Jake G. CEO, Urban Development Industry
I’ve lived almost my whole life in two states: New Jersey and California. I met my wife in Los Angeles, but she’s originally from Gainesville. So I did have some familiarity with Northeast Florida but it seemed like another world. We finally moved to Jacksonville last year because we believe it’s a city on the rise and we wanted to be a part of that. Unfortunately, when I told my friends and family I was moving to JAX, the consensus of responses was “where?” Now when those same friends and family visit, they are blown away by this city and are always excited to return.
Coast to Coast
Jacksonville has a lot to offer, and I’m saying that having lived in many big cities such as Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. You can’t beat the great people, beautiful weather, endless opportunities and low cost of living. For a family of four there are quality public schools, affordable housing in charming neighborhoods and tons of amenities – we absolutely love it.
Even though JAX is the largest city in the U.S. by land area, I’ve been surprised by the true small town charm it holds. Within the first few months of living here, everywhere I went, I saw people I knew! Downtown is the heart of this city – you will always run into friends while walking around.
Downtown JAX (nicknamed ‘DTJax’) is buzzing with activity. Grab a bite to eat in the urban core, with more than 180 bars and restaurants alone! Every first Wednesday of the month is Art Walk, where more than 250 local artists and exhibitors showcase their work throughout 60 Art Walk venues. On weekends I love taking my family to the Riverside Arts Market to check out and support local vendors and musicians right along the St. Johns River.
If you are looking to get connected there’s truly boundless opportunities with incredible organizations like Downtown Investment Authority, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, JAX Chamber, Urban Land Institute and so many more.
My advice for those considering a move to JAX? Do it. You won’t regret it.