Hendersonville (Chattanooga, Gallatin, Berry Hill: transplants, real estate, city hall)
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On a recent visit to the Nashville area, we visited Hendersonville and are seriously considering moving there from DC. We especially loved the Berry Hill community. We also loved that it's so close to several parks and Old Hickory Lake and not too far from Nashville. We want to get away from the congestion and up-tightness of the DC suburbs and find a friendlier version of suburban living. Does anyone have advice about Hendersonville, or can you throw out some issues we may not have considered about the area, before we take the leap of faith and move. How are schools, crime, cost of living, future growth/construction projects, traffic, etc? Any bicycling clubs or trails nearby? Any nearby gun shops or shooting ranges? How's the job market for a physical therapist and an aviation mechanic? Is it family-oriented? Any community activities? How's the library? Is it a conservative area? How are taxes? How is the Berry Hill area? Any thoughts and words of wisdom are appreciated and we look forward to your responses.
I'm originally from NY/CT and have been down here a little over 2 years. I really like Hendersonville for the shopping, restaurants, lakes, parks, etc..... If we had children, their schools are very good. You will find real estate taxes much less than you're paying in DC. Gun shop/range in Gallatin to the east of Hendersonville, to the west in Greenbriar, outdoor range near Mt. Juliet. I'm not familiar with the Berry Hill area. Traffic here to me is not at all bad like it was back in the northeast. You will find people down here to be very friendly and make you feel at home.
Here's my take on Hendersonville. It's a really nice suburb. If you like living near the water, there's no better place to live in the Nashville area. It's a fairly new community, so it doesn't have a town square per se. The retail landscape has changed a lot in the last few years....they finally have some nice stores and restaurants...which makes it easier to spend more time there instead of driving to Nashville.
They also have some nice parks and were building a new library (could be finished by now...I'm not sure). Schools are very good....crime is low to nonexistent. Property taxes are reasonable. Not sure about your job questions or the gun question. It had been doing pretty well in the growth department until the economy tanked....but I think it's still doing ok even now. Very family oriented. I'm sure it leans more on the conservative side. You will find that most conservatives (I said most) will tend to live in the suburbs.
If I were interested in moving to the burbs....it would be in my top 2 choices.
FYI: I grew up in Hendersonville and am the product of H'ville schools. I live in Chattanooga now, but love to think that someday I'll retire in Hendersonville. Lots of my dreams are based on my life growing up there in the 70s/80s. Yes, I know it's not the same place it was then, but it's still a cool place to live.
The library is finished now, and it is beautiful. Also, the road on which it sits has been completed all the way to the Saundersville Rd. exit (which has been redesigned for safety at the RR crossing). On the other side of Indian Lake Blvd., the road has been extended to Wessington Place/Shackle Island via Scotch Street. This should help in the flow of local traffic in the East-West directions. Also, the Indian Lake Blvd. bridge over the Viet Vets bypass (Hwy 386) is about to be widened to accommodate the higher volume of cars that need to get on the bypass via the cloverleaf ramp on the northeast of the interchange. Anyway, I realize this sounds like "Greek" to anyone who is not familiar with H'ville, but suffice it to say that the idea is to help keep the traffic bottlenecks at a minimum... and try (if possible) to get ahead of the inevitable growth north of the Hwy 386 bypass.
While on the subject, Hendersonville has not had a great track record with planning for growth. It started as a "bedroom community" and for years held stubbornly to that mentality (at the expense of expanding... getting ahead of, if you will... the infrastructure). That began to change in the 90s, and occurred with a vengeance in the past decade. So as Edgefield D said, there really is no town center per-se. I guess the Indian Lake corridor (chiefly, the Streets of Indian Lake) which opened in the last 5 years has filled (adequately for now) a void in that department. Even the city hall moved to an existing (vacant) former medical clinic in that area from the west side of town.
I've also seen a plan commissioned by the city a couple of years ago to help guide denser development in the old town center, bounded by Main, Sanders Ferry, Walton Ferry Rds., and Imperial Blvd.. Last I checked, there had not been much (if anything) done with that plan. I'd expect it has been slowed by the economy.
Hendersonville is considered a middle/upper middle class area, and has a lot to offer residents. I've seen estimates that put its population at 50K, which means it's not the fastest growing suburban city in the Nashville area, but it reflects healthy growth.
Berry Hill is a great choice in Hendersonville. It's a new development but it's right in the center of the city, unlike most other new neighborhoods. You would be in a good school zone as well: Nannie Berry Elementary, Ellis Middle and Hendersonville High School. The latter two schools just received some sizable monetary gifts from Taylor Swift. Crime is extremely low. Hendersonville's retail/commercial base is expanding rapidly even during this recession many new shops and restaurants are opening both around Glenbrook and Indian Lake. The population continues to grow at a healthy rate as well. You will find bicycle trails and greenway access along Indian Lake Boulevard...very close to Berry Hill. There's a gun shop in the K-Mart shopping center at the intersection of Indian Lake Blvd and Gallatin Rd/Main St. I don't know about shooting ranges. The city is very family-oriented. The majority of the population consists of young families, mostly transplants. The library is only a year old and is located off of Indian Lake Blvd. It's very nice and hosts a lot of programs, especially in the summer. Living in Berry Hill you would also be close to both Drakes Creek Park and The Streets of Indian Lake. These are where most community events are held. There's Holiday Fest, The Trek or Treat, Festival by the Lake, Daniel Smith Days, Independence Day, and probably some more I am forgetting. Also from June-October there's a great farmer's market every Saturday morning.
You are making an excellent choice, like 46Barb, I am from southern Ct, and have lived in Hendersonville for over 7 years. Good community, low taxes, close to Nashville, which given your background should provide ample employment opportunities.The parks are super, taxes very low, and thanks to the Streets of Indian Lake, we have many good restaurants.
I am moving my family from California to Hendersonville this summer. One child will be entering 8th grade and the other child will be entering 5th grade. I have done my homework and narrowed my search to the Beech schools and the Indian Lake schools. My older child thrives in a nurturing school environment. Any advice from those that have children in both school zones is welcomed and appreciated.
Don't know about the Beech schools, but Indian Lake is about the best you could find anywhere. It has been named a "Blue Ribbon" school and it's in an upper middle income section of Hendersonville, which generally has very good to excellent schools. I would say that Indian Lake is about as nurturing of an environment as you'd find in any public school. Now I say this word of caution as it would apply anywhere you have kids who get lots of material possessions (cell phones in the 3rd grade, latest clothes, and anything that would add pressure to spend significantly more for non-necessities)... as they can (note I said "can") also determine a child's popularity in such schools. I would say that Indian Lake is not as bad as many schools are. But just know that the potential at Indial Lake may be greater than at Beech. My two cents.
thanks Shinetx. Your post was great to read. Moving from Southern California my children have already been exposed to the materialsm, cell phone texting at age 8 and the latest and greatest fashion trends. One of the reasons we are moving to H'ville is to expose them to a more down-to-earth lifestyle, where they can witness nieghbor helping neighbor and someone's word is exactly that. I know we can not go wrong at either the Beech or Indian Lake zones but it is good to hear your perspective.
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