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Tampa Explained- Is West Tampa A good Place to Live?

In this Article, we will go on a deep dive of West Tampa. What is Considered West Tampa? What’s in West Tampa? and is West Tampa a good place to live?

If you have any questions while reading, we are licensed Realtors in the state of Florida and would love to help you with any questions or concerns you may have!

Phone # (727) 677-5337



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Boundaries of west tampa-S boundary is hwy 60

-E boundary is the Hillsborough River

-W Dale Mabry Highway

-N boundary is considered to be Martin Luther King blvd (previously called Buffalo Ave) but we will expand it a little past highway 92 to cover a little more of the residential area

Some of the notable landmarks of this area include:

  1. The University of Tampa (Iconic Minaret style Architecture)
  2. Westshore (Industrial/Commercial area) This general area is the second biggest business district after downtown
  3. Airport- World Class airport that is clean, easy to navigate, and centrally located for all surrounding residents

A quick reminder of the criteria we will be using for analyzing the area.


  1. Proximity – is it close to the airport, the right school district, and personal necessities?
  2. Style (homes and areas) – stucco, craftsmen, beachy, city, suburban, beachy, rural
  3. Size (homes and areas) – 3+ million people live in the greater Tampa area, but each town has a feel in terms of population grouping.
  4. Cost – purchase price, rent, HOA, property tax, home insurance, flood insurance.

History Of West Tampa

West Tampa is known for its rich history and contribution to the city of Tampa.

West Tampa was a stand-alone town around the time Tampa became a town.

Established in 1892 by a Scottish Immigrant named Hugh Macfarlan. Macfarlan desired to expand the cigar industry into West Tampa.

The primary demographics were a mix of Cuban, Spanish, Italians. These three groups of people became known as the “Tampa Latins”.

Hugh built cigar factories because of the trained Cigar rollers that were already in Ybor City.

He extended the railcar system across the Hillsborough river so that the workers who were unwilling to ride the ferry over the river would be able to work for him. This caused the cigar boom of the 1800s. More hand-rolled cigars were being produced in Ybor City and West Tampa than in any other single location, naming this area Cigar City, USA.

West Tampa became an incorporated town in 1895 with a population of around 2,300 people. This made it the 2nd largest city in Florida at the time, second to Tampa.

West Tampa experienced crazy growth, which led to it being annexed by the city of Tampa into becoming a part of the larger city in 1925.

During this time West Tampa and Ybor City were very connected to each other having social clubs that overlapped and families that lived in both areas. It had a very cultural vibe that kept these two areas connected.
Ybor city shrank a lot after world war 2, but west Tampa didn’t recoil as much. Ybor City was more reliant on the handcrafted cigar jobs, but as manufacturing and industries became more mechanized, west Tampa became less reliant on cigar jobs.

In the 1950s, as the Casto revolution occurred, many Cubans fled to the West Tampa area because of its pre-existing Cuban and Latin rich population.

As time went on, this area was hit pretty hard. It’s been affected by poverty and urban decay, as is common in many US cities that rely on certain manufacturing jobs when the manufacturing industry goes quiet.

Until the early 2000s, West Tampa had been on a steady downhill path. Much of the urban decay was torn down and replaced with townhouses and newer buildings. Although some abandoned cigar factories remain, the city is slowly upgrading this area with additions such as a renewal of the library and waterpark.


A+- Centrally located to the entire metro area,

whether that be the beach, the main business districts, the airport, good food, sporting events, and shopping centers.

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Older and smaller craftsman-style houses.

Although West Tampa is slowly being renewed, this area has primarily older smaller craftsman-style homes. Having been an outsider not that long ago, it kind of looks like someone built a large deck and then built the house around the deck.


Large Feel

This area is connected to pretty much everything including downtown and some of the many heavily populated areas surrounding it. This area will still feel like you are in the heart of the city.


Many “Cheaper” options

Because of the age of this area, there are many more affordable low-cost options for rental, short-term rentals, and purchases. That being said, this area will continue to rise in price over the years as more is renovated and restored. West Tampa is a great area to have a property for investment purposes.

Overall, West Tampa is not a huge residential area. That being said, it has a rich history, many job opportunities, and hosts some of the area’s biggest events. Its central location and proximity to the whole metro area makes west Tampa an ideal spot for those looking for more cost-effective options, who may not mind being in the heart of the city, and desires the perfect central location. For Many people West Tampa is a good place to live!

Phone # (727) 677-5337


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