Up until 1959 Tierra Verde was not much more than a handful of undeveloped islands that were previously used by Indians and pirates. Purchased in 1959 with aspirations for developing a resort community, progress was almost non-existent until the Pinellas Bayway was opened in 1962 and the islands and St. Pete Beach were connected at a southern point to the mainland. With the Pinellas Bayway now connecting Maximo Point to the islands that make up Isla del Sol, Tierra Verde, and St. Pete Beach, it still took new money from Texas developers to create a slow but steady progression of residential development.
More development funds arrived in 1975 when the Mackle’s, owners, and developers of several Florida communities through their Deltona Corporation, partnered and began construction of condominiums in the Isla del Sol area. A few years later, the golf course in Isla del Sol was built and development expanded rapidly. The rest as they say…. Is History.
Today, Tierra Verde has almost 2,000 housing units that supports both full-time and winter residents. As a sign of its affluence, Oceanview Drive on Tierra Verde is considered one of the top 5 most expensive streets in the Tampa Bay area.
At the southernmost point of Tierra Verde lies Ft. De Soto State Park. Long considered one of the most beautiful beaching in the U.S., Ft. De Soto Park was created in 1948 when the Federal Government sold Mullet Key to Pinellas County to create the park and the recreational facilities that now exist. Fort De Soto was originally built in the late 1890’s as a defensive military position for western Florida and for the protection of the mouth of Tampa Bay. Ruins of the original fort can still be explored in the park.
In 2021, the Bayway Drawbridge that connects Tierra Verde to the rest of the Bayway was replace with a modern 90+ foot high bridge that allows boat traffic to pass unabated beneath the new span. The Marina Resort was recently constructed and the adjacent Tierra Verde Marina with its Hi and Dry Boat Storage was overhauled and expanded. New retail and restaurants have been updated, constructed, and expanded both at the entrance to the islands and the downtown area a few miles south towards Ft. De Soto State Park. Much of the surrounding communities are following suit. Pass-a-Grille Beachfront property has been remodeled, Maximo Marina is being upgraded and expanded and the new Skyway Marina District has been designated by the City of St. Petersburg for redevelopment.
Residential real estate in Tierra Verde and along the Pinellas Bayway remains very much in demand and property values continue to increase. Tierra Verde is not just a beautiful area; it is convenient to the rest of the surrounding area and points throughout Florida. A ten-minute drive will get you to the some of the top beaches in the world (Ft. De Soto Park, Pass-a-Grille Beach, or St. Pete Beach) or ten minutes north you can be in the eclectic downtown St. Petersburg area with its café society of boutiques, restaurants, and museums. Twenty-five minutes north to Tampa International Airport or thirty minutes south over the Skyway Bridge to Sarasota and points south.
This all adds up to some of Florida’s finest quality of life.