17 January

Ambitious developer of Davis Islands historic home hits the market

The original home designed and built for D.P. Davis, the visionary developer behind the creation of Tampa's Davis Islands, is for sale. To understand the Spanish-style home's rich legacy is to go back in time to a Tampa that was on the precipice of growth. Named after D.P. Davis, the construction on the three man-made islands south of downtown Tampa began in 1924 by dredging and filling portions of Tampa Bay.  

Davis envisioned creating a resort-like community with upscale amenities, a golf course and a Mediterranean-inspired architectural style that featured a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational areas. While there were some setbacks to the community opening, Davis hit a world record for selling new lots in a new subdivision by selling all the initial lots within the first three hours of the properties going on sale. Ahead of his time in marketing promotions, D.P. Davis made the island very interactive to increase sales further by hosting boat races and airplane exhibitions. Today, Davis Islands is a desirable community known for its celebrity residents, upscale homes, yacht club, airport, and proximity to downtown Tampa.  

"It is rare to find a home in one of Tampa's most historic neighborhoods that embodies so much history with a legacy that stands as a symbol of the original developer’s vision and ambition for Davis Islands. D.P. Davis played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of our beloved Tampa neighborhood, and this home was the residence designed and built for him on the island,” says B.G. Holmberg, Realtor, Smith & Associates Real Estate.

Built in 1925, the 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom home is located at 116 W Davis Boulevard and is listed for $ 4.5 M. Recognized for its historical and architectural significance, the Mediterranean Revival Style home was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Mediterranean Revival architecture was popular in Florida during the 1920s, characterized by features such as stucco exteriors, red tile roofs, arched doorways, and wrought iron details. Notably, the half-acre estate holds the potential to be divided into two lots, presenting an exciting opportunity for prospective buyers to undertake an extensive renovation or redevelopment. Along with the 4,059 sq.ft home, the property also features a separate apartment above the garage.

D.P. Davis's legacy is intertwined with the creation of Davis Islands, and his vision has left a lasting impact on the development and character of this part of Tampa. Sadly, he fell overboard from a ship and was never found, leaving behind a mysterious legacy with several theories surrounding his disappearance. The Spanish-style home is a piece of Tampa's history and reflects the unique legacy of D.P. Davis, who played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of the iconic Davis Islands.

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