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Old 04-18-2015, 09:27 AM
 
413 posts, read 652,672 times
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The cool mid-tier cities that get a lot of praise on this forum have been getting that kind of praise for awhile. Denver, Seattle, Portland, Austin, etc. were all well-liked places, that got a lot of newspaper coverage for being cool, amenity-rich, and not mainstream, at least as far back the early 1990's. These cities offered a good quality of life and a relatively low cost of living.

Today, these are among the fastest growing cities in America, as Millennials are moving to all of them in droves. The funky, non-mainstream vibe is largely gone. These cities have gentrified, and yuppified. All of these cities have gotten dramatically more expensive in the last two decades, particularly in terms of housing costs. These cities no longer offer a bargain cost of living relative to their amenities.

In and of itself, that's not that big of a deal. It's a cycle; cities grow and get more expensive and then creative people seek out new places and they become the new cool places. But, where are the new cool places? In the last 20 years or so, it doesn't seem like other places have emerged as the heir-apparent to Denver, Seattle, Portland, Austin, etc, particularly if one values walkability and public transit.

The idea that the Rust Belt is making a comeback, shows up everywhere except the Census Bureau's population statistics. There are plenty of large sun belt cities that are relatively inexpensive but none of them seem comparable or analogous to the aforementioned cities, or even within striking distance of someday being so.

Where are the new cool, affordable cities? Are there any major cities anymore that are a bargain relative to their amenities?

Or the most unpleasant thought of all, is the fact that there was ever a gap simply an inefficiency in the marketplace which has now been corrected by the Internet-enabled free, instantaneous flow of information? Should we expect that any future "city bargains" will be impossible, or at least very short-lived as word rapidly spreads?
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in the lower 48.
275 posts, read 235,771 times
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Chattanooga, Tennessee
Louisville, Kentucky
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bowen View Post
Where are the new cool, affordable cities? Are there any major cities anymore that are a bargain relative to their amenities?
There are a few that are happening now or headed that direction in my opinion. Check out Nashville, Durham, Cleveland, Charleston, Savannah, Richmond and I agree as well with the above mention of Winston Salem (and neighboring Greensboro). Of the lot Nashville, Durham and Cleveland are the most "right now" I think.
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:44 PM
 
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Cool or Affordable pick one.
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mandalorian View Post
Cool or Affordable pick one.
Or live in a "cool" section of an affordable area.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:38 PM
 
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What about Minneapolis? I've heard it's a good city. I think if its winters weren't so bitterly cold, it would be "hip" like Portland, Seattle and Denver and similarly congested and overpriced.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:42 PM
 
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Columbus, growing at a good clip. Under the radar still, even as it passes the 2 million mark.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Nashville TN
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Originally Posted by cbusflyer View Post
Columbus, growing at a good clip. Under the radar still, even as it passes the 2 million mark.
Hell yea Columbus is the only city in the Midwest I would ever live in, that place rocks. I like Chicago but its too liberal and too expensive and over taxed to be livable. Columbus, OH rocks, its a great place to go to college as well with the Ohio St.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:54 PM
AT9
 
Location: Midwest City, Oklahoma
691 posts, read 1,043,712 times
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Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
What about Minneapolis? I've heard it's a good city. I think if its winters weren't so bitterly cold, it would be "hip" like Portland, Seattle and Denver and similarly congested and overpriced.
Minneapolis is extremely similar to Denver and Seattle, just a different climate and geography. It's a highly-educated, economically diverse, great place to live - and considered "hip" by many, if not as mainstream hip as Denver, etc. But because it's been that way for a while, I don't know that it counts as a "new" cool city. It's already part of the existing cool and affordable (or previously affordable) cities.

My current home of Winston-Salem, as others mentioned, definitely meets that definition. It's VERY affordable and the city itself is sort-of hip and quite unique. Growing tech scene, lots of revitalization and re-use projects downtown on an impressive scale for a city of its size. Because it's overshadowed by its faster-growing, wealthier neighbors of Charlotte and Raleigh, I think it'll be under the radar hip for a long time.

I'd also nominate: Chattanooga and Nashville. In the rust belt, maybe Columbus, OH?

Edit: seems others beat me to the Columbus punch!
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Nashville TN
4,925 posts, read 4,914,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AT9 View Post
Minneapolis is extremely similar to Denver and Seattle, just a different climate and geography. It's a highly-educated, economically diverse, great place to live - and considered "hip" by many, if not as mainstream hip as Denver, etc. But because it's been that way for a while, I don't know that it counts as a "new" cool city. It's already part of the existing cool and affordable (or previously affordable) cities.

My current home of Winston-Salem, as others mentioned, definitely meets that definition. It's VERY affordable and the city itself is sort-of hip and quite unique. Growing tech scene, lots of revitalization and re-use projects downtown on an impressive scale for a city of its size. Because it's overshadowed by its faster-growing, wealthier neighbors of Charlotte and Raleigh, I think it'll be under the radar hip for a long time.

I'd also nominate: Chattanooga and Nashville. In the rust belt, maybe Columbus, OH?
Nashville rocks, love that city very friendly people and welcoming place. Austin, TX as well but its getting expensive and trendy so its a bit overpriced at the moment but still a very groovy place.
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