Local Folks: The York Family

Local Folks: The York Family
The York Family: Tom, Andria, Tessa, and Meara

Andria and Tom York are no strangers to the residents of Jacksonville. Andria works for the mother company of TIAA. Tom is the president of CastleWise Realty and Insurance located in the One Call building in San Marco. Before that, he was with Citizens Property Insurance. Some might even know that when Andria and Tom are not in their respective offices, they are at home in Ortega with Meara and Tessa, their 7-year-old and 2-year-old daughters. A few might know that they have one pet, Mr. Skittles, as named by Meara and her dad; the cat showed up four years ago, helped himself to their house, and hasn’t left. What most residents don’t know about these local folks, however, is that they are DIYers, home renovators.

“We rehab our houses. That’s one of the things we do together,” Andria said of their prior house in Riverside and their current one in Ortega. They’ve done extensive amounts of renovations themselves.

Their Riverside home had been built in the 1920s, and the Yorks did all the tile work and refurbished the wood floors. They liked living on Herschel Street. It was walkable, and they loved their neighbors. But they felt the area was a bit busy for raising young children. They needed a quieter neighborhood with more outdoor play area and less traffic.

They bought their Ortega home in July 2021. It had belonged to Dr. Borland of Borland Groover, the gastroenterology providers. The Yorks took through the end of the year renovating it prior to moving in. “We’re still in the midst of doing a lot of work,” Andria said.

Tom York and daughter Meara working on home renovations
Tom York and daughter Meara working on home renovations

“I play general contractor,” Tom said. They do call in professionals when necessary, since their current home presents a much larger project than their previous one, but for the most part, the Yorks are hands-on when it comes to their home renovations. They have re-roofed, re-wired, and knocked down walls. They even filled in an indoor exercise pool, believing that to be the safer option for their little girls. Tom has a hobby of carpentry, including cabinetry and trim. Meara likes to paint, and she’s learning to hammer and drill with her parents. “It’s certainly a family process. We’ve always got something going on around here,” Andria said.

Tom made a point of confirming that they are not flippers. “We were in our last house for nine years, and we’re gonna be here for 30,” he said. “We’re not doing this again,” he and his wife stated simultaneously, chuckling.

When the Yorks aren’t working or rehabbing, they like swimming together where there are lifeguards. They are members of the Florida Yacht Club. Tom plays tennis. They also spend a ton of time with extended family. Tom’s parents moved here from Ohio last year and live down the street. Andria grew up nearby in Atlantic Beach, and her parents still live there. “I don’t see us ever going anywhere where we would not be close to them,” Andria said, as Meara and Tessa adore both sets of grandparents.

“We love Jacksonville! We love the weather, the people, the atmosphere. We’re never leaving,” Andria said.

By Mary Wanser
Resident Community News

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