Let's Talk with Cheryl Hollon

Growing By Leaps and Bounds

August 17, 2023

My hometown is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, our most popular local bird at this moment is the construction crane. At least eight, maybe more, high-rise developments are going up within downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s exciting and alarming to see so much change so quickly.

I’m not complaining. The adage is that if you’re not expanding as a city, you are contracting. This is the view I have outside my apartment balcony. It’s an 18-story luxurious condo building with fabulous amenities and ground-floor retail space. I’m hoping for a coffee shop – a coffee shop with pastries.

In the middle of Central Avenue in the 400 block, they’re constructing a 46-story behemoth that will be the tallest building in the city. My 100-year-old favorite co-working building sits just across the street from the site, and the noise is pretty distracting. I had to move to my second favorite co-working space. From experience, I know that when they get to about the eighth floor, the sound also rises out of earshot. I’m waiting for that chance.

Finally, here’s the view from my current co-working space, where I do most of my writing. It’s another 18-story apartment building to serve the folks that want to live in the middle of the night scene in the area.

I don’t mind. Okay, I mind a bit because I can’t walk from one end of town to another without crisscrossing Central Avenue several times. I figure I have at least another year of this. I think it will be worth it, but I worry.

What is happening in your town that causes you to feel uneasy?


The Paint & Shine Mysteries are set in the Daniel Boone National Forest. My parents were born and raised in the area, and now they rest in peace in the JJ Adams Family Cemetery in Wolfe County, Kentucky. The characters spend considerable time preparing traditional southern meals and creating moonshine cocktails. Please consider buying locally. Independent bookstores need your help.

Check out the 3-book series on Amazon: CLICK HERE

Don’t forget to enter our Booklover’s Bench contest. We’re collecting entries for TWO free books (authors Terry Ambrose and Lois Winston) to one lucky winner. It runs from August 1-22. CLICK TO ENTER 

Want to know more about author Cheryl Hollon? VISIT HER WEBSITE

Posted in Let's Talk, with Cheryl Hollon • Tags: , , , , |  21 Comments


21 thoughts on “Growing By Leaps and Bounds

  1. For us, it is the sale of buildings which are being refurbished for other uses downtown. Their heights are being preserved in order to utilize historic tax credits. The real expansion is in the rent-a-house market. What would have been home developments are squeezing small single family homes into the acreage and renting them with promised lawn service, internet access, club houses, pools, and exercise rooms included in the rental.

    1. Hi Debra, That’s a new one for me. We have a lot of vacation rentals, of course. Apartment buildings are beginning to take advantage as a way to keep income flowing.

    2. Debra, really looking forward to reading your new release!
      I wonder how those new developments affect long-time residents? St Pete has turned into almost impossible for “normal” people to rent economically.
      Good luck with your book! If it’s a good as the others I’ve read, I;m in for a treat.

  2. I’m in Port Charlotte, FL and the Sun Seeker Resort is getting ready to open in the fall. I’m afraid of all the extra traffic on Rt 41. It’s already busy now add a 8 story resort right on the Peace River and by the bridge to get to Punta Gorda and it’s going to get bogged down. I do want to some time check out the shops and restaurants.

    1. I hope your fears are unrealized. Tourists don’t drive much once they check in to their hotel. There aren’t many parking spots, and construction makes the streets a nightmare.

    2. Most of my novels are set in St. Pete. I lived there for too many years to admit to, and left after selling my home in the central area late last year. I moved — a long-dreamed of leap – to a small town in southern France. No high rises, no bad bread, no hurricanes, no rush hour and (delete if you want) no disgusting politics. Instead, in the middle of the largest wine producing area in the world, nice neighbors, lots of owner-run shops, fabulous bread (and cheese, and a weekly fresh market on the main street), arts and music and theatre galore, plus a leisurely way of life and a fairly good-sized community of English speakers. All in all, a wonderful leap I wish I’d done a decade ago! I still write 4 to 6 hours a day but the urge to kill off characters seems to be fading…I wonder why? One of these days I may have to do romcoms instead of suspense/romance/thrillers!

  3. Good Morning from Crazy California.
    Our city in El Cajon is getting very busy with homeless camps, showing up in different places. It is a unsettling problem, I am sure for them as well as us. The different city councils are trying to get it under control. Some of it attributes to the lack of compliance by the homeless. Some do not want to go to the shelters and follow the rules. A predicament for sure.
    On a happier and lighter note, I love this blog! You guys are an inspiration to us all.

    1. Hi Tracey, I’m delighted that you follow our blog. Here in St. Pete, we’re struggling with the homeless as well. We have a lot of support services in the city, but rule breakers are the big issue here, too.

      1. I’ve wondered, from time to time, how long I could sleep in my car, surrounded by whatever of my precious “belongings” I’d managed to cram into it. If, of course, I had a car. I have led a fortunate life and catastrophes didn’t befall me: no sick spouse, no job loss, no flipping burgers for under minimum wage. I’ve had times I worried about the bottom line of my checking account, but I was never frantic at the thought of having to pay a utility bill or replace tires or get my kids food or clothing. I’ve never had to decide: insulin or my kids have shoes? rent or we buy bread and beans? So…I’ll walk a mile in their worn-out shoes – or sleep a week in their stifling car or tent or park bench – before I make any further comments.

  4. I agree with Tracey A., California is Crazy! I’m in the northern part of the San Diego area and for us, we’ve got homes and condos cropping up in all of what was once open space. The traffic here just keeps getting worse.

    1. Hi Terry, Traffic is an absolute mess right now, since construction means convoys of cement trucks, delivery of cinder block, rebar, and everything else needed for a high-rise. Most of the locals are avoiding the area completely.

  5. I’m now living in a suburb of Nashville. Construction is booming. Everywhere you look farms are being turned into housing developments, mixed use, and office parks. Traffic is already a nightmare and getting worse by the day because roads meant for rural traffic are now clogged nearly 24/7 with commuters and shoppers. Every time I’m stuck in traffic, I think about how my son and DIL said there’s no traffic in Nashville when they moved down here 3 years ago. Frankly, I think the traffic is worse here than it is in the NY Metro area!

    1. Hi Lois, We’re also getting more traffic, but we’re receiving help from public transportation. We have the Cross Bay Ferry and a new Express Bus from downtown to the beaches. It’s a good start and we take advantage whenever we can.

  6. We have lots of road construction in the Orlando area. I-4, 429 and 436 all seem to have some sort of upheavals. I-4 is getting better but now 429 has been a mess for a while.

  7. Ugh, this is a sore spot with me. We moved out to the boonies 15 years ago, where each homestead was a minimum 1.25 acres. Over time, developers have managed to flout those rules, with every square inch of land in the area now in the process of being developed. We even had a bogus new “town” spring up overnight a few years back. Thousands more people are on the road than ever before but no additional infrastructure was put in place to support all this. The problem…the nearby rich folks don’t want us great unwashed driving past their fancy enclave so they manage to “convince” county officials to kill various road projects on a regular basis. On the bright side, coyotes, wild pigs, bobcats, gators, and vultures still cause havoc even in the upscale areas. 🙂

  8. Got sidetracked with a conference this past weekend. While I am never excited about big buildings which block sun and wind, I love watching construction equipment. It seems to be an “art” to handling the machinery just right.

  9. For me, it is a lot of shootings and deaths of young people. These teens will not never be able to see a future. It is sad.

  10. We are blessed to have empty lots around us. We have had five buildings taken down over the last few years. It makes it quiet. We also enjoy watching the stray cats and kitten come to eat and hang out in your yard. God bless you.

We love to hear from you! Leave a Reply