban vibe with a focus on arts, culture, dining, and nightlife. Access to popular beaches and venues like St. Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Tropicana Field.

  • Housing: Higher price points with some homes reaching $2-5 million. Smaller lots, and older homes, but strong appreciation potential due to proximity to nightlife and amenities.



North Pinellas:

  • Location: Easy access to pristine beaches like Honeymoon Island and nature preserves. More relaxed traffic on smaller highways.

  • Lifestyle: A slower-paced, nature-focused environment with kayaking, fishing charters, and local festivals. Quaint downtown areas with local shops, craft breweries, and restaurants.

  • Housing: More suburban feel with affordable prices ranging from $400,000 to $1 million+. Highly rated schools and larger lots in neighborhoods like Palm Harbor, Oldsmar, and Dunedin.

⬇️⬇️⬇️ Want to see the full comparison? Watch it on YouTube ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Watch the video

Why it matters: Choosing the right part of Pinellas County impacts lifestyle, convenience, and cost of living.



What’s next: Potential homebuyers should assess their priorities and explore both regions to determine which aligns best with their desired lifestyle and housing needs.



The bottom line: Choosing between North and South Pinellas County depends on your preference for urban excitement or suburban serenity. Both areas offer unique benefits and are great places to live depending on your lifestyle needs. 

📊 Our Current Local Market Numbers

The Pinellas and Tampa Bay markets are hot as peak buying season is in full swing!

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the next few months, you'll need a strong strategy to navigate the nuances of this market.

I'm happy to help you create a plan that will allow you to succeed in the current market.

If you ever have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

🏠 Find Available Homes Today

📰 In Other News: 

  • That’s all for today, We hope you have an amazing week!

    

    If there’s ever anything you need:

    1. Custom market or home value report.
    2. Home Services list for a reliable contractor or services professional.
    3. Feedback or a professional opinion on a home project or other needs of the home.
  • Just let us know! We’re here to help with all your home needs.

    

    Talk soon,

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