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If you take a drive through Jungle Prada located along Park Street, don’t be surprised to see Peacocks, Peafowls, and Peahens. What’s a Peafowl and Peahen? That’s the female and child versions of a Peacock. It’s funny the things you learn when you do a little exploring. I learned that fact from David Anderson when I went on his tour of Jungle Prada with Discover Florida Tours.
David and his wife are featured in the Living Local series below and we’ll be exploring more of what we learned from them in the history part of our Top 8 Reasons.
This video is absolutely worth the watch, and we believe that once you see it and read our article you’ll see the value of living in Jungle Prada!
8. Rich History
Most areas in St Pete have a bit of history but few go back as far and long as Jungle Prada. Through my own research, I realized I was barely scratching the surface on all of the great stories and events that took place in this area.
This is when I ran across Discover Florida Tours! I signed up for the Jungle Prada tour which I would highly recommend even if you are just visiting the area. My guide, David Anderson gave my wife and I a tour of his family estate and took us on a journey through the rich history of Pinellas County and Jungle Prada.
I certainly couldn’t do justice to the knowledge that David was able to provide but I do want to give you some background on what I think were some of the most important points if you love history.
Let’s start with European Civilization coming into contact with the natives in the Jungle Prada area in 1528. A Spanish explorer named Pánfilo de Narváez set out on an exploration that would end up being full of peril, death, and destruction. Of 5 ships and 600 men, at the end only 4 survived the expedition. Narváez did not make it and a man by the name of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (try saying that fast 5 times) ended up becoming the main character in this story.
What went wrong for the Spanish adventurers? From a hurricane and storms, diseases, native attacks, and more… a series of missteps accounted to much of the destruction of the original crew. Cabeza de Vaca tells his account of their experience in a narrative that was published in 1542. Surprisingly he survived all of this and went on a journey from the Jungle Prada area all the way to the Pacific Ocean out of necessity.
The native tribe of the Jungle Prada area known as the Tocabaga Indians were the ones that met the Spanish Explorers. Many of them were wiped out by violence and disease through the arrival of the Europeans. One of their site grounds can be found on the Anderson Estate.
Fast forward to 1925 and you’ll find where the name Jungle Prada came from. A developer by the name of H. Walter Fuller had a big impact on the development of Pinellas County. Walter owned a large amount of land in the area and helped establish a road and trolley that extended from 9th street and Central Avenue to Boca Ciega Bay where Jungle Prada is.
H. Walter Fuller’s son Walter P. Fuller played an even bigger role owning 3,200 acres of land in St Petersburg and 2,500 in Central Pinellas building over a 1000 homes. He constructed the Jungle Hotel which is now Admiral Farragut Academy. With a radio station and airport being part of the hotel it drew the attention of crime bosses such as Al Capone during the time of Prohibition. The Jungle Prada shopping complex built in 1923 is where the name of the neighborhood came from. A speakeasy night club known as the GangPlank in this complex was even rumored to be partially owned by Al Capone.
If you travel around St Pete you’ll discover that Babe Ruth had a strong presence in the area owning property and doing his Spring training here. It is even rumored that Babe Ruth was married at the GangPlank now known as Jungle Prada Tavern.
As mentioned earlier in the article, this synopsis barely scratches the surface of the rich history this area has had over the years. If you love homes with character and want to live in a historical area, you may want to consider owning a home here which leads us to our next reason.
7. Homes With Character
From Spanish Style Mediterranean classic homes, English Tudor revivals, Craftsman bungalows, and more… it’s clear from the moment you enter Jungle Prada that the neighborhood packs a lot of style.
You will find homes built as old as the 1920s and even some that are newer construction. The majority of homes were built in the 1950s and 1960s when there was a boom in construction in Pinellas County. Park Street divides the neighborhood with one side composed of waterfront gated Mansions, Jungle Prada Tavern, and historical sites. The other side features the majority of the homes in neighborhoods surrounded with lush foliage and Admiral Farragut Academy.
It’s easy to see how Jungle Prada can be passed by. A few minutes drive and you are in and out of the neighborhood boundaries. The true fun begins when you drive through the streets opposite of the water such as Country Club Road, Bogie Avenue, Jungle Avenue, and Elbow Lane. When I first did this I truly appreciated the layout of the neighborhood a lot more. As a realtor that’s used to driving in neighborhoods where every home looks the same, I place more value in areas that offer variety.
As of 2019, home prices can range from just under $200,000 to $3,500,000 in this neighborhood. One thing all residents share is the prime location of being close to the beaches which we’ll go over in the next top reason.
6. Close To Beaches
The picture above is a shot of Boca Ciega Bay and the area in this photo can be accessed just beyond the Jungle Prada Tavern. If you are new to the area, you’ll quickly realize why so many people are moving here. We are surrounded by beautiful pockets of water and it’s hard not to fall in love with wanting to live this lifestyle full-time.
Boca Ciega Bay in this area is the body of water that separates the beach from the mainland. The homes across the water in this picture are located on what some refer to as the finger islands of the beach. Because the names of our beaches along Gulf Boulevard change so frequently, depending on the direction you look, you may be viewing Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, or St Pete Beach. The St Pete Beach area is the easiest to access south along Pasadena Avenue. With easy beach access, you can enjoy the convenience of the beach without having to pay beach prices for homes.
St Pete Beach (the closest beach to Jungle Prada) is a lot of fun to visit especially if you are lucky enough to live here year-round. There’s lots of interesting bars and restaurants and just about any night of the week you’ll find an event going on. The beaches aren’t the only spot for entertainment as Jungle Prada is in a great location with many nearby amenities.
5. Lots Of Nearby Amenities
Luckily to experience the Jungle in Jungle Prada you don’t have to be in the middle of nowhere. The neighborhood is about a 5-10 minute drive from Tyrone Square Mall which is a huge indoor mall with over a million square feet of retail space. The indoor mall offers all the shopping conveniences you would need, and even if that’s not enough for you, there’s plenty of malls in the surrounding areas.
I know you’ll be excited to hear that Jungle Prada is close to a Publix! That’s right… us Floridians are big here on our Publix stores and if there’s not a Publix built every 2 miles then we’ve got a major crisis on our hands! I’m still waiting for them to build a Publix across from a Publix, that’s when I’ll know we’ve entered full Publix-mania.
You’re probably thinking… Ryan is there anything else I really need? And I would say no… but wait, there’s more….
There’s a really great park around the corner called Azalea Park. It has tennis courts, soccer and football fields, basketball courts, picnic shelters, and best of all… restrooms! If you have an explorer’s heart you’ll really love this next reason to move to Jungle Prada.
4. You Are Close To Downtown St Pete
You can’t live in St Petersburg without visiting Downtown St Pete. One of the biggest driving forces of the growth of St Pete is the continued development of downtown.
You are about a 15 minute drive from the outskirts of downtown which makes it easy to have a night out if you want to Uber or take a taxi. From Beach Drive to Grand Central District, the downtown area is packed with culture.
One of my favorite spots to check out is the Canopy Rooftop Bar atop the Birchwood Hotel. I took the picture above from there and it’s one of the best spots to take in downtown St Pete.
3. We Have Peacocks
Have you ever seen a Peacock crossing sign? You will if you drive through Jungle Prada. Currently there’s a group of anywhere between 50-70 Peacocks that live in the Jungle Prada area. Many of them congregate on the Anderson family estate but there’s no telling where you’ll catch a sighting of them in the neighborhood.
These beautiful birds really add to the experience of being in nature. There are other areas in Pinellas County where peacocks can be seen roaming neighborhoods but the Jungle Prada area is the most notable and recognized.
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2. Jungle Prada Tavern
One of the things that can make a neighborhood a true neighborhood is to have a local gathering spot for residents to visit and catchup. Jungle Prada Tavern is this spot for the Jungle Prada neighborhood and it has a very interesting history.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the Jungle Prada Tavern used to be known as the Gangplank, a speakeasy Nightclub that is rumored to be visited by the likes of Al Capone and Babe Ruth.
Even if you aren’t interested in the history of the establishment, it’s a great place to be able to walk to, grab a bite to eat and go look out at the water.
1. The Atmosphere
From winding brick streets, oak canopy, gorgeous landscapes and a variety of tropical plants, your neighborhood can truly be an escape from the stresses of the world as people step outside their homes and return to nature.
We get asked all the time for our recommendations on neighborhoods. One of the reasons we write about these neighborhoods is to help give people more perspective so they can find the perfect match for themselves. The beauty of an area like Jungle Prada is it has so much to offer. We feel confident in recommending it as a great place to live because we could see ourselves living here.
I hope you found this article resourceful and if you are looking to be setup on a search for homes in this neighborhood, just reach out. I took so many shots of the area, I’m going to put a few of them below so you can gather more on what the neighborhood looks like. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org