St. Petersburg’s “Innovation District” markets itself as a great place for Millennials and young professionals to live, work and play, and while there are several industry-leading workplaces in the area, the city admits it is still working to make it an area that young professionals not only want to live but can afford to live.
The city counts a revitalized waterfront, and walk-able city streets with entertainment, arts and culture as attractive features of the growing St. Pete community, but a sudden boon in the economy means it’s suddenly a much less affordable place to live.
Places like USF St. Pete, Bayfront Medical Center, All Children’s Hospital, Fish & Wildlife Research Institute, NOAA, SRI International, and the Poynter Institute are just some of the institutions that, in total, employee about ten thousand people in that one neighborhood alone, an area that would make many cities jealous.
With the economy once again growing, these institutions are also growing and hiring young professionals who want to live where they work, creating a greater demand on the limited affordable housing in the area.
“I took a job down here and I’d like to live downtown but it’s way more expensive, so I’m up in Largo paying a lot less,” says Ryan Carpenter, who now commutes about half an hour to get to work everyday.
The USF St. Petersburg graduate says he used to live near downtown St. Pete after college, but after living out of state for a few years ago, he was surprised by the sudden rise in prices since he returned.
“Everything I could find was at least 800 or more,” says Carpenter, who now works for the production company Wonderment.