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Why do they call it that? Kenneth City | Community Spirit

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Why do they call it that? Kenneth City
Why do they call it that? Kenneth City

The "Kenneth" behind Kenneth City: he really exists, he's still around, and we found him!

Why do they call it Kenneth City?

When this tiny Pinellas County town was officially chartered in 1957, developer Sidney Colen took the town's entire population -- more than 450 people -- out to dinner.

At the Coliseum in St. Petersburg, Sidney's son Kenneth helped take the wraps off plans for a new community hall.

That community hall has since been replaced.

But that original young man is still around.

He's Kenneth Colen -- the "Kenneth" behind Kenneth City.

"It really doesn't phase me at all," he said, describing what it's like to be the namesake of a city.

"I still get a grin, driving on I-275 when I pass the exit, 'Kenneth City, next exit.'"

Kenneth will get a chuckle in the town, but he doesn't get any special treatment.

"Well, I know I can get a speeding ticket in Kenneth City. Believe me, they don't know who I am," he laughed.

From Merna Park to Leslee Heights to Kenneth City, Sidney Colen -- who passed away last year -- named his development projects after his children.

"I asked him about that," the younger Colen said. "And his response was that, 'I always name things after my children because I never wanted it to be second-rate.'"

"'And if I was ever tempted to cut a corner, I'd think about my children, I'd think about the name, and knew that I couldn't cut corners -- and wouldn't.'"

Sidney Colen's other baby was his On Top of the World retirement communities. He created the concept, with locations in Clearwater and Ocala.

Kenneth is now in charge of building and running those projects.

And Kenneth Colen says, ironically, having his name plastered across part of Pinellas County has helped teach him the value of teamwork.

Just like Sidney Colen needed his colleagues; his contractors; and, yes, his kids -- we all need each other to succeed.

Why do they call it that? Now you know.

If you want to ask "Why do they call it that?" send an e-mail with a name that has you curious to Grayson Kamm using this link.

We'll be featuring new places and stories each Wednesday on 10 News at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m..

Check out previous editions of "Why do they call it that?" plus links to photos and maps from Tampa Bay's past at our "Why do they call it that?" website: wtsp.com/callitthat.











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