St. Petersburg has gotten bigger, younger and wealthier in the past decade.
The workforce has swelled at the city’s largest employers. High-end apartment building owners have displaced well-known corporate names as the city’s top taxpayers.
Demographic and economic shifts between 2010 and 2019 are detailed in St. Petersburg’s newly released comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2019.
Trends in the city of St. Petersburg are positive for the past decade, Anne Fritz, the city’s chief financial officer, said at a budget committee meeting on April 23, as city council members start to shape the budget for the upcoming fiscal year and try to figure out how potential drops in sales taxes and property values from the Covid-19 crisis might impact city revenue.
“Right now we’re in a situation where the near-term future may be unknown. However, as you can see based on our history, the city is resilient,” Fritz said.
Total taxable assessed value of property in the city is up 33 percent over 10 years.
Multi-family apartments and condominiums have increased the most in value.
Since 2011, multi-family apartment projects have driven the downtown economy with more than 2,060 dwelling units, representing an investment of more than $300 million in residential development.
That’s reflected in the top taxpayers. Utility company Duke Energy (which bought Progress Energy in 2012), financial services provider Raymond James and DeBartolo Capital, a shareholder in Tyrone Square owner Simon Property, reman the largest taxpayers. But real estate companies that own multi-family apartment projects, especially downtown, have moved into the top 10 taxpayers list, bumping out companies such as Valpak, Verizon (now Frontier) and Franklin Templeton.
The newer apartment buildings have a higher value than the properties that they displaced on the list, a spokesman for the city said. As apartments, each unit is leased with master ownership remaining at the company level. That’s different than a condo building where each unit is individually owned.
Examples include the recently completed 323-unit Beacon 430 and the 309-unit Modera Prime 235, as well as 330 Third, a 357-unit high-rise project, the 348-unit Hermitage project, and 801 Central, a 377-unit apartment complex. Outside of downtown, TGM Bay Isle is an apartment complex at 11850 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. and St. Petersburg Property Investor owns Trellis at the Lakes at 11401 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. Both have hundreds of units.
Top employers in St. Petersburg have remained consistent for the most part, but many of those larger employers have added to their workforce.
The Covid-19 crisis has caused unemployment to soar as businesses laid off or furloughed workers. But the city had double-digit unemployment rates a decade ago, as it was recovering from the Great Recession, and those rates steadily fell over the following years.
St. Petersburg’s population has grown 10 percent over the past 10 years.
The median age has dropped over the past decade, although it’s been creeping back up over the past eight years.
City residents have seen their income rise 32 percent in the past 10 years.
For the city as a whole, combined personal income is approaching $9 billion.
As St. Petersburg has grown, the city has added workers to meet the demand for more services.
Governmental expenditures have risen from $295 million in FY2008 to $376 million in FY 2019. The average cost per citizen was $1,173 in FY 2008 and grew to $1,396 in FY2019.
There was a 23 percent increase in average cost per citizen in FY 2018, to $1,421. That was due to an increase in capital expenditures related to the new construction of the police headquarters and garage, police training facility, Fossil Park fire station, and the ongoing construction of the Pier and Pier approach. The average cost per citizen in FY 2019 was down 1.7 percent from the prior year.