Florida’s Crossroads – Why Mulberry, FL is the New Place to Be

Posted: February 17, 2023 | Categories: Communities | News | Communities>Bridgeport Lakes
By Highland Homes

Updated February 9, 2024

Mulberry, FL

Welcome to Mulberry, Florida, a quaint Florida town experiencing steady growth and development while still holding on to its small-town charm! With its rich history, central location close to Tampa and Lakeland, affordable cost of living, and attainable new homes near Lakeland, this city is primed for amazing growth in the coming years.

With all the growth, Mulberry officials and residents remain committed to preserving the aspects that make it a great place to call home. The high quality of life offered here will continue with the creation of a centralized downtown area with a variety of dining and entertainment options for residents to enjoy. Add in the new business developments, industrial growth and real estate opportunities, and Mulberry is – quite literally – prime real estate!

Learn more about the history of Mulberry, Florida and the exciting growth that’s occurring here!

History of Mulberry, FL

The city of Mulberry has a rich history, dating back to the late 1800s when phosphate mining began in the area. A railroad ran through the heart of this Central Florida region and it soon became a hub for the phosphate operations, spurring the mining boom town of Mulberry. Officially incorporated in 1901, the city has consistently thrived since that time thanks to strong leadership and steady growth.

Mulberry, FL Train Depot

Today, Mulberry is known for its beautiful parks, recreational opportunities, and friendly community. The city’s population currently stands at approximately 4,700 residents – an increase of almost 25% over the past 5 years, illustrating the area’s steady and strong growth.

Development in Mulberry, FL

The Depot 303 rendering - Courtesy of Straughn Trout Architects
The Depot 303 in Mulberry - Courtesy of Straughn Trout Architects

One of the most exciting developments coming to Mulberry is a new food hall, The Depot 303, which is set to open in April of 2024. Paying homage to Mulberry's railroad history and modeled after the success of The Joinery in Lakeland, this 14,000 square foot food hall will be located in a revitalized downtown area and designed with industrial and railroad-themed elements. The Depot 303 has space for seven unique food vendors, a bar, a commercial kitchen, and indoor and outdoor seating for more than 250 people.

Mulberry, FL's Gem Theater
Photo courtesy of facebook.com/GEMTheaterMulberry

Just one block away, another recent addition to the city that’s already open for enjoyment is the Gem Theater. Recently renovated, this space is the ideal venue for live music, film screenings, and performances bringing art and culture to our town! A small sampling of recent events include their popular Dinner and a Movie, with showings of Gladiator and Mamma Mia, a live on stage adaptation of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and a film screening and Q&A with actor Jason London.

Mulberry is also set to see even more growth with the completion of the Municipal Hall Complex, which is slated to begin construction in 2024. The complex will house the city’s administrative offices and provide a modern, centralized location for many of the city’s services, including City Hall, a civic center, cultural center/museum, and a Polk County sheriff’s substation.

In addition, two new industrial parks have been completed, providing new job opportunities for residents. The companies are generally focused on the construction industry, concrete, and pipe fabricating. Just a small sampling of the companies now calling Mulberry home include Land O’Lakes, Fuse Fabrication, EnviroServe, Family Fence Company of Polk, and Riverhawk Industrial Supply.

And we can’t mention Mulberry and businesses without mentioning the W.S. Badcock Corporation, or as you may know it, Badcock Furniture, which was founded here all the way back in 1904 and its corporate headquarters remain in Mulberry today.

Ease of Living in Mulberry, FL

According to recent data from BestPlaces.net, the cost of living in Mulberry, Florida is lower than in many other cities in our state. The overall cost of living score in Mulberry is 91.6, which means it's 8.4% cheaper than the national average (which posts a score of 100), significantly lower than the overall Florida state cost of living score of 103.1, and more affordable than other nearby cities like Tampa (score of 104.2)

What makes Mulberry an affordable place to live? Lower housing costs and transportation/commuting expenses are the largest factors, with healthcare and miscellaneous expenses such as dining and entertainment also contributing to its affordability.

lake in Mulberry, FL

We mentioned commuting - A convenient location with major roadways nearby not only saves on gas money, but makes life easier. Whether you want to head to the big-city amenities or Gulf Coast beaches near Tampa, or commute to nearby Lakeland or Tampa for work, it’s a breeze thanks to the location. Our new homes for sale in Mulberry are just:

  • One mile north of SR-60
  • 6 miles from the Polk Parkway
  • 12 miles from I-4

These routes allow you to access nearby cities with just a short drive:

  • Bartow – 8.5 miles
  • Downtown Lakeland – 9.6 miles
  • Brandon – 20 miles
  • Downtown Tampa – 35 miles

Real Estate in Mulberry, FL

New homes for sale in Mulberry at Bridgeport Lakes

Local businesses and government aren’t the only things growing in Mulberry – The real estate market is growing, too! H

ighland Homes is proud to contribute to that growth and development with Bridgeport Lakes, currently the largest neighborhood in the city. Located adjacent to Loyce E. Harpe Park and Se7en Wetlands Park, Bridgeport Lakes is considered by locals to be the “Ultimate Outdoor Community” with access to the outdoor amenities found within these parks, as well as those within the community itself, including open space, wetlands conservation, and sparkling lakes.

Highland Homes' Bridgeport Lakes Phase 3 aerial

With its controlled and well-planned growth, the city of Mulberry, Florida is truly invested in its future. With new businesses, development, and growth in the city, real estate values are expected to increase, making homeownership here a wise investment. Learn more about living in Mulberry by calling or emailing our Mulberry New Home Specialists today!

Tags: Lakeland Mulberry Bridgeport Lakes Single-family homes Open space Lakes Highway 60 I-4 Real estate market