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What’s Happening in Northeast Florida

April 18th, 2014 · No Comments

It’s Easter Weekend, so why not check out a family fun activity? The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is hosting the The Great Spring Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Zoo’s Great Lawn.

Egg hunts will be divided into age groups. Children up to 3 years old will scour the lawn for eggs and prizes beginning at 10 a.m.; kids from 4 to 6 years old will hunt from 11 a.m. to noon; and those 7 to 10 will participate from noon to 1 p.m.

The event is free with zoo admission, and there will also be egg-related enrichment for animals throughout the zoo during the day. See event details on the zoo’s website.

Man cannot survive on Easter eggs alone. Consider attending the 6th Annual Jacksonville Backyard BBQ at EverBank Field on Saturday, April 19, beginning at noon.

Sample barbecue from as many as 60 teams and cast your ballot for the best barbecue in Jacksonville – because you know you’re an expert.

Admission is $16.50, and there will be live music and games for the kids. The proceeds go to the Glyn Cook Memorial Scholarship for Daniel Kids – awarded to formerly homeless teens who are in college.

Visit Daniel’s website for more information.

Let us also suggest you visit the Riverside Arts Market on Saturday, April 19, when – in addition to arts, crafts and great local food – organizers are hosting a Local Authors Expo under the I-95 overpass in Riverside.

Jacksonville is home to many authors and writers whose work deserves to be celebrated. Special booth spaces will be occupied by local authors of all genres as well as bookstores and other businesses of interest to readers.

The market’s performance stages will feature spoken word artists and poets.

Admission to the market is free. Visit the market website for more information.

How about a little music to liven your weekend? Darius Ricker, formerly of Hootie & the Blowfish, performs Saturday, April 19, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.

Rucker wrote 10 of 12 tracks on “True Believers,” including his current hit single “Radio,” and will be joined in performances on Saturday night by Eli Young Band & Corey Smith.

Tickets are running out. So check online for more information.

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Tamaya Sets Pre-Construction Pricing for 14 Home Designs at Mediterranean-style Community in Jacksonville

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

ICI Homes of Tamaya, developers of a 2,400-home, master-planned community midway between Downtown and the Beaches, announced it is offering pre-construction pricing through April 30 for 14 unique, Mediterranean-style homes available at Tamaya.

Prices for homes available in nine “best-seller” designs and five brand new designs created especially for Tamaya range from the $300,000s to the $600,000s. Eight furnished model homes will be on display beginning April 26 when the model park opens to the public, coinciding with the Northeast Florida Builders Association’s Parade of Homes.

“Because of the high demand, we decided to conduct private tours by appointment only so each prospective buyer could experience a quality presentation at the Vision Center without the distraction of walk-in traffic– and we’ve seen more than 200 prospective buyers already, many of whom have already have contracted for their new home,” Don Wilford, Northeast Florida division president of ICI Homes, which is overseeing construction of the first phase of 169 homes. “So now is the time to take advantage of pre-construction pricing, get a prime home site of your choice, and receive a great value.”

One new model making its debut at Tamaya is the Marbella, an impressive four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home with a three-car garage and 3,245 square feet of living space. Visitors to the home are greeted with a stunning interior courtyard entrance that leads to a gorgeous open kitchen, family and dining areas that combine to create the heart of the home. All of Tamaya’s stylish homes will sit on sites of 60 to 75 feet, and have 1,900 to 3,500 square feet of living space.

“We’ve designed many dynamic, new homes and selected other ‘best-sellers’ for Tamaya that will create a community unlike any we’ve seen in Jacksonville,” Wilford said. “With their tiled roofs and liberal use of stone and arch features, the homes in the Bella Nina enclave at Tamaya are designed to be both progressive and impressive.”

In addition to stylish and elegant homes, Tamaya features a convenient location between the city and the beach as well as a rich mix of amenities, including green space, walking paths, crystal lakes, and a $10 million, 10,000-square-foot amenity center.

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What’s News – JAX Residential Real Estate: Pre-Leasing Underway at Hallmark Partners’ 220 Riverside Apartments

April 16th, 2014 · No Comments


Pre-leasing is officially underway at 220 Riverside Apartments, a highly anticipated downtown Jacksonville residential project by Hallmark Partners, according to a press release by property manager MAA on April 16.

“We are excited to announce we are now pre-leasing online at www.220Riversideapartments.com and onsite at our newly opened leasing facility behind the community,” said Tri Ball, property manager at MAA (NYSE: MAA), a leading apartment property developer and a partner in 220 Riverside.

“We look forward to providing our residents with an exceptional place to call home in the heart of one of Jacksonville’s most sought-after and well-connected neighborhoods,” Ball said.

The 220 Riverside Apartments project is connected to a mixed-use development and the new Unity Plaza urban park, which are playing a key role in the revitalization of the city’s historic Brooklyn section.

Residential real estate company Manormor Sotheby’s International Realty will handle the relocation of employees of Adecco SA, which is working to relocate its corporate headquarters from Melville, N.Y. to Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Business Journal reported April 11 the deal between Adecco – a global human resources company – and Sotheby’s, which would serve “as a single point of contact” for relocating employees.

Adecco S.A. would add 185 jobs to the 364 already in Jacksonville, with average pay of $64,000 a year. The company, which is reportedly adding jobs to its Deerwood Park campus as well as the Riverplace Tower on the Southbank, said it would invest $3.4 million in capital projects.


Standard Pacific Homes has named the 102-home residential development it is putting near Beach and Kernan boulevards adjacent to ICI Homes of Tamaya’s larger development on land it purchased from ICI Homes.

The Florida Times-Union reported April 12 that has selected Terra Costa as the name of a gated community it is building on 109 acres and that also includes 166 attached villas. The first models will be built in July and the first move-ins are expected early next year, a spokeswoman said.

Nearby, ICI Homes of Tamaya is developing Tamaya, with  more than 2,300 homes on 780 acres. Eight models have been built as part of a first phase that will include more than 160 single-family homes priced between $300,000 and $600,000.


Riverside Avondale Preservation presents its 40th Annual Spring Home Tour on Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, April 27, from noon to 5 p.m, according to a news releases from the organization on April 16.

The tour will involve strolls through the vintage neighborhood, historic buildings, tree-lined streets and parks, as well as the opportunity to embrace the area’s architectural and cultural diversity. Participants will get a chance to see why Riverside Avondale was named one of the Ten Great Neighborhoods in America by the American Planning Association.

This year’s Spring Home Tour includes 11 homes that promise to delight, ranging from RAP Founder’s home, a pristine prairie-style, to a beautifully restored tudor on Oak Street, to a glorious riverfront estate home. The tour also includes a historic church, a high school, and three outdoor spaces.







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The Monique Burr Foundation for Children Announces “A Night at Roy’s” in Honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 16th, 2014 · No Comments

April is Child Abuse Prevention month and the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, Inc. will host “A Night at Roy’s” event to benefit MBF Child Safety Matters™, a research–based, primary bullying and child abuse prevention education program. The event will take place on Thursday, May 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Roy’s in Jacksonville Beach.

“We are excited to introduce our new child abuse prevention program, MBF Child Safety Matters, at this year’s event,” said Lynn Layton, executive director of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children  “Through the generosity of our donors, this program has been shared with more than 110,000 elementary students at no cost to our public elementary schools on the First Coast.  By the end of this school year, we will have reached over 450,000 elementary students in Florida.”

Guests at the event will enjoy contemporary, Hawaiian-influenced, gourmet cuisine by world-renowned chef, Roy Yamaguchi. In addition to dinner, fine wines and tropical drinks will also be available throughout the evening as well as live entertainment from Colleen Orender, lead singer of the Sheagles, a Nashville cover band.

Advance tickets are recommended as the event has sold out in the past. Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased by visiting roys.eventbrite.com or contacting Callie Criser at ccriser@moniqueburrfoundation.org or 904.562.1844.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Sponsors include 2nd Floor Marketing, Clockwork Marketing, Glenn Layton Homes, GreenPointe Holdings, Hampton Golf, Pepsi, PRI Productions, Roy’s Restaurant, Southern Wine & Spirits, Sunbelt Rentals and Waste Management.

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HabiJax, NEFBA and Builders Care Plan 50-Home Builders Blitz in New Town

April 15th, 2014 · No Comments

Some would say it is impossible to build 25 homes and renovate 25 additional homes in six days. Not so, according to Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville, Inc. (HabiJax), the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) and its charitable arm, Builders Care.

The organizations are planning the largest Blitz Build to take place this year in the United States – a 50-home Home Builders Blitz from June 9 to 14 in Jacksonville’s New Town neighborhood. Over six days and with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers, 25 new homes will be constructed by HabiJax and NEFBA and 25 additional homes will undergo renovation by Builders Care and HabiJax.

“We are excited that this year’s Home Builders Blitz will benefit 50 families,” said HabiJax President and CEO Mary Kay O’Rourke. “We are looking forward to this event and we are so thankful for the community’s support and participation to make a difference in the lives of so many families.”

The 2014 Home Builders Blitz will begin with a special kickoff event in New Town on June 9. While HabiJax and NEFBA have previously partnered on organized new home building initiatives in New Town, this year’s event is unique as it includes the construction of 25 new homes as well as the completion of 25 home renovations – more than any other Blitz Build this year nationwide.

“This is going to be an exciting week, especially for the 50 families who will become homeowners or will have their home improved,” said NEFBA Executive Director Corey Deal. “Builders Care and NEFBA are thrilled to partner with HabiJax to help revitalize the New Town neighborhood of Jacksonville.”

HabiJax, NEFBA and Builders Care are in need of hundreds of volunteers to assist with this year’s event.

“Builders Care is honored to be a part of this revitalization effort in providing high quality renovation services for homes in desperate need of repair in Jacksonville’s New Town neighborhood,” said Builders Care Executive Director Matt Wilford. “We need volunteers to help in a variety of ways, both on the construction site and in non-construction capacities. I encourage everyone interested to participate and be a part of this wonderful event.”

For more information and how to volunteer, visit www.habijax.org/hbb2014.

In-kind donations and sponsorships are also needed. To make a donation of any kind, visit www.habijax.org/hbb2014.

The Home Builders Blitz helps support the New Town Success Zone, which is a partnership of public and private organizations that are developing a continuum of services to help children and their families living in the New Town neighborhood achieve the goals of healthy development, academic success and well-being of the neighborhood’s children.

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Visit the Northeast Florida Builders Association 2014 Parade of Homes April 26-27 and May 3-4

April 15th, 2014 · No Comments

New home enthusiasts are invited to attend the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) 2014 Parade of Homes. The event will take place over two weekends, Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27, and May 3-4.

“The NEFBA Parade of Homes is an area-wide open house showcasing the finest new homes from the area’s best builders,” said NEFBA President Daniel Blanchard. “The event provides a tremendous opportunity to see the latest innovations and trends in new home design.”

The event offers visitors a free, self-guided tour of 75 new construction homes in all price ranges in Duval, Nassau, Clay and St. Johns counties. For home buyers, special Parade pricing may be available from select builders.

The 2014 NEFBA Parade of Homes magazine, the official guide to the Parade of Homes, will be included in the Florida Times-Union on Saturday, April 26. The free magazine will also be available at Jacksonville area Gate service station/convenience store locations. The homes featured in this year’s Parade will be available for viewing on the 2014 Parade of Homes website, www.jacksonville.com/paradeofhomes.

Visitors to the Parade of Homes may enter to win a custom outdoor kitchen, valued at $5,000, from Construction Specialties of North Florida. Entry forms are available at every Parade of Homes model, but only one entry per model visit may be submitted. Visitors may increase their chances of winning by visiting more homes entered in the Parade.

For more information, visit www.jacksonville.com/paradeofhomes.

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Young Professionals Find Home of their Dreams at The John Gorrie a condominium

April 14th, 2014 · No Comments

When they began looking for a new home, Sean and Alexis Warrington knew what they wanted. After relocating to Jacksonville from Orlando two years ago, the young professionals desired a unique home in a historic neighborhood near the urban core that offered convenience as well as open spaces and interesting architectural features.

The Warringtons turned to the Internet to aid the search for their new home, where they found what they wanted and more at The John Gorrie a condominium.

“We were so excited to find The John Gorrie,” Sean Warrington said. “It’s such a cool idea, turning an 85-year-old school into a condominium.”

The Warringtons visited the community and liked what they saw, but they had just started the search for their new home and they wanted to see everything else that was available in the neighborhood. After looking at other properties, they came back to The John Gorrie, where they purchased a two-bedroom residence.

“We’re Riverside people,” Sean Warrington said. “We love the ‘live, work, play’ concept that we have at The John Gorrie.”

The Warringtons moved into their new home at The John Gorrie last November. Overlooking the beautiful trees along College Street, the 12-foot ceilings and expansive windows invite natural light into their home. The couple’s interior design reflects an urban chic style and includes modern furnishings and unique lighting.

Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, owners of The John Gorrie a condominium, completed an extensive renovation and restoration to transform the historic landmark school into luxury residences.

“In adapting the school into a condominium, Mrs. Weaver did a wonderful job creating great spaces that allow owners to take each residence to the final destination and make it their own,” Warrington said. “It has given us the opportunity to get creative and add our own unique flavor to our home.”

It was also important to find a suitable home for their pets – Webster, a terrier mix and Charlie, a Chinese Crested Powderpuff. The Warringtons enjoy walking the dogs in the neighborhood and are looking forward to The John Gorrie Dog Park opening later this year.

The young professionals are minutes from their offices and only 20 minutes from the Jacksonville International Airport. The John Gorrie is located across the street from Bold Bean Coffee Roasters and is within walking distance of restaurants and entertainment in Riverside and Five Points.

“The location of The John Gorrie is fantastic,” Warrington said. “It’s a great community with lots of nice people and a very friendly atmosphere.”

For more information about how you can be part of The John Gorrie community, call (904) 383-3688 or visit www.TheJohnGorrie.com.

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What’s Happening in Northeast Florida

April 11th, 2014 · No Comments

If you haven’t been to One Spark – the World’s Crowdfunding Festival in Downtown Jacksonville – you really need to go.

If you’ve already been, you probably have plans to go back.

The event, which runs through Sunday, April 13, connects ideas with funding – with creators from all over the world filling Downtown with projects in art, innovation, music, science and technology.

Admission is free, and there are food trucks. What’s not to love? For more information, visit One Spark online.


By now, we’re well into festival season. So while you’re Downtown also swing by Metropolitan Park for the Oyster Jam Music Festival – a two-day event on Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13.

Oyster Jam is a huge, down-home oyster roast with more than 15 bands rocking the river. There will also be a select group of microbreweries providing refreshment. And shuckers will compete to see who can shuck 12 of the cleanest and most appetizing oysters in the fastest time.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and children under 16 are free with accompanying adults.

Email Stuart Lackey for more information.


Enjoy art? Visit the San Marco Art Festival, which happens on Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival is free and features a wide array of original art, and live music in a quaint town center setting alongside Sam Marco’s well-know lions fountain. What’s more – attendees can sign up for a free art giveaway.

For more information, visit the festival website .

You’ve done dinner and a movie. How about dinner and a show? It’s been a while, right?

The Color Purple – the Alice Walker novel Steven Speilberg made into an award-winning film – is also a play being performed at The Alhambra Theatre, which recently underwent renovations.

Tickets are $38 to $55 for dinner and a play at various times on Friday, April 11, through Sunday, April 27. Go see the inspiring story of Celie, a downtrodden young women who over 30 years discovers how beautiful she really is.

For more information, visit the Alhambra website.

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During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Remember JFCS is Here to Help

April 10th, 2014 · No Comments

Founded in 1917, Jewish Family & Community Services helps about 15,000 disadvantaged people a year on a $7.2 million annual budget – yet remains one of the area’s best-kept philanthropic secrets.

Jewish Family & Community Services in Jacksonville facilitates more than 100 adoptions a year; provides thousands of residents with crisis financial aid and food; supports struggling middle-schoolers; counsels families; helps young people transition out of foster care into adulthood; aids Holocaust survivors that live in Northeast Florida; and provides a safety net in other ways for those struggling– whatever their faith.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and JFCS wants to remind everyone about our counseling programs for families, couples and children and their parents. Our other services include in-home counseling, anger management and a foster care program that provides safe and loving homes for hundreds of children in Northeast Florida.

Much of our efforts are geared toward protecting children from abuse.

So, as we approach a century of doing what we do in Northeast Florida, we’d like to re-introduce ourselves to our fellow community members. If you know someone who could use our services, please reach out to us.

Please take a minute to visit our website at www.jfcsjax.org, learn more about our mission.

Written by Colleen Rodriguez, CEO of Jewish Family & Community Services and a guest blogger for WhatsUpJacksonville.com

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What’s News – JAX Residential Real Estate: New Developer Sought for East San Marco

April 9th, 2014 · No Comments

The residential developer connected with the East San Marco project that features a Publix supermarket is canceling its plans for the development, according to reports in the Jacksonville Business Journal and The Florida Times-Union on April 4.

Overall project developer Regency Centers Corp. said in a statement it is seeking a new residential developer for the project, presumably to replace Whitehall Realty Partners, which had been planning to develop a 275-unit upscale multifamily property in San Marco, the newspaper reported.

Whitehall would have delivered the residential space — 240 apartments and 35 town homes in four and five stories over a 30,000-square-foot Publix Supermarkets Inc. store and 14,000 square feet of small-shop boutique space — and then sold the retail space back to Regency.

Skinner Bros. Realty Co., historically known for its commercial and land development, is diverging into residential real estate, the Financial News & Daily Record reported on April 2.

“While most of what we do as a company has been and still is commercial investment and development, we are recently adding a residential component to our portfolio,” Vice President Chet Skinner told the newspaper.

Chet Skinner is A.C. Skinner IV, and son of Chip Skinner, president of the Jacksonville-based company.

The Jacksonville Business Journal reported on April 8 that developers Wood Development and W.R. Howell Co. paid $2.75 million for about 20 acres along Amelia Island Parkway in Nassau County.

Principal Rick Wood said the development will include 122 home sites varying in size from 50- to 55-foot wide. The developers will sell the lots to Riverside Homes and Monarch Homes LLC.

The homes will start at $350,000, Wood said.

Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) of Jacksonville will get to the bottom of One Spark – literally – when it host a tour of Downtown’s hidden underground tunnels during opening night of the innovation festival on April 9.

The tour hosted by Cushman & Wakefield begins at 4:30 p.m. at 121 W. Forsyth St., Suite 900, in Downtown Jacksonville and will take participants under the streets to view tunnels built decades ago for business purposes.

Click here for more information and to register.

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