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Influencer
Posted By Jaymi Butler

Introduction

John Barkett moved to St. Pete 20 years ago to be near family - and to raise one of his own. Since then, he's carved out his niche in both commercial and residential real estate while becoming an active member of the St. Pete community. Whether he's volunteering his time uptown, downtown, or somewhere in between, Barkett is thrilled to be part of the growth and development renaissance in St. Pete.

Years in St. Pete

20

Organizations involved in

I'm a voting member of public policy for the Chamber, I'm on the housing land use task force for the Chamber, I'm a board member of the MLK business district, I'm a member of the Historic Uptown Neighborhood Association and I'm a member of the Downtown Business Association. I know there are more, but those are what come to mind.

What gets you out of bed every day?

My team and the boutique we've built. I really love what I do and the people I work with. We've really got a family environment here. My entire skillset and training over the last 30 years makes me feel like I'm really needed in St. Pete with all the redevelopment happening.

Why St. Pete?

It was a family decision. I spent nine years in New York City and another two years in San Francisco. I was getting ready to start my family and I wanted my kids to grow up near their grandparents, which is what got me to St. Pete.

What is one habit that you keep?

I always make sure sure I'm home at a reasonable hour so I can enjoy time with my boys and their mom.

who are some people that influence you?

My parents, first and foremost. They are second-generation 100 percent Lebanese who worked extremely hard. They set an excellent example in terms of their work ethic and from a morality perspective.

What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?

Get involved in your community. If you want to be heard, you need to be active and be part of the solution. We live in a community unlike many others where you do feel voices are heard, both those that are loud and those that are not so loud. I can't speak highly enough about my association with the Chamber and the impact it's allowed me to have on the community.

What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?

I wish I'd known how much time what I've built would take me to accomplish. It's been a labor of love growing the company in the right way and scaling it in a way that my clients truly feel that we're handling their properties and developments as if they were our own. If I'd known three years ago, I would have staffed the way I'm staffed now.

What’s next?

I'm excited to be working on a 2.9 acre site in the downtown core that is a western bookend to the Tropicana Field site. It's slated for some office development with both market grade and affordable housing. We'll be taking the covered section of the Pinellas Trail, which is kind of dark and dingy and now abuts Vertical Ventures, and we'll basically be ripping the roof off and turning it into a park-like feature to connect the Warehouse Arts District to the Tropicana site of the future and the EDGE District downtown. I couldn't be happier and more excited about it. It's a great project.

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