Davis Islands Neighborhood
Davis Islands began as dull swampy areas, later created into two islands which have evolved into the picturesque purlieu that exists today. These man made islands were the creation of a real estate visionary named David P. Davis whose dream was to create a resort with luxury hotels, a golf course, airport and luxury residences that come in a variety of architectural styles. Today, both commercial and residential properties occupy the distinct, greatly sought-after South Tampa community. Many who know the history of Davis Islands regard the community as Florida’s version of the Great Gatsby in the 1920’s.
Initially, Davis created several paths for himself and tried many jobs before choosing real estate. D.P. Davis, the son of a steamboat captain, possessed known ruthless desire and daring regard for money. Davis initiated his plan to develop the island by convincing the city’s fathers to allow him to dredge up the swampy islands and forge them together at the entrance of the Hillsborough River. However, encountered resistance from the neighbors of Bayshore, who fought Davis tooth and nail to stop the development, claiming that the city could not legally sell the property. The lawsuit eventually went all the way to the Florida Supreme Court leading to a Davis victory.
Strategic by nature, Davis wanted to create awareness of the project by to obtaining the support of the city hospital and top radio station in the area. He formulated a crafty plan, convincing them to relocate on his island, in order to attract attention and desire to live on the islands. Davis’ plan was phenomenally successful and made unprecedented history.
On opening day, October 4, 1924, all of the 306 prepared lots were sold. When the lots went on sale, buyers waited in long lines and streets near the office were jammed with traffic. The event was extremely impressive and a historical milestone was created: Within the first 3 hours on opening day, all of the 306 lots sold for $1,683,582. A world record was set for sale of lots in a new subdivision. D.P. Davis only purchased the entire property just prior to the Florida Land Boom for only $350,000, resulting in a substantial profit at that time.
Today, Davis Islands is one of Tampa’s most highly desirable neighborhoods that features marvelous waterfront residences including single family homes, condos and unmatched amenities that support luxury island living. The community has its own private airport, yacht club, restaurants, niche shops and very generous water views.
Davis Islands is conveniently located and connects directly to Tampa’s Downtown District, sports and entertainment complexes, the Tampa Convention Center, museums, and a host of fine dining establishments and cafes. Tampa General Hospital, one of the nation’s top-notch medical facilities, has a direct connection to the island, and other points of interest such as the Tampa International Airport, MacDill AFB, the University of Tampa, and Tampa’s newly redeveloped I-4 connector to Orlando, are also located only minutes away.