Tampa has established several unique neighborhoods with their own characteristics and housing footprints.
Originally named after a Calusa village, Tampa, Florida, started as a small fishing village and became a Spanish possession in 1513 before ceding to the U.S. in 1821. The arrival of the Henry B. Plant railroad and his hotel, as well as the cigar industry, accelerated the area’s economic growth. Tampa became a town and then a full-fledged city in 1887. Early on, its industries attracted a melting pot of Spaniards, Cubans, Sicilians and Germans. Today, the city continues to celebrate its diversity and pay tribute to its heritage.
Many deep-rooted, powerful Ybor families carry on their legacies, among them the Gonzmarts, Capitanos, Guagliardos, De La Granas, Buchmans, Fuentes and later, the Newmans. The Tampa Bay History Center and Ybor City Museum Society have helped immortalize the city’s rich past to help educate newcomers.
Present-day Tampa thrives thanks in part to these multi-generational families, in addition to an ever-increasing arrival of new residents from across the state and country, with the city ranking as a top migration destination in 2022. The largest city in Hillsborough County and the economic hub of West Central Florida, Tampa is made up of about 43% Tampa natives, as well as 18% foreign-born residents, according to the U.S. Census 2020 ACS 5-Year Survey. Its economy flourishes thanks mostly to tourism, health care, finance, insurance, technology, construction and maritime industry – with Port Tampa Bay being the state’s largest port.
Named the Most Livable City in America, Tampa’s current population is estimated at 387,050, the third-most populous city in Florida (behind Jacksonville and Miami, accordingly). At 114 square miles of land, Tampa has established several unique neighborhoods with their own characteristics and housing footprints.
For luxury market properties, investors may be attracted to the waterfront mansions on Bayshore Boulevard, in Historic Hyde Park and Davis Islands, and the amenity-rich waterfront condominiums on Harbour Island and the newly burgeoning Water Street Tampa, including along the Tampa Riverwalk. Coveted private, gated communities include Culbreath Isles, Westshore Yacht Club, Grand Hampton and Avila.
Across Tampa, home styles and prices run the gamut, including South Tampa, Hyde Park, the Channel District, Ybor City, Carrollwood, Midtown and Seminole Heights. The city is best known for its bungalow-style architecture originating in the early 1900s and mimicking those in California with distinctive columns and front porches. Other common housing types include Mediterranean with courtyards, balconies, stucco and red-tiled roofs; contemporary with natural and sustainable elements, big windows and plenty of space; ranch with casual, efficient, low-profiled, single story characteristics; and modern with open floor plans and the latest technology.
Zillow named Tampa Bay the top housing market in the nation for 2022, rising from fourth the previous year thanks to the region’s hot job market, high housing demand, growing homebuyer population and impressive home value growth.
Thriving Tampa is an extremely attractive place to relocate. In fact, it ranked third in the nation for cities where people want to move by Redfin in 2022. The city is pulsing with life on land and by sea, known for its enviable access to water and picturesque beaches on Florida’s pristine Gulf Coast. A playground for all ages, the city is as smart as it is fun.
With over 275 public school sites, the Hillsborough County School District is the seventh-largest in the nation and one of Florida’s top-rated districts. A variety of elite private schools provide strong alternative options for grade school in Tampa. The city is also home to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities and colleges.
When it comes to travel, the Tampa International Airport is a gem, consistently ranked among the best airports in the world. Neighboring St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport provide additional choices. By car, Interstate systems I-4, I-75 and I-275 connect the area to plenty of major U.S. cities.
Tampa residents bask in the sunshine (and shade) with 194 parks, four city beaches, 13 city pools, plenty of outdoor group fitness classes and a teeming 2.6-mile Tampa Riverwalk. Of course, getting on the water is a must in Tampa. Boat ramps and marinas give ample access to the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest open-water estuary, abundant with wildlife. Rowing teams travel across the country in the winter to train along the river.
Community and cultural events abound. The city’s most popular event, the Gasparilla Pirate Fest, is over a century old, boasting the largest boat parade and third largest annual parade in the U.S. The Gasparilla music and arts festivals have also continued to grow. The Florida State Fair and the Florida Strawberry Festival are other annual staples that attract visitors. Plus, Tampa Bay is home to the Florida Orchestra, the largest professional symphony orchestra in the state.
Those seeking to get involved in religious, philanthropic and community organizations will be impressed with the array of diverse options in Tampa.
City wordsmith Gianna Russo captures the essence of Tampa in “Squint and You’ll See It.” This excerpt gives a glimpse: “The river is like syrup, and floating in its sweetness are cruise ships to take you to Nowhere, wonderful Nowhere,… a green flash at sunset, a red sky at night, a true destination of rest and joy, that you can get to just by standing on a sidewalk by a river near downtown, just like this.”
Organized as a full-fledged city in 1887, Tampa has come a long way from its early days as a Calusa fishing village to one of the state’s largest and most desirable cities to live in. Its active waterfront lifestyle, $3.5-billion downtown redevelopment in progress (Water Street Tampa), winning professional sports teams and expanding arts scene position it to continue to grow and thrive.
A bustling city as smart as it is fun.
Laid back, yet well-heeled waterfront living.
The friendly vibe and small-town feel despite being in a big city.
Tampa has an impressive array of offerings ranging widely in square footage, location, style and pricing — from 100-year-old bungalows to modern, new high rises to gated estates. Zillow named Tampa Bay the hottest housing market in the country for 2022.
The Bay, the food, the culture, the people.
Nearby Cities: St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Wesley Chapel, Lakeland, Sarasota
East to West Boundaries: Hillsborough Bay and Brandon to Old Tampa Bay and Town N Country
North to South Boundaries: Wesley Chapel to Tampa Bay
Commute Times: Tampa International Airport (TPA) 0 to 40 minutes by car; St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) 15 to 50 minutes by car; Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) 60 to 75 minutes by car