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Neighborhood Spotlight: South Seminole Heights

Get to know the people and communities that make Hillsborough County a great place to live, work, and play. In this occasional series, we highlight one of 950-plus neighborhoods registered with the Office of Neighborhood Relations.

 

When was South Seminole Heights founded? In 1911, developer T. Roy Young saw the potential of forest and scrubland surrounding a trolley line between downtown Tampa and Sulphur Springs, then a fledgling resort destination. His Seminole Development Corp. began erecting bungalows. Other bungalow developments followed, especially during the real estate boom years before the Great Depression. In 1997, South Seminole Heights Civic Association formed to address matters in its part of the larger Seminole Heights area.

How many homes are in South Seminole Heights, and how many people live here? South Seminole Heights has a population of more than 3,000 people, including many families. There are about 700 children and teens, and the number of adults age 25-34 has increased substantially in recent years.

Key features: Three parks border the eastern bank of the Hillsborough River: Haya, Reed, and Rivercrest parks. Together, the public expanses make up about 60 percent of the neighborhood's riverfront. Residents can relax, fish, picnic, kayak/canoe, and walk or jog.

Area schools: Broward Elementary, Memorial Middle, and Hillsborough High

Signature gatherings: Porch parties, happy hours, a holiday brass band concert in December, and a Halloween trick-or-treat outing. Perhaps the biggest event: the Heights Unites Music & Arts Festival that raises money for neighborhood projects and scholarships.

Well-known residents: Former Hillsborough County Commissioner, Tampa City Councilwoman and environmental champion Jan Platt grew up on West Giddens Avenue.

What's next? The South Seminole Heights Civic Association wants enhanced safety measures for pedestrians and bicyclists, and an even bigger, better Heights Unites Music & Arts Festival.

Resident's comment: "South Seminole Heights is a historic, diverse community that is welcoming, inclusive, and integrated. Represented by a strong civic association, the neighborhood has embraced the renaissance the area is undergoing, and is well on its way to recognition as Tampa's next great neighborhood!" - Stephen Lytle, president, South Seminole Heights Civic Association

South Seminole Heights Civic Association contact info: Visit the South Seminole Heights Civic Association or check out their Facebook page.

Register your neighborhood organization or civic association with Neighborhood Relations.

Photo Information: Photos courtesy of the South Seminole Heights Civic Association

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