Avondale’s Annual Luminaria Event

luminariaHey – Don’t miss the annual Luminaria Event held every year in Avondale and Ortega. White paper bags filled with sand and little candles line the streets and sidewalks. The scene evokes Christmas and gets everyone in the Holiday spirit. Many local churches will sell the luminaria kits (very inexpensive) and they will also have them for sale at the Riverside Arts Market.

Luminaria – December 19 and 20, 2009

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Riverside Avondale’s beloved Luminaria celebration. To celebrate, we’re expanding the event into a full weekend of community spirit, holiday fanfare and neighborhood fun!

Events for Saturday, December 19th include a Holiday market and entertainment at the Riverside Arts Market, a guided bike tour of the historic district, and a raft of holiday discounts at our local restaurants and businesses.

Sunday, December 20th, will feature a self-guided walking tour of historic churches, a Historic Trolley tour of the Luminaria lights, the ever-popular Luminaria Bike Ride, a live nativity scene and numerous musical performances at area churches, and—of course!—the traditional lighting of the Luminaria lanterns at sundown.

Thanks for reading — please join me for my next adventure in the Avondale, Ortega and Riverside neighborhoods.

Where Can You Buy Great Toys in Jacksonville, FL?

green alligatorLooking for the perfect gift for a little one on your Christmas list? Look no further than a fabulous toy store in The Shoppes of Avondale called The Green Alligator. Brainchild of owner Sandi White, The Green Alligator opened in April 2008 and has been a smashing success from day one. So successul, in fact, that they’ve just opened a second store in Ponte Vedra — just in time for Christmas.

Located at 3581 St. John’s Avenue, the Avondale store is open seven days a week and is chock full of the latest and greatest toys of the season. This year, Sandi says that a few of the HOT toys are the Wobble Board which is a balance and agility game or anything from OGO Sports which are large discs that look a little like mini trampolines. They can be used as frisbees or to play “tennis” of sorts. There’s also a new type of puzzle called WasGig (Jigsaw spelled backwards) where you put the puzzle together from the perspective of a person who’s looking back at you. I know — a little confusing. Do NOT try to do this while drinking wine!

They also have a fabulous game called Banana Grams which is a bit like scrabble but without the board. Instead of building on another players words, you create words with your own letters. The winner is the one who uses all of their letters to make “connected” words and there are no tiles left in the “bone pile” in the middle of the table. We played this game for hours on end over Thanksgiving and it was great!

Sandi will be glad to help you find something for your Christmas list but will also be there year round to help you find birthday gifts for the many children that live in Avondale,Ortega and Riverside.

Thanks for reading. Please join me for my next installment of great places to go in the Avondale, Ortega and Riverside neighborhoods of Jacksonville.

Monday Morning Market Update – Week Ending 12/13/2009

 Week ending december 12 2009With Christmas just around the corner, I’ve gotten behind and am now writing my second Monday morning market report on Thursday — I’ll be sure to get back on track for next week!

The BIG news of the week is that we had very few new listings and more pending and closed sales this week than last. There were also a stunning number of price reductions (20 of them). In order for the market to stabilize, we will need to continue having weeks like this with fewer new listings and more closed sales.

New Listings:    3 ( 1 of the 3 is a re-list-so really 2 new listings)
Active Contingent:    1  – Click here to see this property

Pending:     5 – Click here to see list
Closed:      5    – Click here to see list

Price Reductions:    20 – Click here to see list

A few days ago, I wrote a post titled will the “trade up” market will come back in 2010? In it, I mention two of the closed sales from this week. It shows pictures of the houses and tells the history of what happened with both properties.

The most interesting new listing this week is a luxury condominium (unit 101) in a development called Ortega Landing in Ortega. Originally listed for $1,195,000 when the developement was doing pre-sales, this unit (after successive price reductions) has now re-listed at $875,000. At $875,000 it’s priced at $331 per square foot. A similar condo (Unit 1003) in a nearby upscale building (Villa Riva)  just had a unit sell for $751,000. It was a tad bit bigger at 2,725 square feet and it sold for $275 per square foot.

I was hoping to see one of the 20 price reductions “jump out at me” as something I need to shout out about but most of them were modest (and needed) reductions.

That’s it for this week’s wrap up. Please join me for my next market update on the state of the real estate market in Avondale, Ortega and Riverside!