David P. Davis planned Davis Islands as the quintessential 1920s Florida real estate development. He knew that, while Florida’s sunshine would bring people to the area, he needed first-class amenities to get them to buy into the Islands project. Always a grand thinker, Davis made big plans and bigger promises. The first of those plans was announced in late January 1924.
Many of the promises Davis and his company made were realized, such as a golf course, hotels, apartments, canals, and parks. One key aspect of the Islands plan, a business district, was also completed.
Billed by Davis as “congruous with the plan of establishing on Davis Islands an ideal residential city complete in itself,” the business section centered around the Bay Isle Building, located at 238 East Davis Boulevard and designed by noted Tampa architect M. Leo Elliot. Elliot followed Davis’ requirement that the building “harmonize architecturally with the surrounding Island beauty.” Completed in 1925, the Bay Isle Building is still the anchor of the Islands’ business community.