Moving to Davenport (Des Moines, Bettendorf, Hampton: best neighborhood, condo, crime rate)
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My husband and I will be moving to the Quad Cities (Davenport) in January. We have been trying to get some information about the area. We have been reading some of the forums and we are kind of confused because some people talk really bad about it and others just love it. We are actually from Nebraska and we are a little worried about not being accepted (some people have talked about the outsiders problem...)....is this true? We are a young couple and we love to meet new people.
Any information about the area would be great. Thanks so much!
The Quad Cities has a lot of nice areas and there is plenty to do. I wouldn't worry about fitting in, you from the midwest, and your moving somewhere else.... in the midwest. I have relatives who moved from Omaha to Davenport/Bettendorf quite a few years ago and they never regretted it.
The Quad Cities is a nice small to mid-size metro of about 380,000 people. It has a decent amount of diversity in races and religions. There are jobs, things to do, and fun to have if you use your imagination. If you or your husband are into Mixed Martial Arts, many UFC champions train in Bettendorf at Pat Militech's gym and there is alot of sport fights happening at the "Mark of the Quad Cities". There are nice universites throughout, St. Ambroise, Augustana etc.. John Deeres world Head Quarters. You will be close to Chicago, Rockford, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, as well as other Iowa cities.
Davenport and Rock Island have some shooting and homicides. It does exist but it isn't everywhere.
We have been reading some of the forums and we are kind of confused because some people talk really bad about it and others just love it.
I lived in Chicago, small-town rural Iowa, the Des Moines area, and the Quad Cities. All things considered, I've enjoyed the QC area the most because it maintains an interesting composition due to the lack of one dominant city. The Quad Cities defies the prototypical template a city surrounded by bland suburban sprawl. Its also split 50/50 over two very different states which adds even more uniqueness to the area.
Don't let the talk of crime in Davenport/Rock Island scare you too badly. Having lived in Chicago, I know what real crime is and the QC is definitely not in that category. Yes, there is the occasional murder...but show me a metropolitan area of 350,000+ in the US that has ZERO homicides per year. It doesn't exist.
The natural beauty of the Quad Cities is its greatest asset. The Mississippi River is gorgeous year-round, offering both a scenic backdrop and a rich historical flavor to the region. The first bridge in the US to cross the Mississippi was located in Rock Island. Westward expansion of America literally began in the Quad Cities.
Culturally, the Quad Cities has some nice offerings. The Figge Art Museum and Putnam Museum both attract nationally-reknown exhibits on a regular basis. The Adler Theatre in downtown Davenport constantly gets big-name performers and Broadway shows. The I-Wireless Center in Moline attracts the top concert tours in addition to hosting AHL hockey and af2 arena football. Even the PGA tour makes an annual stop near Moline over the summer.
Housing costs are among the lowest in the country for an area of comparable size. Traffic flows quite smoothly, although I-74 can slow to a crawl between Moline and Bettendorf during the evening rush hour. I would recommend working and living on the same side of the Mississippi River, as bridge traffic can become an annoyance at times. While the job market is stable, the area still relies heavily on maufacturing for employment. This creates a scenario where the local economy can be more prone to recession. Despite this fact, the metropolitan area has posted steady gains in population and job growth over the last 15 years.
I wish you the best in your move to the Quad Cities and hope this information gives you a better picture of what to expect.
Mfrerkes summed the QC up pretty well. I dont know who keeps saying we dont accept "outsiders." I know people of every race, religion, from every region of the country here, and no one treats them differently unless they act like a jerk. Maybe in some of the smaller rural areas in Iowa they might not be too welcoming, but any urban area is ok.
The I wireless center gets almost all the major music artists. Everything from rap, rock, metal, and everything else, Elton John was just here recently. The Adler theatre has been expanded so they get a lot of broadway shows now. We have pretty much all the major restaurants and food chains, plus a lot of local authentic mexican, italian, japanese, chinese, thai. A lot of the events are based around the Mississippi river, which runs through the downtown area. Plans are in the works for Davenport and Rock island to team up and make a big Riverwalk kind of area in the next few years.
Theres the Rock island District which has a lot of nightclubs, and hosts street fests a few times a year. Gumbo ya ya is a good one with, bands and creole and jamaican food. Downtown Davenport has a lot of bars and clubs too if that is your thing. A bike path was completed recently that goes all the way through the QC from Iowa to Illinois, it is nice if you're into cycling.
The only thing I really dont like about Iowa is if you're in a decent size city you're ok, but if you want to go to another city you have some of the most boring drives ever. All the major cities are spread out kind of far apart. But being from Nebraska, im sure its pretty similar. Other than that the QC is a pretty good place.
If you have any questions feel free to send me a message.
Since I gave a basic overview of the Quad Cities, I really neglected to mention that each one of the four cities has very distinct characteristics from the other. These differences may affect where you chose to live. So here they are in alphabetical order:
Bettendorf - The most expensive place to live in the Quad Cities. If you want cheap housing, this is not the city for you. However, it probably has the best schools in the entire region and the crime rate is super low. It's basically a protoypical suburb with a nice riverfront.
Davenport - A mixed bag, as most cities of 100,000+ usually are. Some neighborhoods are bordering on dangerous (south of Locust and west of Jersey Ridge) while others are very affluent (anything north of Kimberly Road). Davenport has the cheapest housing for the Iowa side of the QC.
Moline - This is the best overall place to live, IMHO. Housing is not too expensive and crime is not a big problem. The best neighborhood in Moline is in the southeastern section, near John Deere's world headquarters. However, there are plenty of nice neighborhoods scattered throughout the western and central areas too.
Rock Island - Definitely the most "old-school" of the Quad Cities. Much of the historical flavor of the region can be traced through this city, and there are many beautiful homes as a result. The problem is the northern half of Rock Island is comprised of many unseemly neighborhoods. The southern portion is very nice, however, and housing is quite affordable.
The Illinois mini-burbs of East Moline, Silvis, Milan, Coal Valley, Colona, Hampton, Rapid City, and Carbon Cliff offer a genuine small-town feel while being directly adjacent to the Quad Cities amenities.
The Iowa side has LeClaire (a quaint, picturesque river town of 3,000) and Eldridge (a growing mini-burb of 5,000) very close by.
I'm looking for an area with alot of nightlife, preferrably catering to twenty to thirty something professionals. Also looking to live close to the happenings and spend 150K-250K on my place. A nice condo might work. Any suggestions?
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