Building a better St. Petersburg.

Over five decades, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership has played a major role in transforming downtown, always seeking to be the right catalyst at the right time to move the city forward through individual projects and initiatives.

The Downtown Partnership’s legacy begins with an extraordinarily successful first project – helping to locate a University of South Florida campus in St. Petersburg.

USF St. Pete Originally called St. Petersburg Progress, the Partnership’s founding members quietly assembled private Bayboro Harbor land into friendly hands so that when the Florida Legislature was asked to locate a campus, there was prime, waterfront land to offer as a location. Later, the group was instrumental in establishing the university as USF agreed to locate its graduate College of Marine Science in Bayboro Harbor.

A tradition of investment.

Since 1965, the Partnership has invested more than $1.7 million in building endowments for marine science and since the first endowed fellowship was established, 135 graduate students in marine science have been supported by endowments that the Partnership has created for University of South Florida programs. That work has helped contribute to the incredible emergence of Bayboro Harbor as one of the city’s highest-quality job centers with several state and federal agencies located there, including in 1988, the United States Geological Survey. The Downtown Partnership served as the developer for the USGS site selection process and continues to manage the property.

The Looper TrolleyIn 1996, the Downtown Partnership was named downtown’s Transportation Management Organization and launched the St. Petersburg Trolley which continues to operate the scheduled daily Downtown Looper and provide private charters for dozens of special events downtown each year – including shuttles to each Tampa Bay Rays game.

In more recent years key initiatives have included working closely with the City of St. Petersburg, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, USFSP, The Foundation for Healthy St. Petersburg, Bayfront Health and others in the district to establish the St. Pete Innovation District to further realize the potential of the area that lies just south of the city’s traditional downtown; Assisting the arts community in the establishment of the Warehouse Arts District Association; Pioneering the innovative program, Powering Up Our Not-For-Profits, to enable non-profit organizations in the city to lower their energy costs through conservation or alternative energy initiatives and serving as a private ambassador for changing relations with Cuba so that the city might realize benefits from better relations with its closest foreign neighbor.