The 16th annual Firestone Grand Prix returned to St. Petersburg, Florida on March 13–15, 2020. The race has become a popular NTT IndyCar Series season opener and an important event in St. Petersburg’s blossoming downtown, building in attendance year-on-year. The 1.8-mile, 14-turn track hugs Tampa Bay and runs past the iconic Dali Museum, St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina, Mahaffey Theater and roars up the runways of Albert Whitted airport. The Grand Prix is now part of the St. Petersburg community and will be for awhile, since city council unanimously approved the race until 2024.
Doug Waechter, a St. Petersburg’s native, current resident and Douglas Elliman Real Estate agent has seen this city grow from humble beginnings to a desirable destination.
Unveiling this May will be a brand new pier connecting the crystal blue waters of Tampa Bay to the vibrant energy of downtown Beach Drive. With so many great things happening in the area, it’s easy to see why NTT IndyCar Series has chosen the streets of St. Petersburg to host one of their biggest events, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, every spring.—Doug Waechter, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Once called “God’s waiting room” by Johnny Carson in the punchline of a joke on The Late Show, St. Petersburg is now laughing at that moniker. The Sunshine City has the highest projected growth rate in the state of Florida, at 5.09 percent in the next year, with home values close to a thousand dollars over the expected national median. “St. Petersburg is drawing people from all over for its walkability, quality of life, low tax rates, burgeoning arts scene and famous waterfront parks,” explains Derrick Silvers, a Broker Associate at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “Being a Florida native and a second generation Realtor, I’ve been overwhelmed with excitement watching our town become a city,” he says.
Douglas Elliman agent Lauren Krawczyk agrees; “St. Petersburg is all about the lifestyle. You see people kayaking, paddle boarding in the bay and walking along the waterfront to downtown every day. What makes us unique is that even with the major growth we’re experiencing, we still have that relaxed, resort town vibe,” she says.
Events like Localtopia, located in Williams Park in the heart of downtown, showcase many of St. Petersburg’s businesses such as food trucks, bakeries, restaurants, boutiques and more, to the local community. But the St. Petersburg Grand Prix draws visitors from all over the world, allowing them to not only experience the event, but everything St. Petersburg has to offer.
—by Jacqueline Kuron
Browse Properties in St. Petersburg, Florida
A magnificent custom waterfront home with open Tampa Bay views located in highly sought-after waterfront community of Snell Isle. It’s a true boaters paradise with docking accommodations for up to a 70-foot vessel and is situated on an oversized lot in a quiet cul-de-sac. Located only five minutes from downtown St. Petersburg, this estate features fabulous architectural details throughout and was built to accentuate sparkling water views from nearly every room.
A spectacular waterfront estate with 162 feet of open water frontage and an expansive dock stretching over 200 feet with deep water access. This is an entertainer’s home with an open floor plan, custom indoor kitchen with center island and high-end appliances, full outdoor kitchen, heated pool and spa, custom outdoor fan system, and covered and open patio spaces. Other high-end features include a whole house generator, multiple koi ponds, private steam bath, rooftop terrace and office.
Snell Isle living at its finest! Enjoy magnificent sunsets and sprawling views on the world class Vinoy Golf course. This amazing custom home features five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a three-car garage and approximately 6,300 square feet of living space. Located on a quiet street, this home offers plenty of natural sunlight, an open floor plan for comfortable everyday living with meticulous attention to detail making it equally luxurious. Additional amenities include cathedral ceilings, cement block construction, hurricane impact windows and pocket doors, and smart home technology. Outdoor entertaining is a breeze with a heated saltwater pool and spa, outdoor kitchen, fire pit and large covered terrace.
An elegant Mediterranean-style home located on a lush corner lot in desirable Snell Isle. Built in 2006 to commercial standards with all concrete block construction, this approximately 4,421-square-foot home with an in-ground pool and three-car garage was meticulously designed. Features include beautiful hardwood and travertine flooring throughout, high ceilings with detailed crown molding and luxurious woodwork, grand free-floating staircase with custom wrought-iron railings, hydraulic elevator, formal living and dining room, and a lavish chef’s kitchen with dinette and computer station all open to the large family room. The over 1,000 square feet of covered, wraparound terrace overlooking the private, spacious resort-style sundeck and saltwater pool/spa is perfect for entertaining.
Gorgeous two-story home located in Bayou Club Estates with lovely lakefront views on close to half an acre. Living room features vaulted ceilings with French doors leading to the screened-in pool area, perfect for entertaining. Located on the first floor is the master suite which features a fireplace, morning bar, walk-in closet and en suite. The kitchen features stainless steel appliances, crown molding and plantation shutters. The kitchen is open to an amazing living area with more views of the lake and pool. Three additional bedrooms are located on the second floor with two full bathrooms. The Bayou Club is a great, gated neighborhood with 24-hour security, beautiful grounds and a central location close to the beach, downtown St. Petersburg and Tampa.