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Moving to Jacksonville

AKM56LB

New Member
We are about to move to Jacksonville and are looking for a house to rent. Everyone keeps saying avoid the west side, but then some say Orange Park and Argyle are okay-- isn't that the west side?

We are looking at a house around the Oakleaf Plantation area. Is that on the "west side", and is that a bad area? I want my wife to feel safe when I am on detachments. Which neighborhoods should we definitely avoid?
 

mwardakpsi

Get money, get paid!!!
None
If you are just going to be there for the FRS, I would recommend you live where you want to enjoy your free time. If by the beach makes your day, then go for it. The commute may be long, but there are periods where your husband will not be going to the squadron, and you will be free to hang out and enjoy the area. If you plan on staying there long term, and if the navy allows, then the other recommendations are probably better than what I did when I lived there.
 

scoolbubba

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Southside, southside, southside. Shopping, Beach, same commute time as mine from 8 miles away (30 mins worst case scenario). St John's town center is money.
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
None
Contributor
I really like Eagle Harbor/Fleming Island. Granted, it's about 40 minutes to the beach but it's only about 15 minutes to NAS. I'm not a big beachgoer type guy so that's not an issue for me. Plus, it's far enough removed from Jacksonville proper that it doesn't even feel like you live in a big city. Shopping, food, entertainment is all right there. The only thing is doesn't really have is bars/clubs, so if that's your thing you'll be driving to go to it.
 

AKM56LB

New Member
We've never been to Jax and are trying to figure out what neighborhoods are in what areas... and which ones are bad or have more traffic issues. What constitutes the south side--- Mandarin and the areas around Butler blvd? Everyone seems to like Mandarin. What about Mandarin v. Riverside/Avondale/Ortega?

We really want to rent a house with a yard for our dog, and we want to be in a nice neighborhood where we can safely walk. We love the beach, and my wife enjoys shopping, so it would be nice not to be too far from those things and also not have to deal with as many traffic issues in the morning/evenings. I put Jax as #1 on my wish list for our first PCS, so it's possible we will be there for several years and not just the rag.
 

helo_wifey

Well-Known Member
Like I said above, we're in Mandarin and close to shopping (St. Johns TC, San Marco, and only 15 min from OP). The area over here is built up: Publix, Kohls, numerous eating places with-in 5 minutes but it's not so built up like the Blanding area. We can get to the beach in about 20-30 min on a good day. Base is opposite of traffic and takes the hubby 15-20 minutes and the only traffic he hits is on 17, which is the same traffic those who live in Eagle Harbor/OP hit coming up to base.

I feel safe enough to walk around in the evenings in my neighborhood by myself, and I go biking around the area alone as well without any weird feeling.

The reason we chose this area was because we wanted something different. We lived on base overseas and really wanted to separate ourselves a little bit. We looked in the Avondale/Riverside area but for what we wanted to spend on a house we couldn't get the amenities that a "newer" house would provide, and we did look in the area quite a bit.

We just moved here in December and we like it (except for the FL summer now :) ). I like the fact that Jax is a big little city.

There are some new builds, condos, not as new homes and apartments in the area we're in which is around Bartram Park so a good smattering of choices if you're not quite sure what you want.

I'd drive around each area at different times of the day and look at the homes, prices, and local amenities to decide...everyone is going to have their favorite area, which obviously may not work for you.

Good luck!
 

Hozer

Jobu needs a refill!
None
Contributor
I grew up in and was stationed in Jax for 19 years. I still own a home there in Avondale and will retire there eventually.
Dogs?
Go to the intersection of Ingleside and St. John's Avenue in Avondale and go from there.
 

Carlos Caliente

Member
None
What about Mandarin v. Riverside/Avondale/Ortega?

We really want to rent a house with a yard for our dog, and we want to be in a nice neighborhood where we can safely walk. We love the beach, and my wife enjoys shopping, so it would be nice not to be too far from those things and also not have to deal with as many traffic issues in the morning/evenings. I put Jax as #1 on my wish list for our first PCS, so it's possible we will be there for several years and not just the rag.
I lived in Avondale during my time there, and I absolutely loved it.
It's six miles north of base, traffic is always going the other way when you're going to work and home, there is LOADS to do in the neighborhood. Parks, shops, bars, restaurants, you name it - and it's walkable. You do not need to drive your car on the weekends if you wish. Ask anyone in Mandarin/Fleming Island/Southside if they can safely walk/bike to shops,restaurants and bars. I don't think so. You will need a car to get anywhere, and when I swung by in April the markets in those parts of town were a mess, with multiple foreclosures on the same block and the degeneration that brings. Okay, nuff trashing of everywhere else - do yourself a favor and check out Avondale/Riverside. Ortega is where the old moneyed folks live, and a nice neighborhood but not as young family oriented as Avondale/Riverside. There is also San Marco across the river, north of Mandarin. Nice area as well, but rather pricey.
Traffic is bad in Jax, especially from the areas west & south of base and from across the river. It took me about 11 minutes to drive door to gate from Avondale during rush hour, 27 minutes if I biked the drawbridge through ortega. When I was couchsurfing in Orange Park, a 45 minute drive. About the same from the beach.
The beach is great, but you really have to ask yourself how many times you'll be going there. Odds are you will be going to work more often than the beach.
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
None
Contributor
Ask anyone in Mandarin/Fleming Island/Southside if they can safely walk/bike to shops,restaurants and bars. I don't think so.
If you live in Eagle Harbor or Fleming Island Plantation, yes you can. Other parts of Fleming Island, not so much.
 

Marco

Member
19 year resident of Jax checking in. Grew up in Argyle, currently live in Julington Creek. I recommend Mandarin or Julington Creek for a nice, quiet neighborhood atmosphere. I drive from Julington Creek to the International Airport everyday (I'm in the Air Guard), not a bad drive. 45 minutes, but it's worth it to me to live in a quiet, gated community. It only takes me fifteen minutes to get to the Navy base from where I live on Racetrack Rd. I do it quite often as well (member of the Navy Flying Club on base). Argyle is nice, but I guarantee you will hate the traffic on Blanding Blvd. A lot of the Guard guys live in Fleming Island, specifically the Pace Island neighborhood. Ortega is nice, older homes. We chose St. Johns County for the quality of the local schools, in case that's a factor in your decision. High quality schools from elementary all the way through high school. Good luck in your search!
 

samlobo

New Member
pilot
None
I am partial to Avondale/Riverside, having lived there for 3 years now. There is a nice sense of "neighborhood" among us and it's a pleasant place to walk, or bike, to shops and restaurants. There is an awesome neighborhood running club called El Guapo that is extremely welcoming and a great way to meet people outside the Navy. I just listed my house for rent in the Houses for Rent/Sale section of this forum if you care to take a look. Additionally, on my rental's website, www.home.comcast.net/~jenamckay on the "links" page, I have included some terrific links about the neighborhood that you may find helpful. One of the best kept secrets, the Riverside/Avondale neighborhood is a community I would be happy to come back and retire to. Let me know if you have more questions.
Jen
 

efini_kid

New Member
flemin island is very nice. my dad has lived in mandarin for about 15 years. he loves the area. its a lil farther of a drive but its a good location.

STAY AWAY FROM THE WEST SIDE!!!
 

joseph.edwards

New Member
I recommend Creekside Park Apts

I moved to Jacksonville in Jan 2010. I selected EP-3's so I knew I would only be here for 6 months. But I'm living at Creekside Parks Apartments in Orange Park and have nothing but good things to say about the place. The front office ladies are extremely, extremely helpful.

Rent is decent, plus they usually have a first month's rent free promotion. Also, if you are military, they waive all deposits and security fees, so that helps alleviate most of the moving cost right there. Additionally, the commute to/and from base is 10-15 mins everyday. You get to completely avoid the clustercuss of getting on/off the freeway. The mall/movie theater is 5 mins away and there are many restaurants near by along Blanding (kind of the main drag in Orange Park). The one downside might be is that there really isn't any nightlife scenes around (i.e. clubs/bars). Unless you count the sketchy strip club on the corner, but at least it is walking distance :)

Well, that's all I got. I told the front office I'd give them a shout out on here since they have been so helpful. If anybody is interested, let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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