Thursday, December 08, 2005

Melbourne Florida

Historically, the place that gives this entire area its “name” is Melbourne, the oldest and best-known community on what Floridians call the “Space Coast”.
Melbourne is right in the center of a long north-south corridor – coastal Brevard County – that is sandwiched between the St. Johns River Basin to the West and the Atlantic Ocean.

It stretches from Palm Bay and other smaller communities in the south through Melbourne, West Melbourne, and Melbourne Village in central Brevard to Viera, Cocoa and Titusville in the north.
And it includes a half dozen beach communities on one long, fabulous barrier island stretching from Sebastian Inlet to Cape Canaveral. This “greater Melbourne” is one of the most rapidly growing residential areas in Florida, and it currently boasts the fifth most rapidly appreciating home property values in the entire United States [USA Today, Sept 2, 2005]!

Yet Melbourne itself is reminiscent of an older not so built up Florida.
The main streets are wide and the city is well maintained. It has Arts, Fine Dining Health and Educational facilities that compare with the best Florida’s larger cities offer. It’s just an hour from Orlando and three hours from Miami. The location makes anywhere in the state very accessible. Even remote Key West is just a 5 or 6 hour drive. As to Outdoor and recreational opportunities, in my opinion it’s one of the best places in Florida. The beaches are not jammed, there is plenty of access and it’s not wall to wall development.

When you approach the Ocean over the high bridge across the Indian River (the Intra-Coastal Waterway or ICW), your view is sweeping. It is not blocked by condos and hotels, thanks to strict zoning laws enacted well before the current rapid growth and development. For one thing, there are 3- and 4-story height limits, unlike what you find throughout much of South Florida. For another, there is lots of easy to find, easy to use “forever” beach access. Before development there was conservation, and Melbourne and its beachside communities have some of the nicest public beaches in all of Florida

Melbourne also has a great Old-Town, downtown area with specialty shops, antique stores, theaters, restaurants and more. There are dining places overlooking both the Indian River Lagoon (the IntraCoastal) and the Ocean. Another Old Town section, Eau Gallie, features art galleries and the county art museum.
In a recent study, with a major space employer in Melbourne, the employees had this to say.

Melbourne is a safe place to live
It has great weather and lots of sun
It’s easy to travel and get to work and there are good job opportunities..
There is a wide variety of recreational facilities.
It’s easy to get involved in the community.
It’s a great place for creative people.
Three out of four would recommend a friend or family member to relocate to Melbourne.
Melbourne has the amenities that a larger town would have yet it has a small town atmosphere.

I call it user friendly.
All that and the Real Estate is a good deal. As of this writing (summer 2005) single-family homes, minutes from the beaches can be had from 200,000 up.

Melbourne, and its landside communities of West Melbourne and Melbourne Village, plus its beachside communities of Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, and Floridana (going south), or Indian Harbor Beach and Satellite Beach (going north) is simply a great place to live. Ditto for the greater Melbourne area from Sebastian Inlet to Cape Canaveral. What a great place to relocate or retire to.


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