Development in St. Petersburg gaining momentum

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In recent months, St. Petersburg news headlines have contained announcements for several new development projects, which are currently planned for construction. To date, total building permits issued in fiscal 2012 (9 months) were 13,869, compared to 12,701 in FY2011 and 11,576 in FY2010.

Additionally, the construction value associated with this building permit activity has increased as well. For the current partial fiscal year, the city’s permitting activity has exceeded the prior two years by an average of 13%. With 25% of the fiscal year still remaining and $232 million in current construction values permitted, fiscal year 2012 should be the highest on record since 2007.

Another positive indicator is activity related to sites featured on “Blue Chip,” the online map service developed by the city of St. Petersburg. The site was designed to identify prime real estate properties available for development and investor interest. Since the launch of the site, November 2011, eight of the initial 16 Blue Chip properties have sold, with two additional sites under contract for purchase.

Blue Chip was recently updated, features 18 prime sites, totaling 362 acres, with an approximate market value of $61 million.  Blue Chip has had over 620 unique website visits and is giving St. Petersburg international exposure from the U.K., Canada, France, India, Kenya, The Philippines, Portugal, and Siberia.

Blue Chip allows users to select prime sites for more information, categorized by either land acreage or zoning designation, and provides contact information for the listing’s real estate broker. The online service adheres to a four-point criteria for properties to qualify to be listed.

“St. Petersburg is one of the best kept secrets in the Southeast, and the  rise in permitting and Blue Chip site activity are examples  of the city being poised for major new investment, job growth, and community development opportunities,” said Mayor Bill Foster.

Blue Chip also provides a link to the city’s six major business clusters-Medical Technology and Life Sciences, Financial Services, Marine and Environmental Sciences, Information Technology, Manufacturing, and Arts, Culture, Events, and Tourism.

“Blue Chip sites focus on the city’s real estate assets by highlighting pockets of opportunity that, when developed, will strengthen our diverse business climate, spur job creation, and boost housing alternatives for the community” said Dave Goodwin, Planning and Economic Development Director.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.