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Progress is Steady at Bay to Bay Building


The hammers, trucks and cranes indicate construction is swift on Main Street and 2nd Avenue North. And when Joe Faw, the co-owner of Bay to Bay Properties, LLC provides us his most recent status update he states assuredly, “the dust will settle,” this upcoming summer on the commercial project.

The site is soon to be the home to three stories of vibrant commercial action and a luxury apartment building in downtown Safety Harbor. Bay to Bay Properties will be establishing their more permanent and spacious office location in the top two stories of the building facing Main Street, moving from their current location on 2nd Street South. Also, set to open in the summer will be two restaurants on the first floor level, and an additional juice bar and eatery on the second floor.

The Tiki Tavern
The Tiki Tavern Island Sports Bar is slated to open in downtown Safety Harbor’s newly constructed Bay to Bay building this summer, 2019

Each dining concept varies from the next, and will provide Safety Harbor residents with never before seen options. The Tiki Tavern’s sign has been posted since the early stages of construction and they frequently post exciting messages on their social media page, touting itself as an “Island Sports Bar” announcing anything from building progress to holiday fun. While the Water Oak Grill, a new notion from experienced restaurateurs behind local favorites such as the Olde Bay Cafe & Dunedin Fish Market, appears to be quieter about their future menu of seafood and steaks. They will be located on the southeast corner, closest to 2nd Avenue North.

The third, and most recently announced establishment is karma juice bar and eatery. They will be located on the second floor, but separate from the Bay to Bay offices and still conveniently accessible through a stairwell, an elevator and Main Street entrances.

This will be the third location for karma, as they already have two others in downtown Clearwater and in St. Petersburg. Based on their current locations’ offerings, their fare seems fresh, light and full of health-conscious options.

Behind the commercial property will stand the 24 well-appointed apartments, each one leased and managed by local Realtor, Donna Nettestad from the Remax/Realtec group. Most of the floor plans have two beds and two baths, with a sprinkle of one bed, one bath options, as well. All of the apartments will have the fine modern finishings one would expect when living in a downtown setting; such as stainless steel appliances, chrome plumbing fixtures, granite countertops and solid wood cabinets in white. They are currently advertised in the Coming Soon section on Zillow.com and boast they will allow the occupant a lifestyle where one can just “close the door and go without having to worry about the upkeep and maintenance”. Nettestad and her associates are currently setting appointments with prospective residents to discuss further details and believe tenants should expect an early August move in date.

24 luxury apartment homes developed by Bay to Bay Properties in downtown Safety Harbor scheduled for occupancy in summer 2019

“Right now there is a good vibrancy associated with downtown in general, and this is only going to add to it,” Faw states. “We’re looking forward to letting the dust settle and seeing the finished product.” Sounds like a great plan, Mr. Faw, thank you for keeping us posted!


  1. Ah yes… the Gentrification of Safety Harbor.
    $2,400 (RENTAL) –
    Bedrooms: 2
    Bathrooms: 2
    Sq. Ft.: 1,024
    I’ve lived here for 30 years, and sometimes I just want to cry when I see what has happened, and what has been built. First the corner across from The Spa… Because everyone needs a Starbucks and a Bar fly bar, ice cream parlor and pizza. Totally ruined the view with that building, Dumbest thing ever.
    Now lets put an apartment building up, because we need more people here, and there’s always plenty of parking, and take away a little more of the quaint vibe that was our awesome little Safety Harbor. You are ruining Safety Harbor!

    $2,400 (RENTAL)
    Bedrooms: 2
    Bathrooms: 2
    Sq. Ft.: 1,024

    • So no coffee shops, bars, dessert shops, or pizza parlors…I’m pretty sure you just wiped out half of Main Street.

    • Robert, Safety Harbor is not ruined just because it doesn’t look like it did when you moved here 30 years ago. I moved here 15 years ago and the city is much more attractive, quaint, and lively than it was back then. We used to have many not very quaint dilapidated homes and vacant buildings in our downtown area. Most of our old homes now have been renovated, our Main Street buildings are becoming occupied, and we have even added four new public parks during the last decade.

      We have a Starbucks, a Bar fly Restaurant, an ice cream parlor and pizza places on Main Street because this is what the people want. Our property values and rental rates have never been higher because of Safety Harbor’s attractiveness as a place to live, play, and work. Safety Harbor has certainly changed a lot during the past 30 years and it will continue to change and improve because we live in a dynamic, historic, waterfront city in a perfect location on Old Tampa Bay.

  2. My husband and I use to drive from Tampa to have dinner. Not anymore. Too hard to find a parking spot on the weekends. Why should we have to pay for Uber just to have dinner? Too many other places to go where we can park with no problem.

    • It may sometimes be a little harder to find parking in our downtown than at a strip mall restaurant, but consider all of the advantages of having your dinner in our beautiful downtown. After enjoying your dinner, you can casually stroll down our lively Main Street, you can see our many historic homes, our beautiful gazebo, admire the oldest and grandest oak tree in Pinellas County, check out our historic waterfront Spa, and walk to the end of our beautiful pier on Old Tampa Bay and see manatees and dolphins playing in the water. This is something special you miss out on when you choose to have dinner at a restaurant whose main advantage is having a large asphalt parking lot with plenty of empty parking spaces.

    • Yes, what venom in the town. I am happy we skipped our normal April/May trip for a Botswana safari and The Seychelles. Much happier in Praslin.

    • On one of the many empty parking spaces on Main St, 1st Ave, public parking by the Spa, at the library etc. etc.

  3. I’m with Matt in that a vibrant, attractive downtown is the goal. Building more parking is counter to that goal. There is only so much land area in downtown and improved land values (i.e., buildings) there pay for many of the things the community needs and desires. Why would a community want to convert buildings or green space to pavement for car parking knowing that it would yield little or no taxable value to city coffers and be a negative for the environment. We are fortunate to live in a city where walking and biking to downtown is largely possible and enjoyable. For those who drive, parking is readily available most hours of the day and days of the year. Well-organized events will offer shuttles or other solutions to their patrons. Uber or Lyft is another low-cost way for individuals to access downtown without shifting the considerable land/construction costs of car parking to housing costs and building rents, which affects how much we pay for housing, goods, and services. Sure, structured parking is a more efficient use of land but extremely expensive without critical mass and a pricing structure that encompasses street parking and public lots. One could say there is a high cost to free, abundant parking, especially in a tiny downtown.

  4. I’ve lived here 5 years. Love it here. Things are way better off now then they were then. If I want to go from my house to the “concrete jungle” I walk 15 minutes there and 15 minutes back. In my first home in Safety Harbor I rode my bike 15 minutes there and back. That was my solution to parking issues then and now. I guess I’d have a downtown that is lively and attracts people then to be able to choose which of 100 open spots I’d like to park my car in. There was a time when putting sidewalks on the water front park and “ruining” the passive green space was seen as a bridge too far. Now the space is actually used.

    • Has anyone actually counted the free and not restricted parking spaces in the downtown area with the restaurants and shops? Parking has become hard to fine especially on rainy days. The available spaces at Bayshore and Main are disappearing and the additional people either working or visiting the new buildings will need parking. Sorry, but the charm will quickly disappear without additional parking for the additional people visiting. Spent over 10 minutes driving around on a rainy night trying to pick up pizza.We have been snow birds for over 20 years and hope we can continue to bring our friends to see the small town that we brag about because it has been so easy to stop in and visit. Walking to town is not an option to us senior citizens with money to spend. We don’t use Uber or Lyft and why should we have to.

  5. Wow so much for that small town feel anymore… Looks like all our little hidden city is worried about is money

    • What a low effort, spammy post. I wouldn’t put my name on that either. The post shows you operate on a very low level of complexity.

  6. I agree where is parking going to be? Already hard to find a spot let alone get your car sideswiped if parked on a side street. That dirt lot could have been a much nicer parking area if Mayor would have done it. The great charm of our little town is going a way.

    • I have lived in Safety Harbor for 15 years and I go downtown quite frequently. Never once was I unable to find parking within a few blocks of Main Street unless there was a Third Friday or another major downtown event. On a normal day, parking is not a problem unless you define a problem as not being able to park immediately in front of the place you want to visit. It appears that we are so used to visiting big box store with endless parking lots that we now expect to have such expansive parking wherever we go. Safety Harbor has an old historic downtown and some walking will probably be required. Everyone also needs to consider not bringing your car downtown every time you visit. You can also use your bike or you can Uber to get there.

  7. We may be alone in this, but we are finding all these new massive buildings are killing the Safety Harbor vibe we have come to love, not to mention all the parking. It was a sweet, charming town, but now is being turned into a towering concrete jungle. Sad. 🙁

    • Other than the new condo building, what “new massive buildings” are you talking about? Also, where is this “concrete jungle” that you are talking about? Safety Harbor has gone more than a decade with only two new projects being built downtown – the new condo building and Bay to Bay’s new project. When I moved to here many years ago, Safety Harbor had many not very charming, dilapidated buildings throughout the downtown area. The city now is more beautiful and charming than it has ever been. Realtors keep coming to my door asking me if I want to sell my house. The last realtor told me that everybody she talks to now wants to live in either Safety Harbor or Dunedin. This is because both cities are getting a makeover and are creating an exciting and vibrant downtown area that people want to live in and want to visit.

    • I would agree. The fireworks will never be the same without the big lawn and open field. It’s not just Safety Harbor, it’s everywhere; build more and utilize every square inch of land without regard to what it’s doing to population growth and over-stressed traffic flows. It seems money is the name of the game and as long as government keeps getting more dollars and real estate keeps being more profitable, who cares about population growth and over crowded places with no parking. Someone will build a parking garage so more money can be had for uses we will likely never know about.

  8. Not only is this the first new building on Main Street in 10 years , as a bonus it is spectacularly well designed and constructed by a builder who grew up in our community and continues to make Safety Harbor home.
    Yet, instead of celebrating a giant step toward a vibrant downtown, we have commissioners Nancy Bessie and Andy Zodrow continually bad-mouthing the project and now working to pass restrictions that would prevent similar development in the future
    So frustrating

    • There are no guaranteed parking spaces for this project. Yes, you will be paying top dollar for an apartment that you might not be able to find parking for each evening when you come home…great thinking from our great mayor.

  9. I am so thankful every single day in Safety Harbor that Mayor Joe serves. If Janet Hooper had won that year, we’d all still be staring at a dirt lot….just like the Firmenich dirt lot that Nancy Besore is so proud to stand on as a shining example of her ‘leadership.’

    If I had known that craziness that goes on at the local level when I first got here, I would have been WAY more active during that election and would’ve voted too.

    • Thank you Aditya, And Nancy Besore still congratulates herself for keeping the Ferminich site a derelict piece of property. It has been abandoned for years and looks terrible. It’s taken 10 years, yes 10 years to get a new building on Main Street. It will probably take another ten years to get the Ferminich property developed with Nancy Besore as Commissioner. She and her fan base try to stop anything from moving forward. Ugh!

  10. This Bay to Bay project on the second block of Main Street, with an attractive commercial building on Main Street and nice looking luxury apartments behind it, is exactly what our downtown has needed for a long time. Having had an ugly vacant dirt lot across the street from the Chamber of Commerce for a decade has been a great embarrassment for Safety Harbor. Finally, we are seeing nicely designed buildings with great architectural features filling in this important space on Main Street. These designs will fit in well with the historic look of Safety Harbor.

    It will be an important boost to Safety Harbor to have Bay to Bay bring its business headquarters to Main Street. This will raise the profile of our Main Street and bring many people downtown to support our local businesses. The luxury apartments will also allow more people to live downtown and help ensure a lively and vibrant downtown that can make all of our downtown businesses a success. Safety Harbor is looking better every day and this Bay to Bay project will bring back the vibrancy to this part of Main Street that has been missing for more than a decade.

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