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Old 01-01-2012, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,488,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
I've noticed Independence is the choice of a lot of rural Missouri folks who want, need or have to move into the metro.
Interesting, I have never noticed that about Indep. I have known a lot of people that have moved to the metro and they settle just about everywhere EXCEPT Independence.

From my experience, Independence is full of people that are from Independence or maybe Kansas City, MO or Raytown. Very few people tend to move to KC and settle in Independence. One reason is that Independence has very few apartments, condos etc (which is where most young people start out). It’s population is stable or growing because the locals tend to come back or stay rather than leaving. The main reason it’s adding people outside those locals sticking around is because it offers a very cheap suburban alternative to other suburbs like Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, Northland, JoCo etc. The new housing in northeastern Indep is very cheap, the midtown areas are safe, yet modest and the western parts of the city are stable and safe and have decent schools compared to hemorrhaging parts of east KCMO that is just west of there so many people (often hispanics and other minorities) are escaping kcmo to western Indep. Even the upscale areas of southeast Indep tend to be often be simply long time residents of Indep that became successful and wanted to stay in the city.

Most "rural" people I know that don't like big cities or urban sprawl don't care for independence. My wife is from rural MO and none of her family will drive past Independence Center if they can avoid it. They are all so happy about all the new stores in eastern blue springs so they don't have to go that far into metro KC and some parts of Indep have blight and crime issues or have a lot of traffic and they seem to be generally intimidated by most of Independence outside the shopping areas. I think rural people migrating to kc are far more likely to settle in places like Grain Valley or even Blue Springs than Indep.

Now many of the locals in Indy have more of a rural culture. The northern parts of the city are especially like that, but it sure seems to me like most people that I have known that live there have lived there for a very long time or their parents have or they have ties to the area. So they’re from the Independence area, they just tend to have blue collar type jobs and a very blue collar background or culture. KCK is very similar to Indep in this regard. Gladstone is nothing like Indep IMO. It’s very much just an inner ring residential suburb with a very diverse working population (both white and blue collar). Liberty leans a bit more blue collar, but it’s more of a suburban blue collar culture (nice homes, good incomes, but still drive the F150 etc) while parts of Indep does have that funky urban/rural culture. Although the Liberty area seems to increasing its percent of white collar residents quite a bit. People are choosing to live in the Liberty area and commute to Downtown or even clear to Johnson County to white collar jobs. I’m not sure Independence gets a lot of that (Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit do though).

Last edited by kcmo; 01-01-2012 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,195,578 times
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I agree that Independence and KCK are similar in that they have retained families for generations and a degree of loyalty, but Independence has done well in retaining a middle-class, even in the old part of town, whereas KCK's incredibly devoid of middle-class familes. The only reason for this difference I can see is KCK had a black population and experienced white flight.

But my point was there are patterns of relocation and connections between area communities that aren't highly visible. And it mostly has to do with working-class types. Working-class culture certainly has a strong presence in Gladstone and Liberty, although like you said the latter is becoming more upscale. The demographic I'm thinking of isn't scared of Independence, but would probably think of Blue Springs as a more "upscale alternative". These are mostly non-college types, but people who do own homes and 2 cars. They're legit, hard-working people, but very humble. Believe it or not, there are "successful" people out there who can't or are unwillingly to spend even $150K on a home. It's unlikely they'd be transferring jobs from another metro and if they do move to the area from a distance, it's likely from an odd place like southwestern Virginia. I'm having a hard time explaining, but this demographic definitely exists and is very much under the radar. Probably the best way to put it would be "old-school working-class/blue-collar culture".
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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^ I think I understand what you are saying about the demographics thing and would agree that it's sort of a low profile group. I know a lot of people like how you describe that have no problem living in Independence even though they could easily afford to live in Lee's Summit or something and they don’t care what others think about them for choosing to live in Independence because they are fine with the city despite its image which is often an incorrect image in the first place. I guess I’m having a difficult time describing it as well.

As far as KCK. You are right. KCK and Indep have a lot in common. That’s why I get so frustrated with some of the things KCK does because I feel like the city keeps blowing opportunities to get those midtown neighborhoods back on track and bring the middle class residents back to the city or at least stabilize the area. Instead, the city has set itself up for failure and is basing its future on new rooftops west of 435. Well there are very few homes going up west of 435 and the older areas of the city will not stabilize with so much cancerous retail blight east of 435.

You can’t tell me that the city could not have done something with the Indian Springs area when there has been hundreds of millions (if not into past a billion by now) worth of investment on the city’s far flung western edge. I get some of the initial projects out there, but to do nothing at all where people actually live? And Downtown Independence is actually more vibrant than downtown KCK for many of the same reasons.

I guess I just kind of respect Independence and it irks me when people rip on the city by calling it ghetto or the meth capital etc while KCK has become some sort of well respected city that does everything right. Independence is the only suburban city that would even think about bringing in kids from urban kcmo to their schools and taking on the challenge to educate them. That is such a risk to the other schools in the district, especially from a PR standpoint, but they did the right thing and I really admire that. They also used tifs in a much more responsible way than most other suburbs which abuse tifs. Indep only used tifs to fund the removal of rock, they were short term tifs and they required the tenants to be new to the city so they wouldn’t just move from other parts of the city.

So while Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs are using supertiffs and build on greenfields and using tifs to fund the actual retail stores themselves (like KCK does), Indep used basic short term tifs for land prep only. Even bass pro was like that. It cost way more to get that land ready to develop than to actually build the bass pro.

Indy could have easily thrown that bass pro and arena clear out on highway 24 or in the little blue valley on land that would have be far cheaper to clear and develop. They could have built a brand new shopping mall using super tif, but instead, they decided to help developers build it near the Indep Mall where it was extremely expensive to build. Why? Because Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs were subsidizing new shopping centers that were threatening the mall area and Indep leaders knew they had to do whatever they could to keep the mall area vibrant and that included not shooting themselves in the foot by taking the easy route and building up the eastern part of the city.

I just think Indep gets a real bad and underserved rap. For the challenges they have, I think they do quite well. Just like the meth thing. They get proactive and go after them and shut them all down and because they closed so many in one year’s time, they are forever labeled a meth mecca.

Okay, I need to stop, because I’m typing more than anybody will read.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,195,578 times
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I've read basically all of what you just said before, as you've written before, and I'm sure any citynerd can appreciate everything you have to say. I definitely agree about Independence having an undeserved bad rep. It's not a horrible place, just humble and old, though there are some very nice historic neighborhoods. I was out in Independence the other day and am happy to see the mall area doing well, but they definitely need to upgrade the aesthetics along most of the corridors in the western part of the city. Noland, 24, Truman, 23rd, and of course 40 highway need a lot of work.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,488,746 times
Reputation: 5405
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
I've read basically all of what you just said before, as you've written before, and I'm sure any citynerd can appreciate everything you have to say. I definitely agree about Independence having an undeserved bad rep. It's not a horrible place, just humble and old, though there are some very nice historic neighborhoods. I was out in Independence the other day and am happy to see the mall area doing well, but they definitely need to upgrade the aesthetics along most of the corridors in the western part of the city. Noland, 24, Truman, 23rd, and of course 40 highway need a lot of work.
Somebody out there is thinking the same thing, this video is of Independence

It's possible, In just a few years, I have watched parts of DC flip just like that video shows.


Imagine KC Light Rail Video - YouTube
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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I would love to see Indep (or KCK) look like this in 2020

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Old 01-02-2012, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,195,578 times
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I think KC needs a massive influx of companies and people, perhaps Californian refugees, before our core can even reach its potential, let alone we see development like that in places like Independence and KCK. Even then I think places like Mission or even Metcalf in downtown OP are more ripe for that type of development. But I like the vision and have seen that before. It's good to know others have vision. That video is very elaborate. We need more stuff like that to illustrate what could be to the masses.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,488,746 times
Reputation: 5405
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKAN View Post
I think KC needs a massive influx of companies and people, perhaps Californian refugees, before our core can even reach its potential, let alone we see development like that in places like Independence and KCK. Even then I think places like Mission or even Metcalf in downtown OP are more ripe for that type of development. But I like the vision and have seen that before. It's good to know others have vision. That video is very elaborate. We need more stuff like that to illustrate what could be to the masses.
Agree 100%.
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:31 AM
 
4 posts, read 11,798 times
Reputation: 10
Default Lexington, Mo., I love this town.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Independence is a large suburb of KC, not a small town or rural at all. In fact, the city has many big city problems in parts of the city.

Sedalia is a small town, but it's not very small. It can get crowded there with traffic, it's also a main route to the lakes from KC so it gets some of that traffic too. It's in a rural area though.

Lexington is "very" small town, not much traffic, very slow paced and off the beaten path. Lexington is actually a pretty nice town with some nice historic housing stock on it's in a pretty area along the MO river. Sounds like that may be what you are looking for.





Yes, I grew up in Lexington, Missouri, nice small town setting. Love the people, they have many antique stores, craft shops, with lots of fun items to buy. Not too far from Independence or Kansas City, Missouri. So if you are looking to find something to do, Kansas City is only about an hour or so less away. You will love it. Nice town.
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