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Discover Jacksonville 2017


COMMUNITIES Stretching only about 25 blocks from north to south, Atlantic Beach is a closed-end community located right on the water. (Bruce Lipsky/Florida Times-Union) The community is still considered somewhat rural, offering a laid-back lifestyle, larger home lots and a chance to commune with nature. Potential buyers have numerous choices, from manufactured housing to million-dollar properties. The average home price throughout Middleburg is $128,200. Orange Park A town with its own flavor The town of Orange Park stretches along the western bank of the St. Johns River, the nation’s longest north-flowing river and Florida’s largest. Once known as Laurel Grove after the name of the old Kingsley Plantation, the area was incorporated into Clay County in 1877. Orange groves, a valuable commodity planted by developers from Massachusetts, originally enticed many new residents to the area. The groves died out in harsh freezes in the mid-1890s, but a strong community flourishes in their place. Orange Park is now Clay County’s largest city, with about 8,570 residents. Orange Park sits on a high and dry area featuring beautiful oak trees and splendid vistas along the St. Johns River. Convenient to Interstates 10, 95 and 295, 32 | 2017 DISCOVER JACKSONVILLE many residents work elsewhere and raise their families in this community. Wells Road has been dubbed “Restaurant Row” for all of its dining options. Jacksonville International Airport, downtown Jacksonville and the beaches are all within a 45-minute drive. Orange Park also boasts a nine-mile jogging and mountain biking trail that winds parallel with U.S. Highway 17 and a 1.5-mile concrete river walk along the St. Johns River. The Orange Park Kennel Club (now known as bestbet Orange Park) has been in the area since the 1930s. Orange Park also has a reasonable tax base and the average home value is $158,000. OakLeaf Plantation Bi-county hometown OakLeaf is really a giant subdivision, but it is somewhat unique in that it includes parts of Clay and Duval counties. Most of the 6,400-acre property is in Clay, however, southwest of Jacksonville and next to the 20,000-acre Jennings State Forest. Several areas offer single-family homes and condominiums priced from $80,000 to more than $500,000. Completed and planned amenities include two village retail centers, two multimillion-dollar athletic centers and a waterpark, an 18-hole championship golf course, a public library and 2.5-million square feet of commercial space. Housing in OakLeaf ranges from less than $100,000 to more than $500,000. Penney Farms A haven for retirees The town’s name is, indeed, from department store icon J.C. Penney, who, in 1923, founded an experimental farming community where destitute farmers could live and work until they rebuilt their lives. Next to his Penney Farms, 8 miles west of Green Cove Springs, he built 196 apartment units. The Memorial Home Community became a retirement home for ministers and gospel workers and their spouses and was dedicated in 1926 in memory of Penney’s father, a minister, and his mother. The community is now a historic district. Today, Penney Farms is a selfsufficient town of about 800 (with most residents age 60 and older). About 530

COMMUNITIES residents live in the Penney Retirement Community, while others live in singlefamily homes with a median value of about $46,500. Living choices include apartments, cottages or single-family homes in a safe, secure environment. As a continuing care retirement community, Penney Retirement Community allows residents to remain in the same community, regardless of the changes in living assistance needs. Penney Farms has a full continuum of health care services, including skilled nursing, rehab/therapy and memory care. DUVAL COUNTY Argyle Becoming a city of its own Argyle, a family-friendly community of homes, schools and businesses close to Jacksonville Naval Air Station and Interstate 295, has evolved from the farmlands it once was. Since its inception in the early 1980s, the area, part of which is in Clay County, continues to be a hot spot for affordable housing. New subdivisions have spurred the growth of stores and services to the area, including street lane expansions and additional public services. A potentially long commute from Argyle to work and school was alleviated with construction of the First Coast Expressway (FCE), the northern portion of which was formerly called Branan Field-Chaffee Road. FCE is a 15-mile section of toll road along Florida 23 from Interstate 10 to Blanding Boulevard. Construction on the second segment from north of Argyle Forest Boulevard to Blanding Boulevard began in May 2014. A separate project to construct a non-tolled frontage road parallel to the eventual First Coast Expressway from OakLeaf Plantation Parkway to Old Jennings Road began in September 2012 and was completed as of spring 2014. Neighborhood parks, recreation centers and churches dot Argyle Forest Boulevard. An established portion of Argyle is Chimney Lakes, consisting of 1,677 homes in 24 separate subdivisions. The property boasts 14 lakes, a recreation center, tennis courts, volleyball courts, a swimming pool, basketball courts, horseshoes facility and a covered pavilion. A white gazebo on scenic Twin Lakes is a popular place for residents’ parties and weddings. Homes in Argyle can be purchased for as low as the $60,000s (condos and small detached) up to an average in the mid- $130,000s. Arlington (Alderman Park ... Arlingwood ... Charter Point ... Glynlea ... Grove Park ... Spring Hill ... Holiday Hills ... University Park ... Woodmere) Traditional yet young From its earliest days of settlements during the Spanish ownership of Florida, Arlington — the community west of the Regency Square shopping area and north of Beach Boulevard — has played an important role in Jacksonville’s housing history. During the 1800s, lumber and grist mills were established and, after the Civil War, more homes were constructed. It also was the site of religious colonies and a popular railroad line. Starting in 1950 and assisted by the opening of the Mathews Bridge in 1953, Arlington was the fastest-growing area in Duval County for the next 20 years. Arlington has since mushroomed far beyond its original boundaries. Real estate professionals familiar with the area see a renewed interest in some of the older homes, especially those with waterfront property. Some of these homes date back to the early 1900s. Many home buyers are looking for resale homes in mature neighborhoods and Arlington has a large price range to offer with an average of $121,094. Atlantic Beach A drive-to neighborhood Bordered by Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park to the north, Atlantic Boulevard to the south and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west, Atlantic Beach offers a smalltown atmosphere with easy access to the ocean. Stretching only about 25 blocks from north to south, Atlantic Beach is a closedend community of more than 13,000 with a neighborhood feeling. The town center, near One Ocean Resort and Spa, is a popular gathering point with many quaint eateries and boutiques. Atlantic Beach has plenty of parks with opportunities for a variety of activities such as tennis, racquetball, basketball, baseball and nature hikes, as well as playground equipment. In addition, the Bull Recreational Area houses the Atlantic Beach Experimental Theater. The community is dominated by single-family homes, with some townhomes and duplexes. Prices range from about $100,000 for a starter home to the $600,000s-plus for a four-bedroom a few blocks from the beach to several million dollars for an oceanfront residence. The average house or condo price is $286,732, up from $155,400 in 2000. Many Atlantic Beach residents work in downtown Jacksonville or the Southpoint area, both about a 30- to 45-minute commute, depending on traffic. Community activities are an important part of the Atlantic Beach lifestyle. Popular events include the Farmers Market, the annual Dancin’ in the Street festival in May, yoga and meditation classes, and a local art walk on Thursday evenings. Although part of the greater Jacksonville municipality, Atlantic Beach has its own mayor, city council, police and fire departments. Baldwin Away from it all Baldwin, a town of 1,440 in extreme western Duval County north of Interstate 10, was named for Dr. A.S. Baldwin, who led the successful fight to bring the railroad to the area. Beaver Street, once known as the Old Spanish Trail, almost bisects Baldwin, from which there is easy access to I-10 and to U.S. Highway 301. Baldwin is the end point of the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail, a 14.5-mile trail system for hikers, in-line skaters, bicyclists and horseback riders. The trail runs between Imeson Road and County Road 121, just past Baldwin. Most Baldwin residents live in singlefamily older homes. The mean price for all housing units, including detached, townhomes/condos and other attached housing, mobile homes and occupied mobile residences is $116,700. Bayard Quaint area on the upswing Bayard, off U.S. Highway 1 at the 2017 DISCOVER JACKSONVILLE | 33