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Old 06-03-2014, 10:58 AM
 
149 posts, read 167,508 times
Reputation: 415

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJFIVEOH View Post
I am a visitor looking for a new place. I've been anywhere from Tillamook, OR to South Beach, FL. My views are completely unbiased. If there is an agenda, I'd like to see it. I look at all towns/cities as a perspective owner. There is no agenda.
JJ--Thanks for your posts, which I find thoughtful and well considered. My wife and I, who have lived in the northern part of the northeast for most of our lives, are considering a move south. We've visited AVL, GVL and briefly, a couple of other smallish cities. We've been to GVL just once, and only for a few days, but are planning another visit, so I wonder if you can expand on your long post about the city, its environs and the people (leaving aside the police issue). In what way did you find people "miserable"? I, too noted that the roads are bad, but after many years of road biking in NE, I don't think I'll find them worse in SC. Finally, what cities do you like and would consider living in? Thanks again. This is very helpful.

Obviously, anyone else can offer opinions and ideas as well.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Starting a walkabout
1,739 posts, read 810,133 times
Reputation: 1913
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComSense View Post
I like greenville sc a lot but my hang up on headed that way, possibly one day... Is that what if the company I work for, who has a division in Greenville, decides to get rid of me? Not sure where I could work in GVL to match my salary. I'm in construction management in FL. Love the company I work for but what if the company laid me off... That's my concern...
Then you have to look at what your opportunities are where you are currently in FL versus here, should you lose your job.

The big construction firms I know that are here are Fluor-Daniel and Jacobs engineering. Obviously the hiring and firings depend on the global economy for these 2 firms, but people I know in Fluor seem to get a job back or at another firms soon. It depends on their resume too,
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:53 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,427 times
Reputation: 22
Default Greenville Rocks!

This is a very interesting thread to me, as I am originally from the upstate of SC. When I was younger I couldn't wait to leave, and 26 years later couldn't wait to get back!
My husband and I relocated to Greenville two years ago when I retired from the military(he is retired military also). We lived in the DC area (Fairfax County,NoVA) for our last assignments, and just couldn't take it anymore; not just the inherent drawbacks of a large urban area, like crime and horrific traffic (okay, I scoff when people complain about Woodruff Rd. Yes, I do.), very high CoL, but also sky-high taxes that seem to give you NOTHING. The schools were no great shakes (in spite of the hype), and surprisingly to many, the programs available for special needs kids are SO MUCH BETTER here. (My brother, who has an autistic child, wishes he had never left Greenville to move to the NoVA area for career advancement.) Yes, we could have made superior money as civilians up there, but the cost in terms of quality of life are astronomical.
When I decided to retire and get the heck out of dodge, I did research and visits for a good solid 2 years before picking Greenville. (Knoxville was first-runner up--biggest advantage is no state tax!) It was an easy sell to my husband, who was completely blown away by all the wonderful things about this place. It has everything. Low CoL, low housing prices, low crime (at least compared to most larger cities), amazing, vibrant downtown, good airport, access to the mountains, and a straight shot to the coast, engaged community life, excellent business growth, good hospitals, no traffic, polite, friendly people, etc, etc. We actually had most of the neighbors on the street drop by to meet us and bring gifts of food and wine. This is the way things used to be when I was a kid, and I was blown away.
I also appreciated that people didn't look at you as if you had two heads if you went to church and talked openly about God. Greenville is also not so bizarrely PC that people can't have honest discussions about the issues of the day. Just try that in DC! We aren't regulated within an inch of our lives, and common sense seems to still have a good hold on our governance. Local government was definitely the enemy in Fairfax County.
Of course there are annoyances here (can you say "Duke Energy"?), but they are minor in the great large scheme of things.
I hadn't been to Greenville in 3 decades, and so I was looking at it with an unjaundiced eye. This place totally rocks. The locals really are spoiled, and don't realize how great this place is compared to most towns in the US. Not a day goes by that my husband doesn't thank me for bringing us here. I feel like I've landed in paradise.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
160 posts, read 247,269 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by sovertennis View Post
JJ--Thanks for your posts, which I find thoughtful and well considered. My wife and I, who have lived in the northern part of the northeast for most of our lives, are considering a move south. We've visited AVL, GVL and briefly, a couple of other smallish cities. We've been to GVL just once, and only for a few days, but are planning another visit, so I wonder if you can expand on your long post about the city, its environs and the people (leaving aside the police issue). In what way did you find people "miserable"? I, too noted that the roads are bad, but after many years of road biking in NE, I don't think I'll find them worse in SC. Finally, what cities do you like and would consider living in? Thanks again. This is very helpful.

Obviously, anyone else can offer opinions and ideas as well.
I didn't mean to lump everybody together in terms or misery. From what I experienced it was mainly the suburbs. Downtown was a completely different atmosphere. Unlike most cities I have visited, it seems like there is a very distinct line between downtown and its surroundings. Maybe a 3-4 mile radius from the center of downtown, and then everything changes completely. The atmosphere, the people......... once you get into the surrounding towns the people just seemed unhappy. I don't know how to describe it without getting stereotypical. The impression I got was the people of downtown actually lived downtown because the atmosphere is that much different. It seems like it's not a city where people work downtown and then drive home to the suburbs.

I hear ya about the roads. I grew up in Buffalo. I'm not going to single out Greenville in terms of bad roads, Asheville has its fair share of aging infrastructure. I-40 is a mess. But once you get outside of downtown, many of the 2 lane roads in western NC are in great condition. The bad roads in Greenville extend all the way out. In fact most of the state that I have experienced is bad.

I've traveled all over the southeast. I've been looking for an area with a decent urban center, distinct change of seasons, and mountains. Mountains are near the top of the list. After spending the last 18 years in an area that is completely flat, all roads run N-S or E-W and nothing but palm trees, mountains are important to me. Portland, OR is near the top of my list but a move from SoFL would be a major project. Of course jobs play a major part. I'd also consider Bend, OR if I went that far. But I've narrowed it down to Asheville or any of the immediate suburbs. If I were to live downtown without ever wanting to travel outside the area, Greenville is great. It's a little further from the mountains than I'd like, but considering all things I find important, it has a little bit of everything. But I enjoy the outdoors, traveling all over western NC and eastern TN is also important.

Sorry I didn't get back to this right away. Hope that helps!
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
160 posts, read 247,269 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCXENA View Post
This is a very interesting thread to me, as I am originally from the upstate of SC. When I was younger I couldn't wait to leave, and 26 years later couldn't wait to get back!
My husband and I relocated to Greenville two years ago when I retired from the military(he is retired military also). We lived in the DC area (Fairfax County,NoVA) for our last assignments, and just couldn't take it anymore; not just the inherent drawbacks of a large urban area, like crime and horrific traffic (okay, I scoff when people complain about Woodruff Rd. Yes, I do.), very high CoL, but also sky-high taxes that seem to give you NOTHING. The schools were no great shakes (in spite of the hype), and surprisingly to many, the programs available for special needs kids are SO MUCH BETTER here. (My brother, who has an autistic child, wishes he had never left Greenville to move to the NoVA area for career advancement.) Yes, we could have made superior money as civilians up there, but the cost in terms of quality of life are astronomical.
When I decided to retire and get the heck out of dodge, I did research and visits for a good solid 2 years before picking Greenville. (Knoxville was first-runner up--biggest advantage is no state tax!) It was an easy sell to my husband, who was completely blown away by all the wonderful things about this place. It has everything. Low CoL, low housing prices, low crime (at least compared to most larger cities), amazing, vibrant downtown, good airport, access to the mountains, and a straight shot to the coast, engaged community life, excellent business growth, good hospitals, no traffic, polite, friendly people, etc, etc. We actually had most of the neighbors on the street drop by to meet us and bring gifts of food and wine. This is the way things used to be when I was a kid, and I was blown away.
I also appreciated that people didn't look at you as if you had two heads if you went to church and talked openly about God. Greenville is also not so bizarrely PC that people can't have honest discussions about the issues of the day. Just try that in DC! We aren't regulated within an inch of our lives, and common sense seems to still have a good hold on our governance. Local government was definitely the enemy in Fairfax County.
Of course there are annoyances here (can you say "Duke Energy"?), but they are minor in the great large scheme of things.
I hadn't been to Greenville in 3 decades, and so I was looking at it with an unjaundiced eye. This place totally rocks. The locals really are spoiled, and don't realize how great this place is compared to most towns in the US. Not a day goes by that my husband doesn't thank me for bringing us here. I feel like I've landed in paradise.
I was also quite impressed with Knoxville. The way they have redeveloped downtown and managed to keep the original structures is really impressive. Downtown Grill & Brewery in the old Woodruff building is impressive as well. Seeing the giant wood beams used to build it over 100 years ago is a sight to see. Great food too. I would definitely consider moving to Knoxville. What turned me off about Knoxville is the lack of residential downtown when compared to Greenville. Of course Greenville is smaller so it's easier to accomplish. Once you get outside of downtown, all the homes are huge. Even cheap homes are big. Seems like the people of Knoxville love their 3,000-4,000 sq/ft homes. It's also more difficult to get into the heart of the Blue Ridge and Smoky mountains. Getting through Gatlinburg during tourist season is a chore in itself.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
160 posts, read 247,269 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan In SC View Post
Gee, thanks for your honest opinion. Now here's mine. If you're the type of person who would come here and vote for people that would raise our taxes, then I would just as soon you go somewhere else. I have lived in SC for 15 years and I absolutely love it here. To me SC is not a "hole." You can find ugly parts of every state, and if that's what you want to cherry pick, so be it. But as a proud South Carolinian, I think this state is fantastic and I would not change much about it at all.

I moved from a state that had higher taxes, and the roads were no better, and the job opportunities were non-existent - which was the main reason I left that state. Its a state that has been controlled by the unions and the democrat party for over 60 years, and the economy is in the toilet (much like Detroit, Chicago, etc.). When I moved to Greenville, I was so amazed at how they actually had conservative leaders that understood how to lure businesses like GE, Michelin, and BMW, to the area while keeping the cost of living low.

Sounds like you're unable to appreciate what SC has to offer which is fine. I think you would be better off in Asheville. I hear the people there love high taxes. Its a sort of mini San Francisco in the Appalachian mountains.
I never said I love high taxes. I said there's a fine line. I'm about as fiscally conservative as you can get. But you reach a point where something needs to be done to tidy up the place if you want to attract a larger tax base to help bring in revenue. It's not all about Democrats ruining cities. Many cities in the rust belt were decimated by the demise of the steel industry. I could get into a discussion about R's and D's and the status of America's cities because it has little to do with parties when it comes down to it. But that's not what this thread is about. PM me if you'd like to discuss it.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:53 PM
 
410 posts, read 667,664 times
Reputation: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJFIVEOH View Post
Downtown doesn't need improving. The immediate outskirts needs improving, and the law enforcement needs to lighten up! I'm not saying people don't need to be enforced (myself included) but they need to back off, When people see a cop they feel threatened whether they are doing something wrong or not. It's a real detriment to the local image. I have bitched about the lack of law enforcement where I come from so it may seem contradictory, but I think I would rather have the 'every man for it' way of driving like where I come from than having every single cop looking over my shoulder in the most conservative state in the Union. Like I said, I think Greenville, downtown, is ****ing awesome! Everything else needs some major major work. I wish they would hire me. I love these kind of projects.....
I also have a background in planning (more from a historic preservation bent). I love Greenville, but I live in Greer simply because I would only want to live within walking/biking distance to downtown and I can't because I'm a poor government worker.

I couldn't agree with you more about downtown. I think the "holes" in Greenville are caused by the County. Their planning department has done nothing to plan for the future. The result is urban sprawl of the highest (and most disgusting) order and insane traffic that shouldn't be as bad as it is for a city of our size.

My commute of 11 miles in the morning from (from Greer to North Pleasantburg) is a bumper to bumper highly defensive ride of about 30 minutes. No call for that, in my opinion. I do love Greer though. I live two blocks from their downtown which is coming along. We have set backs and triumphs...and really good food. I live in a lovely historical neighborhood but I fear the future for since the Greer planning department is probably just as antiquated as the County's. They are in the midst of a major update to their master plan, so I'm hoping good things will come out of that.

I also agree with you about the taxes. Our state system needs major reformation. The roads are pathetic. I don't like the idea of higher gas taxes but a fair trade would be for income taxes to be obliterated to compensate for it. Tennessee does that and I don't fall into potholes when I visit there.

I personally do enjoy Asheville. They know how to plan things there. But of course, in some ways, it is the original planned city since it sprang up as a result of Biltmore.

I've also been watching Knoxville. They are trying to do some things with their downtown though you have to dig to find it. I do agree with you about the lack of residential housing. You either live in a loft downtown or the historical neighborhoods are a mile or more away. Rather strange, IMO.

I do disagree with you about cops. I've never noticed that there are a lot. It doesn't really matter to me anyway since I'm a law abiding citizen.

Anyhoo...don't be a stranger. I enjoy a good urban planning chat.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:06 PM
Status: "Summer, please don't leave!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Asheville, NC
11,500 posts, read 25,791,560 times
Reputation: 4240
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJFIVEOH View Post
I never said I love high taxes. I said there's a fine line. I'm about as fiscally conservative as you can get. But you reach a point where something needs to be done to tidy up the place if you want to attract a larger tax base to help bring in revenue. It's not all about Democrats ruining cities. Many cities in the rust belt were decimated by the demise of the steel industry. I could get into a discussion about R's and D's and the status of America's cities because it has little to do with parties when it comes down to it. But that's not what this thread is about. PM me if you'd like to discuss it.
Does that mean that you have a "change of heart" about possibly moving to downtown Greenville?
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
160 posts, read 247,269 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousejunkie View Post
I also have a background in planning (more from a historic preservation bent). I love Greenville, but I live in Greer simply because I would only want to live within walking/biking distance to downtown and I can't because I'm a poor government worker.

I couldn't agree with you more about downtown. I think the "holes" in Greenville are caused by the County. Their planning department has done nothing to plan for the future. The result is urban sprawl of the highest (and most disgusting) order and insane traffic that shouldn't be as bad as it is for a city of our size.

My commute of 11 miles in the morning from (from Greer to North Pleasantburg) is a bumper to bumper highly defensive ride of about 30 minutes. No call for that, in my opinion. I do love Greer though. I live two blocks from their downtown which is coming along. We have set backs and triumphs...and really good food. I live in a lovely historical neighborhood but I fear the future for since the Greer planning department is probably just as antiquated as the County's. They are in the midst of a major update to their master plan, so I'm hoping good things will come out of that.

I also agree with you about the taxes. Our state system needs major reformation. The roads are pathetic. I don't like the idea of higher gas taxes but a fair trade would be for income taxes to be obliterated to compensate for it. Tennessee does that and I don't fall into potholes when I visit there.

I personally do enjoy Asheville. They know how to plan things there. But of course, in some ways, it is the original planned city since it sprang up as a result of Biltmore.

I've also been watching Knoxville. They are trying to do some things with their downtown though you have to dig to find it. I do agree with you about the lack of residential housing. You either live in a loft downtown or the historical neighborhoods are a mile or more away. Rather strange, IMO.

I do disagree with you about cops. I've never noticed that there are a lot. It doesn't really matter to me anyway since I'm a law abiding citizen.

Anyhoo...don't be a stranger. I enjoy a good urban planning chat.
I have to agree with you, I don't think the lack of sufficient tax revenue is the reason for poor road conditions. I think it's poor planning. While some in SC love to tout their low tax rates they do receive an incredible amount of federal funding which is ironic in itself. I remember reading a study recently, if I remember correctly SC is one of four states to receive more than twice as much federal funding than is paid into federal taxes. It's one of those things they don't talk about.

You're right about Asheville. It's pretty much the original layout. I think if Asheville grows significantly in the near future, they may be in trouble.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
160 posts, read 247,269 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by beckycat View Post
Does that mean that you have a "change of heart" about possibly moving to downtown Greenville?
Anything is possible, but probably not. I just wanted to clarify that I don't think the entire state is as bad as I have mentioned. There are some nice things about SC and Greenville is one of them.
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