Originally, Davis Islands was two smaller islands known as “Little Grassy” and “Big Grassy”, located at the mouth of the Hillsborough River. D. P. Davis expanded the islands in the 1920’s by dredging 89 million cubic feet of mud from the bottom of Tampa Bay. Davis purchased the land for $350,000 and then sold 306 of the original lots for $1,683,582. He had planned to build a resort community with three hotels, a nine-hole golf course, airport and swimming pool. In 1926, Davis headed to the French Riviera to explore the possibility of developing there. During the voyage he fell overboard and was never seen again.
Many of D. P. Davis’ plans for Davis Islands have come to fruition. On the islands you will find the exclusive Peter O. Knight Airport, Davis Islands Yacht Club, upscale shops and restaurants. It is also home to Tampa’s premier hospital, Tampa General. Marjorie Park is another beautiful place located on the islands. The park was named by Davis after his wife Marjorie Merritt Davis.
Surrounded by water and split by canals, the Davis Islands neighborhood is one of the most prestigious locations in the area. Davis Islands has slightly more of a tropical feel than South Tampa, and much of the architecture is more Mediterranean style. There are many winding streets that are all named for bodies of water in somewhat alphabetical order starting at the North end of the island.
Davis Islands is very close to downtown Tampa, and just over the bridge from the famous Bayshore Blvd. Many national sports figures have made this island their home and there are still many opportunities to build homes on and off the water.