Murray Hill: Past, Present and Future

March 7, 2014 16 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville's Ennis Davis and Stephen Dare share the past, present and future of Jacksonville's Murray Hill neighborhood.



Nationally, established neighborhoods like Murray Hill are benefitting from current development trends driven by 86 million millennials.

Unlike previous generations, many make locational decisions based on quality of life and 80% desire to live in vibrant central pedestrian friendly areas such as Murray Hill.


Sustainability is also becoming an important economic driver. Communities that embrace green infrastructure, offer adaptive reuse possibilites and efficient transportation solutions are becoming increasingly popular.


Furthermore, national trends are favoring neighborhoods that are bike and transit friendly. With property values being 15-20% higher near rail stations, many cities are utilizating investments in fixed transit to stimulate infill economic development.


Facing budget shortfalls, many cities are looking to become more fiscally viable by encouraging growth in areas where public investment in infrastructure has already been made.


The downfall of the real estate market in 2008 has created a sitaution where infill growth and multifamily housing has become popular. Locally, this can be witnessed in Brooklyn and the Southside around St. Johns Town Center.


Within the urban core, development pressure from these trends create organic growth opportunities for areas that faciliate trends instead of styming them. Locally, difficulties in establishing arts and entertainment oriented uses in downtown Jacksonville, opened the door for Riverside's emerging CoRK Arts District and King Street in recent years.


Given its original period of development, Murray Hill's landscape features several well perserved and maintained parks within a walkable setting. This is an asset that is hard to find in great supply in Jacksonville.


Murray Hill's infrastructure, building fabric and physical location provide it with the opportunity to take advantage of national mobility trends.


Primarily developed over the first half of the 20th century, Murray Hill is home to a diverse collection of architectural styles that combine to give the neighborhood a unique sense of place. Residential architectural styles in the area include Bungalow, Craftsman, Prairie School, Colonial, Tudor Revival, Art Deco and Masonry Vernacular. Another unique quality of Murray Hill is the size of its houses. They are typically smaller than those in other local historic districts, making the area much more affordable for first time home buyers.


While there are several urban neighborhoods in Jacksonville that feature walkable commercial districts, very few are like Edgewood Avenue. Edgewood's building stock offers several opportunities for new businesses while also being anchored by many long time retail institutions.


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