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Old 04-05-2017, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Illinois
988 posts, read 592,610 times
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Answering some questions:

We like a city to feel very urban. Large, but doesn't have to be super huge.

Possible pattern will be Chicago for awhile, but eventually, I'd like to switch climates at some point.

Also, coming from Chicago, we wouldn't want a similar city that's just smaller. It would have to be of similar girth, or, smaller but with a quite different feel.

Denver is intriguing. Is there much of an "adult" population in its urban core? Los Angeles seems too spread out, but who knows. My wife loved Seattle when we visited, but not sure I could handle all the rain. But a city like that would work for us, depending on the demographic culture of the neighborhoods.

Another explanation. No interest in a neighborhood like Edison Park in Chicago or on the outskirts where most people have single family homes with small yards. If I wanted to do that, we'd just stay in the suburbs.

Appreciate the discussion.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:10 PM
 
21,182 posts, read 30,343,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmanshouse View Post
We'll likely be right about 50, and our "spirit" is more like 40.

Right now we are a couple of years away from wrapping up our suburban Chicago life, where we've raised our kids (youngest is 17). We've always wanted to downsize, move to the city where we can enjoy that life. We'd like to balance this so we are doing the city thing, but not surrounded by 25-30 year old "bros" wondering who those old people are.

My question is this. What city cores are conducive to someone in our situation?

That's a valid point and would perhaps recommend veering attention away from the "beard bro/hipster" big cities so often brought up as examples and consider second tier cities that aren't as much in the spotlight but provide the cultural amenities and activities active 40-50 somethings find attractive. Cities like St Louis, Cincinnati, Kansas City and St Petersburg FL (yep, really) are some great examples in my opinion.
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Illinois
988 posts, read 592,610 times
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Can anybody, in this context, opine on the following?

Charlotte
Raleigh
Nashville
Jacksonville
Atlanta
San Diego
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,407,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmanshouse View Post
Denver is intriguing. Is there much of an "adult" population in its urban core?
I just did a search on Denver. Neighborhoods sorted by percentage who walk to work (4.5% county avg), with population density, and above county average 45 to 54 population (11.7%) included.

1. Union Station, 262 sq meters per person, 19.8% aged 45 to 54, 26.1% walk (western half of Denver's central business district, would be considered urban anywhere, but is a 50/50 mix of old and new urban).

2. Capitol Hill, western half, 125 sq meters per person, 11.9% aged 45 to 54, 21.5% walk.

3. Civic Center, 499 sq meters per person, 20.3% aged 45 to 54, 20.3% walk.

4. Five Points, N/W portion. 282 sq meters per person, 13.4% aged 45 to 54, 15% walk (2/3 through transition from historic black neighborhood to some sort of urban paradise)

5. Five Points, SE portion, 256 sq meters per person, 20% aged 45 to 54, 8.1% walk

6. Hale, western portion, 317 sq meters per person, 11.7% aged 45 to 54, 7.3% walk. (Hospital district, some apartments, some SFRs, pretty well established yet transitioning out of the hospital business).

7. Washington Virginia Vale, 299 sq meters per person, 15.5% aged 45 to 54, 7.2% walk. (SFR's and high-rise apartments, near the Cherry Creek shopping district....kind of).

8. West Highland, 325 sq meters per person, 12.4% aged 45 to 54, 6.4% walk. (mostly urban SFR's with yards).

Honorable mentions:

Cheesman Park, eastern half, 169 sq meters per person, 14.4% aged 45 to 54, 3.1% walk

Speer, western third, 210 sq meters per person, 13.5% aged 45 to 54, 5.3% walk
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,960,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmanshouse View Post
Can anybody, in this context, opine on the following?
Charlotte - I don't know it well but I imagine it is a possibility. The dilemma is there is a very small area that would be "very urban" and it's entirely possible that it's a bit young and broish.

Raleigh - Same as Charlotte, perhaps to even a larger degree. I've been out and about in Chapel Hill and obviously there the vibe is such.

Nashville - My experiences in Nashville were not bad. I say this one is worth looking into.

Jacksonville - Too small. You really have no place that can offer a "very urban" lifestyle. We have some nice walkable neighborhoods though, but not the big city density and vibrancy.

Atlanta - Out of this list, easily the best shot to give you what you want. Midtown will give you a big city feel while also positioning you within easy striking distance of Buckhead and Downtown (similarly CBD-like areas) and plenty of walkable streetcar suburbs to round out the experience.

San Diego - I don't know it well either, but from what I understand it is a decent option for what you seek except that the price points where you'd want to live will put you in the Bay area range.

Note: I am early 30s so I'm not too far removed from the young guy mentality and much of my travels the past decade have definitely been from the young guy perspective. I'm not terribly broish but I certainly was ok in such a setting.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:08 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,934 posts, read 7,588,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmanshouse View Post
Can anybody, in this context, opine on the following?

Charlotte
Raleigh
Nashville
Jacksonville
Atlanta
San Diego
I would say that of the above six- I am really only familiar with Atlanta along with my home city of San Diego, though have a decent idea of the others- I think San Diego would have in general characteristics more urban than the others. Certainly nothing like Chicago and both Atlanta and I bet Nashville has much to offer, but it does possess a compact and very vibrant core, with your typical sunbelt city somewhat sprawling suburbs also present. We are about your age, a little older but also like you feel and act a good bit younger and are very much urban animals partaking in much of what our city as well as L.A., a quick drive or train ride up the way when you need a little bit more has to offer.

It certainly is going to the most expensive housing wise so all these (and most) cities, but that is not to say that you can't find a decent place if you shift some of your expectations. The city is chock full of some great culture: art, theater (more tony award winning shows originate in San Diego than most other places), restaurants, beer scene, neighborhood festivals, much more than its reputation as a sleepy surfer-bro scene that many who haven't really explored it ascribe it as. But it takes a little more effort to seek and take part in than those handful of deservedly known culture cities in the country.

The cool thing about San Diego is its core neighborhoods surrounding downtown, literally 1-3 miles away from the heart of dt you can find amazing cottages (or small mansions) on delightful quiet canyons yet be walking distance to a hip urban village and even to downtown - or a quick Ride share/transit ride - 10 minutes- away.

We are both professionals, architect and navy contractor, with both rural backgrounds and worldly experience with travel and cities. We know San Diego is at best a small but happening place with rapid (good) changes taking place. It will never offer everything true urbanites wish for, but that's what travel is for when you need a little more. What's important is if your city keeps you engaged and occupied and San Diego can. We have season tickets (half) to the Padres, Gulls Hockey, frequently to SDSU basketball and football, Ballet, Old Globe Theater, yearly passes to all Museums in Balboa Park - are always downtown or in the core neighborhoods surrounding ours going to concerts, galleries, art, restaurant, brewery events. So, even if it's a smallish feeling city there is plenty happening. Also great access to nearby mountains and deserts for outdoor activities.

A couple of links to let you dip your toes into it:
sd urban - san diego's core neighborhoods
Lots of related links as you scroll down.

Our neighborhood, just about perfect:
South Park, San Diego Official Website - Welcome

https://www.facebook.com/SouthParkSanDiego/

Lots of great cities out there much cheaper than ours but a little info to add to your assessment of areas to consider.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Illinois
988 posts, read 592,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post

The cool thing about San Diego is its core neighborhoods surrounding downtown, literally 1-3 miles away from the heart of dt you can find amazing cottages (or small mansions) on delightful quiet canyons yet be walking distance to a hip urban village and even to downtown - or a quick Ride share/transit ride - 10 minutes- away.
That sounds terrific. SD would be great, I think, depending on affordability. I also have several cousins in California.

I'd see this more as an option for after the Chicago city thing is out of our system. This could be a nice, toned-down compromise that still offers a lot, not a huge step down after 3-5 years in the much bigger, much more urban feeling Chicago.

I work right downtown in Chicago and love my job (financial services). My wife is a preschool teacher and could probably work anywhere. Down the road there may be flexibility for me to move wherever and keep the job. SD might be a good one to check.
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