|Palo Alto Online Real Estate
Uploaded: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 1:45 PM
Updated: Monday, December 31, 2012, 3:30 PM
Rex Manor / Mountain Shadows
|Located just off busy Central Expressway, Rex Manor -- a quiet neighborhood with tree-lined streets and numerous parks -- is the best of both worlds.
"You're close to everything," said Frank Gicale, whose family moved to the neighborhood in 1959, four years before he was born. He cited such conveniences as Safeway and the light rail, and being able to bike to almost anything.
For all these nearby comforts, Rex Manor is still a restful place to start a family. Gicale works for the City of Mountain View and has always lived nearby. Today, he's raising his own three children in the house where he grew up, left to him by his parents when they passed on.
"A lot of our neighbors are from the old days," he said. "They knew my parents. We feel safe here."
The neighborhood was built by William Blackfield in 1950. Some of the ranch-style homes have been remodeled, but many haven't, said Amber Swindell, who moved to the neighborhood in 2009.
"You can tell the whole neighborhood was built at the same time," she said, because many of the houses are one-story and on the smaller side.
Gicale added that remodels have decreased during the recession, and that he's seen very few foreclosed homes.
The look of the surrounding area certainly has changed over the years, though.
"When we were kids it was all orchards. Behind my house were tomato fields," Gicale said. "I woke up one morning and they were gone, and then they built those townhomes."
Swindell lives with her 2-and-a-half-year-old son and fiancÚ. She values the family-friendly feel of the neighborhood.
"Everyone's always out walking," she said. "I see the same people and know them by name."
Swindell added that most residents either have kids in the house now or did when they were younger.
"There aren't a lot of young single people around," she said.
Rex Manor is still fairly social and diverse. Neighbors gather for Sunday potlucks and a yearly block party and ice cream social.
"We have a lot of nationalities here and everyone gets along," Gicale said. "Everyone gets invited to birthday parties."
There are a few small drawbacks for Swindell to living in Rex Manor, though. Her commute -- to Foster City, where she works as a program manager at a life-sciences company -- can take up to an hour and a half on her way home, and sometimes residents take advantage of the neighborhood's quiet, safe atmosphere.
"There's a lot of speeding through the neighborhood," she said. "I think it's by residents. They know there's no cops who go through."
Despite these small annoyances, Gicale feels very fortunate to have inherited a house in Rex Manor.
"These houses cost a lot," he said. "I think there are a lot of people who would enjoy our neighborhood, and I feel for them."
Swindell, who grew up in the Midwest and lived in San Jose before moving to Mountain View, is also glad to have ended up in Rex Manor.
"Coming from a very small town in Indiana, I really like Mountain View because of the community feel," she said. She particularly enjoys the farmers market and the nearby Shoreline area.
The Mountain Shadows development, built in the early 1960s, is part of the Rex Manor neighborhood but looks slightly different. Many models have between three and five bedrooms, and some are two-story, according to Yvonne Wilson, who moved to Mountain Shadows in 1990.
"And the streets are wider with fewer trees overhanging, " she said.
The differences end there, though.
"We operate as one neighborhood for most purposes," she said.
-- Emma Trotter
CHILD CARE AND PRESCHOOLS: YMCA of the East Bay/Mountain View Child Development Center, 750B San Pierre Way; YMCA -- Theuerkauf,1625 San Luis Ave.
FIRE STATION: No. 3, 301 N. Rengstorff Ave.
LOCATION: Rex Manor: between Farley and Burgoyne streets, Central Expressway and West Middlefield Road; Mountain Shadows: between Burgoyne Street and Shoreline Boulevard, San Ramon and Montecito avenues
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Lawrence Shing, chair, Shings.firstname.lastname@example.org
PARKS: Rex Manor Park, Farley Street and Central Expressway; Stevenson Park, San Luis Avenue and San Pierre Way
POST OFFICE: Mountain View, 211 Hope St.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mtn. View-Whisman School District -- Theuerkauf Elementary School, Crittenden Middle School; Mtn. View-Los Altos Union High School District -- Los Altos High School
SHOPPING: Bailey Park Plaza Shopping Center, Shoreline Boulevard; strip shopping at 112 Rengstorff Ave. and 580 Rengstorff Ave.
MEDIAN 2012 HOME PRICE: $790,000 ($640,000-$960,000)
HOMES SOLD: 11
MEDIAN 2012 CONDO PRICE: $635,000 ($458,000-$780,000)
CONDOS SOLD (nearby): 17
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