The first mixed-use structure built from scratch in Gulfport, and the inaugural project by Culby Properties of St. Petersburg, broke ground on Monday, September 25, 2017 with the demolition of two apartment buildings built in 1937 located at the corner of Beach Boulevard and 29th Avenue S. The land is being cleared for the new construction. Richard Maltinos, Culby’s property manager, said the proposed plan for the three-story building is to have five commercial spaces on the first floor, five residential spaces on the second floor and office space earmarked for the company on the third.
The property company also owns the Art Village Courtyard commercial complex across the street from the mixed-use project location, the 2820 Beach Blvd. commercial building that houses Reef Dog Gifts and Salon M, and a four-unit residential apartment complex at 5320 29th Ave. S.
For a story published in the Gabber on July 6, 2016, Maltinos said, “We’re hoping we’re really going to make a change for the better in Gulfport. We’re hoping everybody is going to fall in behind it and really get involved and, maybe, change Beach [Boulevard] – the whole look of it, eventually.”
Joe Culbertson III, who grew up in Media, Pennsylvania, owns Culby Properties. He has a business administration and IT background. Soon after his dad retired in 2000 from owning his own business in the IT industry, they started investing in Gulfport, Florida real estate “because it reminded us of Media, Pennsylvania, but just 50 years before where it is today. Little houses are starting to get to the age where people can’t rehab them to be suitable for living conditions.”
Before the July 5, 2016 Gulfport city council meeting, then Vice Mayor Michael Fridovich said, “The addition will be nice for the area. A balance of residential and commercial space is needed to help Gulfport be a full-service city.”