From the City of St. Petersburg’s description of neighborhoods:
“Bayway Isles is a prestigious, 24 hour guarded, deed restricted island community of almost 200 families. Consisting of two main islands, Bayway Isles extends southward from the Pinellas Bayway into the aqua colored warm waters of Boca Ciega Bay. Most of the homes have a waterfront view across Boca Ciega Bay while others enjoy the views across the water toward Eckerd College. These single family homes are valued from the mid $700,000s to the multi million-dollar range.
Unlike other nearby island communities, Bayway Isles is located within the City of St. Petersburg affording its residents all the amenities of a growing and prosperous city including excellent fire and police protection, libraries and a wide range of cultural and sports events.
This elegant community began in the early 1960s. During 1986, new home construction began on the final phase of development on the island of Bayway II. Architectural design throughout the community is appealing and styles range from modern to Spanish and European. Extraordinary lush landscaping, combined with architecturally designed homes sets Bayway Isles apart as a truly unique island community. The Bayway Isles community also benefits from the use of reclaimed water for lawn and gardening purposes.
The residents of Bayway Isles enjoy a quiet island lifestyle and agree that their community has been a well-kept secret for many years. Homeowners range from small families to retirees. The neighborhood is located adjacent to the famous St. Pete Beach and close to public schools, Eckerd College, grocery and boutique shops, hospitals, banks and restaurants. The residents occupations range from physicians and attorneys to entrepreneurs. The neighborhood has an added convenience with a local country store featuring every-day needs as well as sandwiches, gourmet meats, and food and wine. This quick stop as you come to the island can provide you with all of the gourmet dinner essentials.
Deed restrictions and architectural guidelines enhance property values in Bayway Isles. For instance, no signs are permitted (this includes For Sale real estate signs) thus maintaining the neat appearance of the island for guests and residents alike. One of the most rewarding and appreciated features is the 24-hour entry protection, allowing Bayway residents the freedom to walk, bike or roller blade at their leisure at any hour and to especially enjoy evening walks outside. Other nearby amenities include golf courses, yacht clubs, fabulous fishing, Ft. DeSoto Park and the white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.”
During the postwar economic boom that followed World War II, more and more people came to Florida with the desire and the means to own waterfront property. It didn’t take long before there wasn’t any waterfront property that wasn’t owned. Few owners wanted to sell, and those who were willing to sell knew that they had the upper hand when it came to negotiating price.
Developers believed they had the perfect solution – create land from water by dredging. In 1964, Bayway Development and Leeco Gas and Oil Corporation joined to develop Bayway Isles. Around this time, environmentalists became concerned about how dredging was effecting on the ecosystem. Governor LeRoy Collins and St. Petersburg Times owner Nelson Poynter were two of the biggest proponents of preserving Florida’s natural coastline.
In 1968, the State of Florida designated Boca Ciega Bay as an aquatic preserve.
In 1972 the rest of Pinellas County was designated the same.
These changes meant that Bayway Isles was one of the last developer-made islands in Pinellas County. Today, residents of Bayway Isles are happy that postwar developers had such lofty ambitions, and leaders like Collins and Poynter had the foresight to protect Florida’s natural beauty.
In Bayway Isles, you will find waterfront homes with lush landscapes. The architecture of homes in this neighborhood is varied. Common styles are, custom-built, Mediterranean Revival, and Florida Modern. New homes continue to be built at a consistent rate. Deed restrictions and architectural guidelines help to ensure that property values remain high.