Hyde Park- Tampa Bay’s best urban district

The Hyde Park neighborhood was established in the 1880s when railroad financier Henry B. Plant built the first bridge across the Hillsborough River at what is now Kennedy Boulevard. Growth occurred rapidly and a street car line was put in on Swann Ave and Rome Avenues.  The heart of the Hyde Park Neighborhood (aka Hyde Park Village) grew at the intersection of Swann and South Dakota Ave. Hyde Park Village is now a well defined  business node with many restaurants, bars, cafes and high-end boutiques. The rest of Hyde Park’s business districts are really a mix of urban and auto centric streets. Howard Ave has some decent urban stretches but Kennedy Blvd is overwhelmingly autocentric with the exception of the node adjacent to Tampa University.

The rest of Hyde Park is filled with attractive housing with a good mix of  historic homes from the 1910s-1940 and generally thoughtful infill residential. But housing is very expensive and there is not enough rental housing here. Other Hyde Park urban strengths include close proximity to dwtn, decent public transit, safety, quality schools, very good retail and cultural amenities, and a thick tree canopy. Hyde Park could be a great urban community if it filled it its autocentric blocks with dense mixed-use housing and added better park spaces and amenities.

Click here to view my Hyde Park Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Great access to Dwtn being literally on its western border. Decent public transit but a bit sub-par for an inner city neighborhood.
* Great bike infrastructure especially with the many dedicated bike paths.
* Solid racial diversity
* Not walkable high schools but very good array of well rated public and private elementary and middle schools.
* Very safe community.
* Great tree canopy.
* As one of the few quality urban districts in Tampa Bay, there is great buzz here.
* When the infill is not auto centric it is pretty high quality.
* Great array of historic homes from the 1910s-1940s.
* Culturally a great array of restaurants, bars, and cafes, several performing arts and community theaters, several art galleries, an upscale movie theater, and a couple museums in adjacent Tampa University and many cultural assets in nearby Dwtn.
* Good retail assets as well including 3 supermarkets, several drug stores, great concentration of boutiques & home good stores around Swann and Hyde Park Village, plenty of dessert stores and gyms, and Tampa General is just across the channel. Lots of retail stores are autocentric however.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* 50-50 with ADA Compliance curb cuts. Sidewalks are consistant however.
* So  economic and generational diversity.
*For Sale housing is pretty expensive but a good amount of condos selling btwn 200K-450K. 2-beds sell anywhere from 250K-1 M depending on size and conditions. 3-beds sell anywhere btwn 400K-1.5 M. 4 & 5 Beds sell btwn 700K and 3 M.
* Rentals are also expensive and a bit limited. Studios lease around 2K, 1 beds in the 2,000s, 2-beds 2-4K, 3 beds in the 4,000s.
* Does not appear to be much affordable rentals here.
* Parks a bit limited but include a nice bayfront trail, a small waterfront park, a small pocket park, and some ballfields.
* Real mixed back with urban biz districts. When the urban form is good the streetscaping is also very good.
* No post office or public library.

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