Located midway between Tampa and the Gulf beaches – at the northern tip of the Bay in west central Florida – the Upper Tampa Bay region has finally become what Ransom Eli Olds was convinced that it would be in the early 1900s ... a thriving center of residential and business development that is leading the entire Tampa Bay area into the 21st Century.
The "bad news" – at least from Mr. Olds' perspective – is that it took more than 80 years for his $4.5 million investment to begin paying dividends. The "good news" is that – for those who "kept the faith" and clung to the dream of the venerable auto industry magnate – the region is now enjoying unprecedented prosperity, with residential, commercial, cultural and quality-of-life values growing at a rate that's the envy of the entire state of Florida!
Spanning both sides of the Pinellas/Hillsborough county line, the Upper Tampa Bay area offers a unique combination of new, upscale inland housing developments, older, established neighborhoods on the Tampa Bay shoreline, and a rapidly-expanding base of retail, service-oriented and manufacturing businesses.
Despite its close proximity to the downtown districts of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, the City of Oldsmar – and the entire Upper Tampa Bay region – moves at a slightly slower pace. The natural beauty of Tampa Bay and a handful of major nature and wildlife preserves are a welcome respite from the hustle-and-bustle of the nearby urban centers, and local residents take full advantage of the area's scenic parks, waterways and recreational facilities.
The bottom line is ... the Upper Tampa Bay region is a fantastic place to live, work and do business, and we welcome you to our Piece of Paradise!
The City of Oldsmar
City of Oldsmar is a study in contrasts. The older section of town south of Tampa Road was developed in the early 1900s by founder R.E. Olds and those who followed in his footsteps. The city's first streets were laid-out like spokes on the wheel of one of Olds' automobiles, centered on a "hub" at the northernmost point of Old Tampa Bay.
Wide, tree-lined avenues lead from the waterfront to the city's downtown area, where City and Chamber leaders are working to resurrect what was once a thriving retail center. Along the bayshore, older "cracker"-style homes are slowly disappearing, and magnificent waterfront estates are rising in their place.
North and west of "Old Oldsmar," modern residential developments and master-planned communities offer all the amenities that 21st century homebuyers desire, from swimming pools, walking trails and tennis courts to world-class golf courses and country clubs.
East Lake & 'The Woodlands'
The area known as "East Lake" lies between Lake Tarpon and the Hillsborough County line, bounded on the south by the city of Oldsmar and on the north by Tarpon Avenue/Keystone Road.
East Lake is home to dozens of top-quality residential areas, including the trend-setting Lansbrook neighborhoods (on the eastern shores of Lake Tarpon) and the prestigious East Lake Woodlands development, as well as a handful of championship golf courses.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal recently ranked East Lake as the fourth wealthiest of Pinellas County's 45 zip code areas, with a median household income of more than $50,000, an average family size of 2.5 persons, and a median age of 42.3 years.
The NW Hillsborough 'Land Rush'
Tucked into the northwest corner of Hillsborough County are two of the most successful residential developments in the history of the Tampa Bay area – Westchase and The Eagles – and a pair of long-awaited new developments, Waterchase and The Highlands.
Together, the four high-end developments have fueled the growth of NW Hillsborough over the last 10 years ... and they promise to keep construction crews busy for a decade to come.
Though it is barely 15 miles from downtown Tampa, NW Hillsborough includes two of the least populated zip codes area in Hillsborough County. It is, however, the wealthiest area on the Tampa side of the bay, with a median income of more than $80,000. It's one of the youngest as well, with an average age of just 37.9 years.
The residential communities of NW Hillsborough benefit from their Upper Tampa Bay location, which allows easy access to all of the region's major commercial centers ... as well as the many cultural and recreational attractions which Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater have to offer.
Town Center, Citrus Park Development Continues
One of the newest trends to take hold in NW Hillsborough is the construction of so-called "town centers," mixed-use developments which blend commercial, owner-occupied townhomes and rental housing to create a classic small-town "downtown" environment.
The first to test the "new urbanism" concept was West Park Village in Westchase, a five-year-old residential and commercial development which recreates the feel of "small town Florida" of the mid-1900s. Single-family residences, townhomes and apartments all are designed in the neo-classical tradition, and a highly successful "Main Street" retail center lies at the heart of the 100-acre development.
Two similar "small-town downtown" areas are currently being built on Race Track Road, and the recently-approved Citrus Park Village Community Plan calls for development of a major mixed-use town center along Gunn Highway and Ehrlich Road, north of the existing Westfield Shoppingtown Citrus Park Mall.
New residential and commercial developments are popping-up all over the Citrus Park area, with hundreds of new homes already under construction in the area north of Linebaugh Avenue, between Sheldon Road and the Veterans Expressway.
Town 'N Country Poised For Redevelopment
The area known as Town 'N Country extends from the Pinellas County line east to the Veterans Expressway, and from the shores of Tampa Bay north to about Linebaugh Avenue. It is a culturally – and demographically – diverse area, whose residents place great value on the outstanding quality of life which they've come to enjoy.
Until developers began building homes here in the late-1950s, the region consisted mainly of cattle ranches and natural areas. Today, more than 75,000 people live in this 37-square-mile area ... and they've got big plans for their community's future.
A new Town Center development – to include a new public library, senior center, meeting space and other quasi-governmental offices – is planned for the heart of Town 'N Country's redevelopment area, and there are plans afoot to improve the appearance of major roadways, expand public transit to relieve traffic congestion, improve sidewalk, bike lane and trail connectivity, and make dramatic improvements to the area's infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the W, Hillsborough Avenue corridor between Town 'n Country and Oldsmar is another hotbed of development, with thousands of high-end apartments, condos and single family homes slated to begin construction within the next few years.
In short, whatever the lifestyle of your dreams may be, it'll "come alive" here in the Upper Tampa Bay area!