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Old 08-23-2011, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
15,128 posts, read 20,421,456 times
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KC doesn't receive a large amount of transplants OUTSIDE of the Plains/Midwest. I think it would probably be somewhat hard for many coastal residents to adjust to all the differences of KC in a short period of time. It usually takes a period of transition. KCMO is continuing its investment in the urban core and drawing in a more diverse crowd with an array of incomes as well as trying to increase the number of professional singles and couples. The future of the the KC metro strongly hinges on the vibrancy of the core and the central city as opposed to office park growth in the far flung exurbs.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
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Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Right now, I have a good job, urban amenities and cultural offerings easily accessible, can shop for necessities easily and without a commute, and drive 15 minutes and be out in the country looking up at the stars while a cow moos and crickets chirp, like I enjoyed as a kid.
It's true, one of the nice aspects of living here is that it's no big deal to get out to the countryside when you feel like it. Most of the terrain is gently rolling, not pancake flat like Houston. No fire ants either.

I don't think one could top RadioSilence's summary of the KC climate...spot on.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
KC doesn't receive a large amount of transplants OUTSIDE of the Plains/Midwest.
Well not large but still many do. LA and San Diego are among the highest imports for KC according to migrations stats. Where I work (in IT field), about 1/3 aren't from this region, and there are many from E coast.

KC is actually one of a few Midwest metros that has a positive net domestic in-migration. Only Indy and Columbus do as well. While not exactly a major magnet, there is a good mix in KC of people from elsewhere.

Page 25...
http://www.ewgateway.org/pdffiles/li...ws/wws2011.pdf
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Originally Posted by Techwired View Post
Possible job transfer to Kansas City/Overland Park area.

New here to City-Data, My wife and I are considering a possible move to KC/OP area - We are both in our late thirties with a four year toddler, originally from the West Coast, I was born in Seattle, grew up in Northern Cal, Menlo Park area and lived in San Diego & O.C. for 17 years - Wife is from Texas but grew up in So Cal and went to college in San Diego - We have been living in Houston TX for the past three years and are definitely ready for a change. We have only been to K.C. once before in June for three days and were impressed by how neat & clean it looked, especially compared to Houston, how non-congested the roadways were along with the friendliness and congeniality of the people we met.

I am in telecom industry and my wife is a RN here in Houston, I would transfer from our Houston office to the Overland Park HQ with the same salary and my wife would look for a RN position after we were settled - We would love to get some current insight from transplants to the area, especially folks who moved to K.C. from the East and West Coasts or larger Mid-West/Southeast cities along with natives who have left the area and moved on to other cities.

[How would you compare K.C. to where you currently live or have moved here from?

Transplants, what do you think about the area now that you're here in K.C.- was it a good move for you and would you do it again? Where did you move from? Those who have left KC, what do you miss about the area, and are you happier elsewhere now that you moved away? For those who are native to the area, what were the best and worst parts of growing up in this region of the country?

Where are the top areas to live for families on the Missouri side? - Our son will be starting kindergarten in a year, outside of Overland Park which I understand has excellent public schools - which areas on the Missouri side have the best K-12 public schools and offer the best overall quality of life in terms of recreation, lay-out, vibrancy and environment, safety, entertainment options, quality retail, and proximity to other areas. Also would it be advisable to live in MO and work in Overland Park tax-wise?

How progressive is the Kansas City area --- We live in Houston which was a huge culture shock for me, VERY socially conservative and evangelical like the majority of Texas, lot's of rednecks once you get 15 miles outside the major cities of TX - We would prefer a more balanced and progressive culture - I think we would be considered fiscally conservative and socially liberal - prefer Independent Libertarianism aka Libertarian approach to government - I think Orange County,parts of Upper New England and Colorado seem to embrace this type of political culture.

Both of us grew up Catholic, but don't attend church on a regular basis and when we do we go to a great Episcopal church in Houston -- How would you describe the overall culture and politics in K.C?

How would you compare Kansas City in terms of its overall quality of life, regional culture, weather, higher education options and the region's metro's overall financial outlook to other similar sized Midwestern cities - St. Louis, Columbus, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Indy etc. (Our other option is Columbus)

Entertainment -Outside of the Plaza and Westport we really didn't get a chance to see much else of K.C. In terms of dining and entertainment, where are some of the best spots to enjoy on weekends including interesting places, museums, favorite outdoor recreation spots and local weekend getaways

Sports - I love Pro sports NFL and MLB, but also love to play soccer and mountain bike (no hills in Houston), how would you rate the area for indoor/outdoor sports and recreation for adults & children?

Weather - I know it gets hot and humid there in the summer,(not nearly as hot as Texas) does anyone get bad seasonal allergies, (Houston is tough on allergies) What are the summer months like, & how much heavy snowfall does the area get in the winter months? What type of activities do people do in the winter to keep themselves busy and entertained (especially if you have young children)

Also my wife is half Japanese --- does K.C. and or Overland Park have a decent sizes Japanese/Asian Community.


Truly looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts and responses - Thanks in advance!

Well, it looks like you have gotten plenty of great replies. Very nice. I will add a perspective from somebody that has left KC for the DC/Baltimore area. I also travel extensively around the country and so I feel I can compare most metro areas from a fair and neutral viewpoint.

First off your question about how “livable” KC is, I would say that KC is extremely livable.

There is very little traffic and there is a very good highway system which has been nearly entirely upgraded/rebuilt in the past ten years.
The metro has some of the nicest suburbs you will find in any metro area. Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Liberty, Lenexa and many others.
The city core of kcmo offers many urban neighborhoods and districts for one of the better urban cores between the coasts in my opinion.
The city has so much to do for a midsized city from pro sports to museums to arts and theater to amusement parks and much more.
It’s a very family friendly city. From going to a Royals game to a festival at Crown Center or an event at Union Station. KC is one of the top family towns in the country IMO.
The location is really great being within an easy drive or flight of nearly the entire country.
The cost of living is perfect and you get a lot for your money rather than you get what you pay for.

There are some things that are not great about the city.
The state line is just so divisive there. I have never seen a suburban population of any metro (maybe Detroit) that can be so collectively anti central city (especially the KS side suburbs) and it’s not only suburban vs urban, the suburbs of kcmo leach off of and poach off of kcmo much more than they should.
There is a serious lack of bike and ped trails in the central city (yes I know it’s improving).
Transit is lacking, but desperately trying to pull something together over the next few years and they might just finally be about there.
KCI needs a terminal, downtown still needs more investment and regional funding needs to be implemented for the museums, zoo etc.
Metro KC has a lot of blight and sprawl (not uncommon for large Midwestern metros).

But really the positive things really out way the negatives by quite a bit. I would actually say that for a young active couple that has a toddler that want to live in a city with great suburban schools, yet have access to all the big city attractions, nightlife, culture, arts etc, it really doesn’t get much better than KC.

I’m not sure there are too many cities that can really offer a full package as close to what KC offers. No city is perfect, but KC is nearly as good as it gets. There are a few cities I like better (denver, minneapolis, maybe seattle, but the bar is set high) Now if you are single, there might be a few cities that offer more for that lifestyle, but really KC compares well to even those cities so long as you know the city and where to go. There is always something to do or something going on in KC whether you have the kids in tow or not.

I think most the rest of your questions have been answered.

Here are my answers.

Best suburban areas? Depends on what you want, but, most of Johnson County (not a fan of Olathe though), Platte County, MO (Parkville, Tiffany Springs etc), upper Clay County, MO (NE Gladstone/Shoal Creek/Liberty), Lee’s Summit is really nice, most of Blue Springs is really nice, southeast Independence is nice and northern Cass County is okay (pretty blue collar but very fast growing area). My personal favorites are Lee’s Summit (I-470 corridor) or Platte County (I-29 corridor). KC's suburbs vary drastically though from the Orange County feel (new, beige, upscale) of JoCo to the more outdoorsy feel (lakes, parks etc) of the eastern suburbs to the suburban Iowa feel (just tract housing suburbia) of parts of Clay or Cass county to river bluffs of Platte County and the historic town centers of NKC, Lee’s Summit and Independence.

But I love the more urban areas of Brookside, South Plaza etc, the inner suburban areas of the Northland (Old Briarcliff), the lakewood area of Lee's Summit and the extreme NE portion of Johnson County (Fairway etc).

Taxes are a non issue. Just live where you want. Seriously, don’t even worry about tax differences between KS, MO, KCMO, suburbs etc. Not an issue.

How progressive is KC? Average to above average I would say. They don’t stand out, but I sure wouldn’t say the area is backwards or anything and in the last ten years, the city has really changed for the better. Thriving arts scene, all the new modern structures downtown, the people will vote for well thought out plans if they have a chance to vote on them etc.

Religion? Not at all religious, but I would not call KC a bible belt city at all. I think Religion is a major part of midwestern suburban culture and kc is no exception, but it’s not overwhelming like you will find in many southern cities. It’s much more than out here, but you can totally avoid it and those that are into organized religion seem to respect those that are not. This changes quickly as you leave the metro and get out into the rural areas where I think you quickly enter a more bible belt culture. especially in Missouri.

Entertainment? Plenty (West 39th, Martini Corner, Crossroads, City Market etc).

Sports? Well KC has the top two leagues (MLB and NFL) and is lucky to have MLB for the size of the metro. Huge plus in my book. KC has some of the best sports venues in the country. The teams suck, but they are still fun to go to. Chiefs, Royals, Sporting, auto racing etc. KC could use a pro winter sports team downtown in the sprint center though. Soccer is big in KC. Lots of soccer complexes all around the metro and two big indoor soccer complexes in the eastern suburbs plus the MLS team is thriving right now. Kansas side people are far more obsessed with college sports, MO side peopel seem to go along for the ride for the most part and talk smack, but really don't care as much. KC does host some large scale college events which adds to the sports scene in KC. People don’t know that KC has some of the best mountain biking in the Midwest. Landahl Park in Blue Springs is one of the top mountain bike parks in the Midwest. There are also some great trails in Swope Park, Minor Park, Shawnee Mission Park and out in Lawrence, Kansas.

Rednecks? KC is less redneck (or blue collar) than most people think. It’s a very white collar city only with many areas that have a blue collar culture. (Wyandotte county, parts of the northland etc), but it’s not near as bad as the cities south and southeast of KC. Missouri can be pretty redneck outstate. Kansas can be too, but I think Kansas is a bit more working class farmers than redneck while parts of Missouri are downright hillbilly down south.

Weather kind of sucks in KC at times, but it’s not as bad as OK or Texas or Michigan. I think it has decent weather. It’s no San Diego, but I enjoy the four seasons and fall and spring are gorgeous in KC.

Good luck. I would pick KC over Columbus in a heartbeat though

Last edited by kcmo; 08-23-2011 at 10:09 PM..
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:05 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
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Except for a few areas spread evenly among the Missouri suburbs, most notably Parkville, as well as the Brookside neighborhood in KCMO, outside of Johnson County, I would say KC is much more blue-collar/working class than one might think. The vast industrial districts speak for themselves.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:48 AM
 
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^KC isn't really as industrial as other Midwest metros and is slightly more white collar than most others. But KC has not lost as many industrial jobs compared to other Midwest cities. Manufacturing in KC is <8% of total employment. Most other Midwest cities are >8.5% or much more. Houston is >8.5% manufacturing. San Diego is about 7.5%.

In the Midwest, KC, MSP, Indy and Columbus are often considered to be the New Economy cities.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
Except for a few areas spread evenly among the Missouri suburbs, most notably Parkville, as well as the Brookside neighborhood in KCMO, outside of Johnson County, I would say KC is much more blue-collar/working class than one might think. The vast industrial districts speak for themselves.
How do you figure? I mean, sure kc has some industrial distircts and the KC area plants are doing very well (Ford, GM, Lake City and Honeywell).

But most of KC's industrial districts are mostly warehouse distribution centers. Most of the heavy industry in the east bottoms is gone. Fairfax and Front Street is all that's left and I'm sure those areas employ a small portions of the areas jobs. I just listed the top three heavy industry employers in KC. Garmin is considered industrial I think, yet most jobs in KC are white collar.

Everybody I knew that lived in the Northland, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs etc worked in office buildings in JoCo, Plaza, Downtown etc. They just often have to commute unless they are some of the lucky few that work locally. Lee's Summit has massive commuting patterns to JoCo and central KCMO, not to 435 and Front Street. Even Lee's Summit has the largest single office campus in the metro that is 100% leased (the summit tech campus) which is over a million sq feet.

KC is a huge telecommunications and engineering town. It's pretty white collar. That's not to say that even white collar workers in KC might have a blue collar culture.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,338 posts, read 2,627,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
How do you figure? I mean, sure kc has some industrial distircts and the KC area plants are doing very well (Ford, GM, Lake City and Honeywell).

But most of KC's industrial districts are mostly warehouse distribution centers. Most of the heavy industry in the east bottoms is gone. Fairfax and Front Street is all that's left and I'm sure those areas employ a small portions of the areas jobs. I just listed the top three heavy industry employers in KC. Garmin is considered industrial I think, yet most jobs in KC are white collar.

Everybody I knew that lived in the Northland, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs etc worked in office buildings in JoCo, Plaza, Downtown etc. They just often have to commute unless they are some of the lucky few that work locally. Lee's Summit has massive commuting patterns to JoCo and central KCMO, not to 435 and Front Street. Even Lee's Summit has the largest single office campus in the metro that is 100% leased (the summit tech campus) which is over a million sq feet.

KC is a huge telecommunications and engineering town. It's pretty white collar. That's not to say that even white collar workers in KC might have a blue collar culture.
Logistics jobs aren't white collar. The NE industrial district and Fairfax are big, but there's also NKC, Armourdale/Argentine, the Crossroads, west bottoms, Blue River, Claycomo/WOF area, and even a great deal of industrial along I-35 in JoCo. Heavy industry or not, industrial jobs are industrial jobs. I guess we just have a lot of $20K warehouse jobs VS higher paying heavy industry. Xeno - is that 8% figure JUST heavy industry or all industry/logistics?

Okay, so you know people like yourself. Though I've seen you mention how blue-collar you thought Blue Springs is.

But I guess I see your point in saying KC is more white collar than people might think, being that industry is so apparent here. I'm only 25, so I wasn't around in 1970, or whenever the blue-collar peak was, to see all of the belching smoke stacks and what not.

That said, judging by the composition of much of KCMO's population (ghetto) and associated problems, I think we are in need of more industrial/light industrial jobs.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
Xeno - is that 8% figure JUST heavy industry or all industry/logistics?
.
It's 'manufacturing'. There is another category called 'trade, transportation, utilities' that probably includes logistics. Given that KC is the 2nd largest rail center, 3rd largest trucking center and has a lot of light industrial warehousing, KC might be above avg if including those.

In manufacturing/heavy industrial, KC has always been below avg but KC hasn't lost as many manufacturing jobs so has less unused industrial districts compared to other Midwest cites. KC may appear more functional than others, especially since we have 2 auto plants, Harley plant, processing plants in E Bottoms, etc.

Overall when looking at white collar jobs, KC metro is slightly above average. KC metro also ranks top 10 for growth in bachelors+ degree, which is not likely growth in blue collar.

Last edited by xenokc; 08-24-2011 at 08:28 AM..
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
Logistics jobs aren't white collar. The NE industrial district and Fairfax are big, but there's also NKC, Armourdale/Argentine, the Crossroads, west bottoms, Blue River, Claycomo/WOF area, and even a great deal of industrial along I-35 in JoCo. Heavy industry or not, industrial jobs are industrial jobs. I guess we just have a lot of $20K warehouse jobs VS higher paying heavy industry. Xeno - is that 8% figure JUST heavy industry or all industry/logistics?

Okay, so you know people like yourself. Though I've seen you mention how blue-collar you thought Blue Springs is.

But I guess I see your point in saying KC is more white collar than people might think, being that industry is so apparent here. I'm only 25, so I wasn't around in 1970, or whenever the blue-collar peak was, to see all of the belching smoke stacks and what not.

That said, judging by the composition of much of KCMO's population (ghetto) and associated problems, I think we are in need of more industrial/light industrial jobs.
Those big 500,000 square feet warehouses employ like 40 people and places like Indy have at least as much logistics as KC does.

Blue Springs leans more blue collar, but that doesn't mean most people work at Ford or Harley. Most work for school districts, hospitals or commute to white collar jobs in kcmo and joco. They can still be a bit blue collar though. I worked with many people in KC that were into hunting, college football, had 4 wheelers in the garage etc, but designed office buildings, shopping malls and highways worked at law firms or places like Sprint and Hallmark. I would also say that I knew about as many people in JoCo that were blue collar at white collar jobs as people from Liberty or Raymore. They just seemed to hide it better or be more ashamed to admit that they would rather go to Cabellas over Crate Barrel or were more interested in KU sports than going to a show at Starlight in the scary city. I think JoCo has plenty of blue collar types, they just hide it better in those three car garages.

When I think of Blue Springs being more blue collar, I'm thinking of the CEO's of huge landscaping companies, owners of companies like home builders and contractors that live there. They live in 300-500k homes yet drive a Ford F-350.
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