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Discover Jacksonville 2017


COMMUNITIES Homes in Murray Hill range from fixer-uppers at $18,000 to more than $300,000, with an average price of $159,000. The average rental price in Murray Hill is currently $697 per month. Neptune Beach The ‘burbs of the beaches The youngest and smallest of the beaches neighborhoods, Neptune Beach has defined itself by becoming the closest thing to a suburban area among Jacksonville’s oceanfront communities. Neptune Beach’s boundaries run from Atlantic Boulevard to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Intracoastal Waterway to the west and Seagate Avenue to the south. According to Wayne Wood’s Jacksonville’s Architectural Heritage, Neptune Beach first came into being in 1931 when the citizens organized a tax revolt against the city of Jacksonville Beach for better services. Since 1989, it has operated under an elected mayor, council and city manager government. The name Neptune is attributed to resident Dan G. Wheeler. Wheeler, who regularly walked to Mayport to catch the train for work in Jacksonville, found out that if he constructed a station near his home, the train would have to stop there. He built the station in 1922 and named the station Neptune. It’s been the name ever since. Legendary Pete’s Bar is the granddaddy of all of Duval County watering holes, with the area’s first liquor license issued in 1933. It also was featured in John Grisham’s novel, The Brethren. One of the strongest similarities among Neptune Beach and the other beaches communities is the steady rise in property values. The average home price is in the $371,700, but expect to pay much more for oceanfront homes. Nocatee New town, new type of living The town of Nocatee is a masterplanned community in the northeast corner of St. Johns County and the southeast corner of Duval County. The development offers a variety of residential lifestyles, employment opportunities, shopping, schools and civic uses. 42 | 2017 DISCOVER JACKSONVILLE Nocatee Parkway opened in January 2007, with traffic routed from County Road 210. This east-west route takes drivers north of 210 into Nocatee, a 15,000-acre development that eventually will have 30,000 residents. A southern route, Crosswater Parkway, opened in 2007. Some neighborhoods, like Riverwood, a 55+ community by Pulte Del Webb, and Coastal Oaks by Toll Brothers, have houses for sale beginning at $247,995 and going up to $1 million or more. The town has more than 360 acres of neighborhood and community parks. Each neighborhood has its own park, which may include ball fields, tot lots, playgrounds and picnic areas. In addition, 185 acres of community parks are dedicated to athletic fields, an aquatics park, playgrounds, tennis facilities and basketball courts. The turndown in the economy initially slowed construction in Nocatee, but today it is one of the hottest real estate markets in the region. Normandy and Hyde Park (Hyde Grove) Past merges with future Driving along Normandy Boulevard is like looking into the past and future all at once. The previously rural area nestled on Jacksonville’s Westside was once used mainly for dairy farming, and large patches of land spotted with sprawling oaks, tall pines and grazing cattle still can be found. With Jacksonville Naval Air Station and the former Cecil Field Naval Air Station close by, Normandy/Hyde Park has long been a military community. The federal government closed Cecil Field in 1999, and the city improved the 17,000-acre property into the Cecil Commerce Center. The Cecil Commerce Center includes the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, with indoor arena seating for 4,000, an outdoor arena and ring, lighted practice rings and barns. There is also a recreation complex and community center, Olympic-size swimming pool, instructional pool and softball fields. The original plans projected that businesses at the center would have 25,000 employees by 2019. Part of the draw to Normandy/ Hyde Park is its location with easy access to Interstates 295 and 10 and only a 10-minute drive to downtown. Jacksonville International Airport and shopping are 15 to 30 minutes away, and the beaches about 40 minutes away. Existing neighborhoods offer affordable housing, and new developments have homes ranging from the low $100,000s to the $700,000s. The median home price is $132,866. Oceanway A rural fixture Amid the major development in Oceanway, the rural aspect of life — the cows, the green fields and the lush forests — remain as fixtures that embody the area. New communities have sprung up along Busch Drive, Alta Drive, Starratt Road and New Berlin Road. Amelia View, a development with homes starting in the high-$200,000s and up, features deep, navigable water and direct access to the Intracoastal Waterway, along with views across the Nassau Sound to Amelia Island. Home sites are a quarterto a half-acre in size, and community amenities include lakes, clubhouse, a pool, basketball courts, play area and a waterfront park. Industry in Oceanway is alive and well. Industrial parks blend in with the landscape, and acres of undeveloped land surround businesses. Companies along busy Busch Drive include Anheuser-Busch, Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. and Bacardi Bottling Corp. River City Marketplace, an openair shopping complex along Interstate 95 at Duval Road, includes retail shops, restaurants and a movie theater. Nature-based recreation is popular in this area with access to many water sources, including a public pond behind Oceanway Community Center that offers residents a place to fish and relax. The median home price is $197,500. Ortega and Ortega Forest Defined by the river and the past The currents of the Ortega River have swept ashore a host of colorful characters: renowned botanist William Bartram; highwayman and cattle rustler

Daniel McGirtt and Don Juan McQueen, who attempted to establish a plantation on his 1791 Ortega land grant, but was forced out by the attacks of Georgians and the French. There was even a persistent rumor that gangster George “Machine Gun” Kelly and his wife were the mysterious couple who abruptly left their rented Grand Avenue home hours before a midnight police raid in 1933. Present-day Ortega is defined by its rivers, tree-shaded home sites and parks, and an eclectic collection of spectacular architectural styles. Mediterranean Revival homes sit side-by-side with colonial-style frame houses. Grand Tudors are alongside cedar-shingle homes. Perhaps the most obvious characteristic of today’s Ortega is its stability. It is well-known as a place to raise a family and to remain even after the children are grown and have left home. Roosevelt Square, a collection of restaurants and shops, is just across the river, and the Ortega Village shopping area has its own array of retail and service businesses. Also drawing residents is Ortega’s physical beauty. The view of the city from across the water is spectacular, and there seems to be a park around every corner. Ortega, long known as home to “Old Jacksonville” families, has waterfront home prices that can reach into the multi-millions, although the median price is $277,500. Riverside/Avondale Preserving our roots In 1868, Confederate veteran Miles COMMUNITIES Price sold 500 acres of his property, known as Dell’s Bluff, to a Yankee, Edward M. Cheney, and financial backer John M. Forbes of Boston for $10,000 in gold. Forbes and Cheney built grand riverfront homes and waited for the influx of residents. For the next 30 years, however, they remained the only homeowners in the very rural area. On May 3, 1901, in less than 24 hours, downtown Jacksonville and the majority of the city’s homes disappeared in a blazing inferno, sparked by a fire that spread from the Cleveland Fiber Factory. With downtown Jacksonville in ruins from the Great Fire, residents relocated in droves to the suburbs, starting with Riverside. Soon the riverfront on Riverside Avenue was lined with elegant mansions and within 10 years was A look at the many neighborhoods of Duval County As you can see, Jacksonville has a variety of communities spread across its large land mass. Downtown spans the Northbank and Southbank at a narrow spot on the St. Johns River. Just north of there is Historic Springfield. North Jacksonville goes from the Trout River to the Nassau County line and from New Kings Road on the west to the Intracoastal Waterway. Westside runs from Riverside Avenue west to Baker County and from Interstate 10 to Clay County. Arlington is bordered by the river on the west and north and the Intracoastal on the east. River City Marketplace Southside, a huge area that runs on both sides of the river from Arlington south to Baymeadows Road and the St. Johns County line, includes such diverse areas as San Jose, San Marco and the St. Johns Bluff Road area. Mandarin is the area south of Baymeadows, bordered by Philips Highway to the west and Julington Creek to the south. The Beaches are bordered by the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean. B 2017 DISCOVER JACKSONVILLE | 43