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View Poll Results: Which Rust Belt City has the Most Potential to Make a Comeback?
Akron, OH 7 5.69%
Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, PA 6 4.88%
Altoona/Johnstown, PA 0 0%
Binghamton/Elmira, NY 3 2.44%
Buffalo, NY 7 5.69%
Camden, NJ 0 0%
Canton, OH 2 1.63%
Cincinnati, OH 16 13.01%
Cleveland, OH 22 17.89%
Dayton, OH 2 1.63%
Detroit, MI 15 12.20%
Erie, PA 5 4.07%
Harrisburg, PA 2 1.63%
Huntington, WV/Ashland, KY 2 1.63%
Janesville/Beloit, WI 0 0%
Newark/Paterson, NJ 4 3.25%
Philadelphia, PA 29 23.58%
Pittsburgh, PA 44 35.77%
Racine/Kenosha, WI 3 2.44%
Reading, PA 0 0%
Rochester, NY 5 4.07%
Rockford, IL 3 2.44%
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA 9 7.32%
Syracuse, NY 5 4.07%
Toledo, OH 2 1.63%
Trenton, NJ 3 2.44%
Wilmington, DE 5 4.07%
Youngstown/Warren, OH 2 1.63%
York, PA 2 1.63%
Other (Please Specify Below in a Reply) 5 4.07%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 123. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-18-2007, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Cheshire, England
238 posts, read 516,509 times
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Pittsburgh
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,184 posts, read 67,327,076 times
Reputation: 15830
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattDen View Post
I have to say I think that Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has the best chance because of its close proximity to New York City. I havent been there but it just seems like the only area in close proximity to the east coast that is not overpriced. The pictures from Scranton/Wikes-Barre and the topography are just incredible also!
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's cost-of-living is comparable to that of Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton perhaps 10-15 years ago before the Lehigh Valley started to truly "take off" in terms of housing prices. The Lehigh Valley is closer to both Philly and NYC than Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, which has made it a popular relocation destination for NY/NJ transplants interested in commuting to one or both cities. Just north of the Lehigh Valley and east of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lies Monroe County, which is likewise a commuter hotbed for NYC. Just north of here, Pike County is now officially included in the NYC media market. Lehigh (Allentown), Northampton (Bethlehem/Easton), Monroe (Stroudsburg/Mt. Pocono), and Pike (Milford) are among the four most rapidly-growing counties in the entire commonwealth due to the influx of NYC/Philly commuters who are seeking "better schools, safer streets, cheaper housing, etc." As these counties continue to become overpopulated and overpriced, the next logical places for them to start flooding into would be Carbon County (Jim Thorpe/Lehighton), Wayne County (Honesdale/Hawley), and Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties (home to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre respectively). In 2006, both Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties showed their first estimated years of population increases after many decades of post-Industrial decline. While our death rate still outpaces our birth rate, we had a large influx of Hispanics and ex-NY/NJ residents that helped to offset that loss. I expect that population growth to continue to climb more and more steadily each year now for some length of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattDen View Post
I do think Pittsburgh has incredible potential also. I was there about 4 years ago for a couple of days and it was a great city. Lots of great architecture, very appealing and dense urban neighborhoods with tons of character, great topography, great infrastructure.
That's what you will not find in the rapidly-growing areas of the Sunbelt. No offense to SpeedyAZ, newportbeachmostwanted, hereinfla, or any other proud Sunbelt-dweller, but you just can't argue that places like Phoenix, Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Atlanta, etc. have that same charm in the way of historic architecture, varied topography separating distinct ethnic neighborhoods, etc. that places like Pittsburgh has. I realize the "American Dream" has now shifted towards living in gated communities where you don't interact with your neighbors much and commute 45 minutes one way to work on congested roadways, but I'm more of a traditionalist. My "American Dream" involves being an urban pioneer and moving into a "sketchy" neighborhood of a nearby Rust Belt city to rehab a home, open up my own business, and try to make the community a better place for all involved. What I notice about Pittsburgh is a resistance towards change and/or outside influence. For example, a man from Florida was interested in rehabbing various rowhomes throughout Pittsburgh because he saw great potential for a brighter future in the city, and several city residents tried scaring him away. WHY ON EARTH WOULD PEOPLE DO THAT? If someone is willing and able to try to make things better in your neighborhoods, why discourage that? Pittsburgh creates a lasting positive impression on just about everyone who visits it. It's truly a "diamond in the rough" that just needs a bit more polishing to shine brilliantly once again in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains.
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:38 AM
 
Location: The Bay State
331 posts, read 1,482,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrantonWilkesBarre View Post
. . . . For example, a man from Florida was interested in rehabbing various rowhomes throughout Pittsburgh because he saw great potential for a brighter future in the city, and several city residents tried scaring him away. WHY ON EARTH WOULD PEOPLE DO THAT? If someone is willing and able to try to make things better in your neighborhoods, why discourage that?
Well, probably because of what's happened over and over with areas that become "gentrified": property values go up so much that the prior middle/working/lower class residents who were there initially can't afford to live there anymore. Remember: increasing desirability leads to increasing value leads to increasing rent, purchase costs and taxes. That may look great from the perspective of an outsider coming in with lots of dough and an eye toward investment, but if you are already there and may get bumped out of your lifelong neighborhood by rising costs, it doesn't look quite so attractive. There can be a very, very fine line between neighborhood revival and displacement. From the perspective of a resident, esthetically "nicer" does not necessarily equate to "better."
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:44 AM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 13,115,201 times
Reputation: 2341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagus View Post
Well, probably because of what's happened over and over with areas that become "gentrified": property values go up so much that the prior middle/working/lower class residents who were there initially can't afford to live there anymore. Remember: increasing desirability leads to increasing value leads to increasing rent, purchase costs and taxes. That may look great from the perspective of an outsider coming in with lots of dough and an eye toward investment, but if you are already there and may get bumped out of your lifelong neighborhood by rising costs, it doesn't look quite so attractive. There can be a very, very fine line between neighborhood revival and displacement. From the perspective of a resident, esthetically "nicer" does not necessarily equate to "better."
I couldn't have stated this any better (see North Carolina)
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,366 posts, read 59,807,408 times
Reputation: 54006
Erie has potential, if it would get its collective head out of its collective behind and realize that a) it will never be as big as Cleveland, Pittsburgh or Buffalo, and there's nothing wrong with that; b) manufacturing isn't coming back -- never ever, no matter how many access highways you build; and c) tourism has potential, but you have to promote yourself more than just three months out of the year.

The city tries and tries, but always seems to make the wrong choices. Building the ballpark downtown and the library on the water was a huge mistake. IMHO.

That big ol' body of water you can see from the City Hall windows? Promote it for all its worth! Sheesh ... it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or an MBA in marketing) to figure that out.
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:09 PM
 
766 posts, read 2,269,523 times
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Out of the larger cities on this list, I'd say Philadelphia (even though I wouldn't consider it to be in the "Rust Belt"). Although places like Pittsburgh and Cleveland might have been putting more into high profile redevelopment projects on the political front, there seems to be more of an organic push to redevelop parts of Philly (which is indicative of a broader trend of people and businesses wanting to move into that city). More importantly, Philly's economy has an infrastructure that is based more on the knowledge economy, particular with regard to the health and life sciences sectors, as opposed to the industrial-based towns largely found in western Pennsylvania and the Midwestern states. That means that employment prospects, which hold the key to stability to any city, are arguably better in Philly than any of the other towns on this list. Finally, Philly benefits from being in the middle of the more economically viable East Coast corridor.

As for the smaller towns, I would say Rockford in the next 10-20 years simply because of its location. The Chicago area (where I live) is rapidly pushing further out and Rockford is directly in its path. Joliet, which was once an industrial town on the down-and-out, is now one of the fastest growing cities in the country as it is now considered to be a southwestern exurb of Chicago. Rockford could eventually be the equivalent type of city in the northwestern fringes of the Chicago area since it has the room to build the new houses that attract people to the exurbs. Gary, for all of its own location advantages on paper in terms of proximity to Chicago and Lake Michigan, will have a harder time of it because it truly has all of the urban decay problems without any of the advantages. While the exurban areas can attract people with new housing, a town like Gary will never be able to offer that since it's completely closed in. Plus, the Indiana side of the Chicago area has historically not experienced the supercharged growth of the Illinois side.
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:13 AM
 
5,641 posts, read 17,309,721 times
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If the property gets cheap enough, the bottom feeders start to come in and revitalize.
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:20 AM
 
365 posts, read 725,609 times
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Interesting thread. I'm in a rust belt area and know that as long as taxes continue to spiral out of control there will NEVER be a come back. There are two things that will not change here 1. Hard winter weather 2. High taxes so it becomes a tough sell.
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
414 posts, read 2,416,252 times
Reputation: 296
Gary Hammond do not have potential - high pollution, difficult as it is for working class to live there. You need a working class somewhere to run a city -- what are you going do raise the sky high prices and force people to live 80 miles out?

Lot of crime in Gary, pollution/brownfields issues, corrupt government. The developments have skipped rate over -- Burns Harbor, Chesterton although thats an awfully long commute
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Jersey City
6,488 posts, read 16,150,620 times
Reputation: 5637
Tough question to answer. Of the ones I'm familiar with, I think...

Philadelphia is on the upswing and looks MUCH better than in years past
Wilmington is doing well as a satellite of Philadelphia

Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton is doing well also. The Lehigh Valley is seeing growth coming over from NJ and up from Bucks County. Distribution centers within a reasonable drive of the Port of Newark are bringing new industrial growth to this area as well.

Newark/Paterson... both cities have a LONG way to go but the communities between and around them are some of the most exclusive suburbs in the country.

Pittsburgh... I'm not as familiar with that city, but there has been a lot of buzz about its revitalization. I expect it to continue to do well.

IMO, all of the cities I mentioned are positioned to do well in the future.
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