Jacksonville City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 18, 2008

USflagIMAGE200Jacksonville is both the largest city in Florida and the 12th most heavily populated region in the United States. Originally named Cowford, the city was later renamed Jacksonville after the first military governor and president of the United States, Andrew Jackson.

Jacksonville is definitely a modern city, but one of its biggest attractions for most visitors is the miles of beaches and sunny weather all year round. The city is also known for its wealth of recreational and leisure facilities, its vibrant lifestyle and rich cultural heritage. Many of the most popular historical sites in Jacksonville pay homage to the city’s African American legacy and its contributions to the Civil War.

Residential Places in Jacksonville

There are three main factors coming together in the Jacksonville real estate market at present that spell good news for property buyers: there is a large number of residential properties currently up for sale, there are relatively few active buyers, and interest rates are lower now than they have been in years. All these factors have brought about a buyer’s market situation wherein property buyers have the upper hand in terms of negotiating for lower prices and taking their time before making the big decision to buy. The city is divided into sections, namely Greater Arlington, North Jacksonville or Northside, Northwest Jacksonville, Southeast Jacksonville or Southside, West Jacksonville or Westside and Urban Core or Downtown Jacksonville.

A recent report showed that there are more than 11,000 homes currently for sale in the city, and that figure does not even include condo and apartment unit listings. There are also only a little more than 1,000 houses nearing completion of negotiations, and in December of 2007 only a little more than 600 houses were sold compared to a little over 900 in the same period in 2006. As for the interest rates, they are currently down to 6% and sometimes even lower. The bottom line is: now is an excellent time to buy a new home in Jacksonville.

Here’s a small listing of prices that houses have recently sold for to give you an idea. A 3-bedroom 2-bathroom house in Ibis Point, covering an area of 2,232 square feet, sold for $265,000. A 3-bedroom 2-bathroom single-family house in Sunrise Ridge, covering an area of 1,440 square feet, sold for $180,000. Finally, a 4-bedroom 2-bathroom single-family house in Bogata Drive, covering an area of 1,946 square feet, sold for $164,000

Hospitals and Universities of Jacksonville

The quality of health care in Jacksonville recently received a boost with the Northeast Florida Regional Health Organization’s efforts to make better and more compete medical information available to the various hospitals and health care establishments in the city. This will be accomplished by allowing the easier exchange of medical information between the various health care organizations. At the same time, more access points to Web-based resources such as a medical encyclopedia, diagnostic tools, personal health records, drug pricing and hospital quality data, will be provided to the city’s residents.

Some of the best hospitals in the city are Brooks Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Naval Hospital Jacksonville, and the various branches of the Baptist Medical Center.

There are a large number of opportunities for higher education in Jacksonville. The highly respected private university, Jacksonville University, and the equally respected public university, University of North Florida, are both located here.

There are scores of other excellent colleges such as Edward Waters College, The Art of Institute of Jacksonville, Florida Coastal School of Law, Trinity Baptist College, Jones College, Webster University and Straver University. Some of the other educational establishments worthy of mention are the Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Florida Coastal School of Law, Florida Technical College, and the Art Institute of Jacksonville.

Commercial Places in Jacksonville

The wide range of people of diverse cultures that have made Jacksonville their home is reflected in the equally wide array of dining establishments specializing in culinary arts from around the world. Whatever type of cuisine you are in the mood for, Jacksonville will probably have something to fit the bill.

The Blue Bamboo Restaurant and Wine Bar on Southside Boulevard is an example of the finest that the city has to offer. They have an extensive menu of both local and imported beers and wines, and the prices are surprisingly affordable.

The River City Brewing Company has a full service bar as you would imagine, but they also offer a superb menu of fish, chops, and beef, with a glorious view of St. John’s River.

Finally for an elegant fine dining experience, you can do far worse than to go to Sterlings of Avondale, where you can choose from an array of excellent steaks, seafood and pasta dishes.

Service Establishments of Jacksonville

The primary provider of electricity in the Jacksonville area is JEA. The company offers a variety of services for homes, business and communities all over the city, and they are responsible for providing water and wastewater management services as well. Their website is www.jea.com, and you can call them at (904) 665-6000 and (800) 683-5542 for customer service, and at (904) 665-6000 and (800) 683-5542, to report any problems in your electricity, water and sewage services. You can send bill payments to P.O. Box 44297, Jacksonville, FL 32231-4297, and you can write to them at 21 West Church Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202.

There are several companies that provide telephone services in the city, both fixed line and mobile. Some of them are Bell South, Alltel, TDS Telecom, Qwest Solutions Center, Verizon Communications, MCI, and A T & T.

Embassies in Jacksonville

British nationals seeking consular assistance in Jacksonville can either contact the British Consulate in Orlando, or the British Embassy in Washington D.C.

The British Consulate in Orlando can be reached at Sun Trust Center, 200 South Orange Avenue, Suite 2110, Orlando FL 32801. You can call them at (1)(407) 254 3300 for the main switchboard, and at (1)(407) 254 3300 for consular assistance. You can also fax them at (1)(407) 254 3333.

The British Embassy in Washington D.C. can be reached at 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008, and you can call them at (1)(202) 588 6500 for the embassy, (1)(202) 588 7800 for consular assistance, and at (1)(202) 588 7830 for the British Council. You can also fax them at (1)(202) 588 7870 chancery, (1)(202) 588 7866 management, (1)(202) 588 7901 UKTI, and at (1)(202) 588 7850 consular.

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