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Old 03-24-2009, 05:14 AM
 
1 posts, read 7,982 times
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Hi, I'm a 41-yr old Air Force officer w/ 3 kids 10, 8, and 5 moving to work at MacDill AFB. Many of my military associates here in Montgomery AL are buying/renting in Fishhawk Ranch. It sounds like a great development but I'm discouraged by the commute and possible "group think" of my friends. Any other recommendations for a family friendly neighborhood w/ access to MacDill, recreation, and youth sports? What about on the St. Petersburg side? School quality is very important. Our kids are currently in a Catholic school but we're open to public schools. Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:50 AM
Nav
 
346 posts, read 1,300,873 times
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Fishhawk is a nice subdivision if you like mega-subdivisions of identical style houses. Pretty much zero lot like tract housing so the kids need to go to the parks since there are really no yards to play in. A lot of people like it since it is one of the last "higher quality" subdivisions in the bay area.

The only real down side is that getting in and out of fishhawk is an absolute nightmare. In rush hour its roughly a 20-30 minute commute just to get the 5 miles to I-75. McDill would be about 45-50 minute commute. (If work non-standard hours then the commute is MUCH faster)
The feeder Roads, Lithia Pinecrest and Boyette are not built to handle the volume of cars on them. They are scheduled to eventually be widened but for the meantime, traffic is pretty snarled.

Other than that, the area is real nice. Kind of on the current edge of suburbia.

Nav
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Riverview, FL....for now.
1,404 posts, read 5,135,396 times
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Yes, Fishhawk is really nice. Nav is right though, it is out there and the traffic is bad during rush hour traffic. The houses are really nice though and is a wonderful suburb area for families.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Riverview, FL....for now.
1,404 posts, read 5,135,396 times
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Also, there is a Catholic school here in Brandon. And I wouldn't really suggest St. Pete. Most people on here will agree that there's other places that are better than there.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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What is your budget to rent or buy? Do you want new subdivisions with cookie cutter homes?

The closest area to MacDill AFB is S. Tampa but housing is more expensive there and the homes are older and sometimes smaller in size but the lots are usually bigger.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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South Tampa has excellent schools in the Palma Ceia, Hyde Park, Beach Park areas they have some good athletic programs too. South Tampa near the base you can find better deals on housing but the public schools are not good. However, Academy of Holy Names is an excellent Catholic School located on Bayshore, Christ the King Catholic has a school.

North East St. Pete would not be a bad commute to MacDill. Public schools in southern Pinellas county (St. Petersburg) are not very good. However, there are plenty of Catholic schools. St. Pete does have a fairly good traffic flow with a well designed grid pattern. Crime is increasing in St. Pete and you have many retirees. However, you can find pockets of good family neighborhoods.

I have a friend who works on base and lives in Wesley Chapel in Pasco county. I don't care for the Pasco county schools and not many Catholic schools or Churches in Pasco.

North Pinellas County the East Lake area has good public schools, great family community, and sports/fitness oriented -- the downside is it is a hike to MacDill. But, probably not more than FishHawk. Pinellas county has numerous Catholic schools and Churches.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:42 AM
 
Location: Tampa
2,602 posts, read 7,181,730 times
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On a positive note, the county bus system has an express route from FishHawk to MacDill AFB with multiple morning and evening trips. I know from personal experience that the express routes are very nice. Possibly check that out?
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:45 AM
 
389 posts, read 1,088,637 times
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I do not live in Tampa, but I have been researching that area.
I did look at Fish Hawk Ranch, after a military friend mentioned it. We are not military, but if we moved my husband would likely work near McDill.
After looking at Nativity Catholic in Brandon and St Stephen's in Riverview, I definitely want to live very close to Nativity. I taught Catholic school, and I would rather be at a well established parish with a lot of community. Nativity looks like that. The commute to FHR seems unnecessary to me, when Brandon looks like such a nice place. I also want to have easy access to Tampa and Orlando. One of the draws of the area for me is how much there is to do. The area around McDill seems very 'rich' to me. I'd rather have my kids in a really nice down to earth community. hope that helps. keep in mind all of my opinions have been formed from online research only.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:49 AM
 
389 posts, read 1,088,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mquintana View Post
Also, there is a Catholic school here in Brandon. And I wouldn't really suggest St. Pete. Most people on here will agree that there's other places that are better than there.
i would be interested in hearing more about why not to live in St. Pete.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Riverview, FL....for now.
1,404 posts, read 5,135,396 times
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I've not heard so many good things about the area. There are people who know more about it than I do, but there are a lot of rough areas there. Granted there are rough areas anywhere you go, but it's to my understanding that the crime is one of the worst in St. Pete (and I think it may be for the state, but I am not sure so correct me if I am wrong anyone...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaMomatHome View Post
i would be interested in hearing more about why not to live in St. Pete.
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