Sunset Park
a residential enclave in the bustling metropolitan city of Tampa, stirs up feelings of “old Florida.” Tampa is the Sunshine State’s third-largest city and has the highest population along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline.

Sunset Park, fabled for its fishing activity, features parks with old oak trees that line the canals in the area. 

“One of the nice things about Sunset Park is that originally it was a fishing spot. It had a little fishing shed. This goes back to old Florida, when people would come here to vacation, and they would come to Sunset Park because we were known for our fishing,” said Jeff Shelton, a principal agent for Compass Real Estate with 20 years of industry experience. “Fast forward to now, and some of the areas along Dundee Street are big parks.”

The neighborhood occupies Tampa Bay waterfront land approximately six miles from downtown Tampa. The city has been nicknamed “Champa Bay” for the recent success of its local sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who won the Super Bowl this year, and the Tampa Bay Lighting, who just won their second-straight Stanley Cup.

Sunset Park, a quieter area of Tampa, has many of its streets named after poets and writers: Poe, Dante, Homer, Dickens, Longfellow, Hawthorne, Tennyson and Browning, to name a few. It’s a serene coastal atmosphere to read such classic literature. It tends to provide ample space for raising families. “The homeowners association hosts movies in the park, carnivals and all kinds of events for families,” Mr. Shelton said. 

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Boundaries

The neighborhood spans roughly one square mile from Tampa Bay on the west to Manhattan Avenue on the east, and Neptune Street on the north to Leona Street on the south.


Price Range

Houses that are currently on the market range from $1.15 million within the interior of the Sunset Park neighborhood to a $14 million property along a canal. Newer, larger houses closer to waterways average between $2 million and $4 million. Pre-construction houses skew toward $4 million. The median home valuation is $728,300 and housing stock is scarce, according to data from Zillow.

Mr. Shelton, and his business partner, Mike Hughes, also a principal agent for Compass Real Estate, represent the $14 million listing, which is for a 10,879-square-foot Mediterranean style house on Dundee Street. It was built in 2018 on a 0.99 acre lot with a private dock and fishing pier. Formerly, a smaller house was built on the land. Many properties in Sunset Park mirror the history of this one, though perhaps not to the same level of extravagance. 


With eight bedrooms, nine and a half bathrooms, a game room, gym, great room, den and standalone laundry room, the property offers plenty of space to unwind. The master suite measures an expansive 780 square feet including a spa-like bathroom. Many houses in Sunset Park are roomy and top 4,000 square feet on large lot sizes. 

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Housing Stock

Lack of housing stock is rapidly pushing home valuations higher. 

“When the neighborhood was first developed, most of the homes were Tudor. Unfortunately, we only have a handful of the original Tudors still standing,” Mr. Shelton said. “There are still some original ranch-style homes, but now we’ve moved onto Mediterranean, which is so popular in the area, along with modern transitional, contemporary and the modern farmhouse. Those styles make Sunset Park such an architecturally diverse neighborhood.” 

Exterior view of a five-bedroom, six-bathroom home in Sunset Park. The property is currently listed for $1.825 million.


SMITH AND ASSOCIATES REAL ESTATE

Who Lives There

Just over 5,000 people reside in Sunset Park. It’s locally known as the “Home of the Poets,” and many families reside here. Several celebrities, athletes, entrepreneurs and city leaders live in Sunset Park.

Notable Residents

Minnesota Twins third baseman, Josh Donaldson, sold a house in Sunset Park earlier this year, and Tampa Bay Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov reportedly bought a house there in 2019. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and former football player for the Los Angeles Raiders, Ed Muransky, also have properties in Sunset Park, according to reports.

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What Makes It Unique

Boaters can be in the open bay in under five minutes, and the Gulf of Mexico is less than 30 minutes without encountering fixed bridges. Other waterfront neighborhoods can’t make the same claim of convenience.

A 10-minute drive to Tampa International Airport makes business and personal travel easy. “It’s paradise compared to hometown America,” Mr. Shelton said.

Luxury Amenities

Luxury homes make up around 95% to 97% of Sunset Park, said Mr. Shelton, though clusters of boutiques and restaurants are open for business just outside the bounds of the residential area. The neighborhood is well maintained, dog friendly and relatively safe.

Other than that, residents can find plenty of commercial shopping downtown, only minutes away. Top public and private schools are in close proximity, while downtown Tampa and the Westshore business districts require only a short commute. 

“Its location and its lot sizes were its initial appeal. Now, because of the lot sizes, it’s afforded builders to replace some of the 1940s and ’50s ranches with beautiful 5,000- to 6,000-square-foot homes,” Mr. Shelton said.

St. Pete Beach and Honeymoon Island are favorite oceanside destinations.

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Outlook

Like many areas, real estate prices in Sunset Park have nowhere to go but up because of limited stock and quick development in surrounding areas. “What we are seeing in the market now is that values are definitely increasing at a steady rate because of our lack of inventory. I predict that this will continue into the foreseeable future,” Mr. Shelton said.

Both agents noted that they’ve seen technology companies move into Tampa over the last few years, bringing with them hundreds of employees.

“Our downtown has just about doubled in the last two years,” Mr. Hughes said. “Residential prices are going straight through the roof. We have A-rated public schools and the best private schools in Sunset Park, so there’s nowhere to go but up.”

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