300-399 Corey Ave Saint Petersburg, FL 33706
"Corey Ave is about 3 miles north of the “Inn On The Beach” Come and enjoy the great stores, specialty shops, our theater, the wonderful restaurants, art galleries, clothing stores, imaginative gift shops, craft and hobby shopping, beachwear shops, and more."
Our History: The possibility of making a business district on Corey Avenue was first conceived in 1936. At that time the area between the present site of the Beach Theater and the end of the Corey Causeway was mangrove swamp. It occurred to The Upham Company, who were sales agents for the International Realty Associates and the First National Bank of Tampa, owners of the property, that an attractive approach to the beaches as well as a desirable business section could be developed by improving Corey Avenue. As sales agents, The Upham Company attempted to get the owners to make such an improvement by filling the swamp and paving the road, believing that this would not only be profitable in itself but would also enhance the value of surrounding lots. Both owners turned down the proposition. Being convinced of the merit of this project, the Upham Company decided to do it for their own account. Subsequently they bought the lots fronting on Corey Avenue, filled the swamp and paved the street.
The opening of Corey Avenue and its official dedication took place on Saturday afternoon, February 13, 1937 with a mass celebration and motorcade. Speeches were made by Mayor Smith of St. Petersburg, Mayor Deacon of Pass-a-Grille, heads of both the Gulf Beach and St. Petersburg Chambers of Commerce, Mrs. Jack Corey for whose husband the causeway is named and Mrs. William L. Edison, daughter-in-law of the famous inventor.
The next step was to get stores established. The first building was built by The Upham Company on the northeast corner of Corey Avenue and Blind Pass Road. This Building was finished in May 1937 and immediately occupied. Joe Eagan and Harry Schuster were two of the original tenants. The next building was the store block across from the Theater. It was built by the Gulf Beach News under the direction of Jack Deacon. When Jack sold his interest in the Gulf Beach News to George Hardy, He retained the store building. Later this was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Everett and again sold to Estate Holdings, Inc.
Baynard's Funeral Chapel was completed in the fall of 1937 as was also the Indian Rocks Fruit Company building which is now the Triangle. About this same time the Sun Down Club was completed and the Landers rebuilt their Texaco station. Jack Miller improved his two corners on 75th Avenue. The present Gulf Beach News Building was built by George Hardy in the fall of 1939. The Gables building was built by Mr. Bourget in January of 1942.
Corey Avenue has been marking time since Pearl Harbor. However, three properties have changed hands in the last few months and activity is again brewing, A tremendous post war expansion is anticipated. Already there have been inquiries for locations for a men's clothing shop, plumbing shop, a hardware store and a restaurant.