Sponging Capital of the World
A multicultural tourist destination that attracts visitors from around the world
Commercial Sponging, Fishing and Shrimping still take place today on the Docks
The Sponge Docks working waterfront tourist district is one of Florida's most unique attractions located on Dodecanese Boulevard, a pleasant two-lane road paralleling the Anclote River. A large assortment of shops, restaurants, bakeries and other gathering places are also found here. With a rich mix of Greek heritage, culture and old-world charm, the Sponge Docks offers visitors an experience that is different from any other destination in the Tampa Bay area. The City of Tarpon Springs owns a 17,802 square foot parcel of land along the south bank of the Anclote River that is used as a public gathering space and a working dock for the local commercial Sponge Boats. The parcel has approximately 435 feet of frontage along Dodecanese Boulevard between Athens Street and just west of Hope Street and is used as a public gathering space for events such as the Night in the Islands.
The objective of the project is to revitalize and beautify the Sponge Docks area, to enhance its sense of place, and to solidify its status as an international tourist destination. This objective will be accomplished through the replacement and/or refurbishment of existing hardscape infrastructure, installation of new amenities, and enhancement of pedestrian linkages to serve visitors and residents alike. The City is initiating this community-based planning process to identify improvements to streets, sidewalks and public spaces that will provide greater economic opportunities for the area merchants, commercial boaters, and recreational boaters. The boundaries of the project area are generally on Dodecanese Boulevard from Pinellas Avenue to Roosevelt Boulevard.
The City has hired the design and engineering team of Hoffman Architects, P.A. / URS Corporation to work with the community to develop a conceptual design and then use this design to generate construction documents. Plans developed for this project will require input and approval from the City Commission.