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Old 12-07-2006, 07:51 PM
59 posts, read 295,979 times
Reputation: 30


Richmond is a beautiful city. I have lived there off and on over my lifetime. The city (downtown and nearby surrounding areas) are a mixed bag. There was quite an effort at one time to re-vitalize the downtown area to bring more pedestrian traffic back to city. That effort has mostly failed. That said, there are still some beautiful historic neighborhoods several miles from downtown. One of these neighborhoods is called "The Fan" and it is mainly historic row houses, many of which have been restored. There are many independent restaurants, Virgina Commonwealth University, and The Virginia Museum Nearby. The one "problem" with living in the Fan is that the schools are still "city of Richmond" Unfortunately the "city of Richmond" schools are not the best. Unless you are a DINK or send your kid to private school, many people choose not to live in the "city of richmond" for this reason.

A few more miles out you will cross out of the city of RIchmond into another county. The counties of Henrico and Chesterfield are very popular for their school systems and subdivisions. You will mainly find planned neighborhoods here, with all types of price ranges and lot sizes. You will find plenty of big box stores, and shopping malls in the county. Crime is pretty low in these counties as well. If you have kids, this is probably where you will want to settle. I can't recommend one county over another,but where you work will be a big factor in your choice. The city is divided by a river and therefore you must cross a bridge if you live on one side of town and work on the other. Bridge traffic can be heavy during commute times. Of course it is all relative. If you're coming from LA it will be a piece of cake.
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:42 AM
3 posts, read 15,334 times
Reputation: 21
I agree basically with Sallybell's assessment of the counties and schools situation - families with kids usually look to Henrico, Chesterfield or Hanover counties. The schools are very good. The schools in western Henrico county are probably the best (Godwin, Freeman, Deep Run, etc), with western Chesterfield (Midlothian, James River, Clover Hill) not far behind. These schools require living where the commute is kind of demanding - from western Henrico it can take 45-60 minutes to get downtown in the morning.

I disagree completely on Richmond's revitalization. When I was growing up in the Richmond area, no one lived downtown. In the past 10-15 years, the renovation of warehouses has exploded downtown, on Broad Street and along the river front. Literally thousands of apartments have been created. Since all planners will tell you you have to have residents to drive a downtown revitalization, this has been great news for Richmond. There's much more activity in Richmond than there used to be, particularly in Shockoe Bottom, Shockoe Slip, Church Hill, the Fan and Carytown. There's been gradual development along the canal, too, which has become a real playground for families and young couples on weekends and summer evenings.

That said, you probably wouldn't want to live in the city (remember, cities are completely seperate from counties in Virginia, including school systems) if you want good public schools at this point. I heard a city resident whose opionion I trust say recently that there are some good elementary schools and a few good middle schools, but no great city high schools. (I could be wrong on this and if anyone has knowledge otherwise please chime in).
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:42 PM
21,418 posts, read 40,042,560 times
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Originally Posted by captain poptart View Post
.....In the past 10-15 years, the renovation of warehouses has exploded downtown....planners will tell you you have to have residents to drive downtown revitalization, this has been great news for Richmond. There's much more activity in Richmond than there used to be....
True. I moderate several states here on this site and what I see lots of people looking for are "walkable downtown" areas as they want to get out of their cars....seems most cities are becoming gridlocked and many Americans are finally getting over their love affair with suburban tract housing where they had to drive everywhere. That being said, look for a major renewal in the downtowns of most cities around this nation as baby boomers retire over the next 20 years and chuck the suburban lifestyle for a more civilized approach than flipping each other the bird in 4 lanes of bumper to bumper madness. It's happening big time in my hometown of Baltimore and in a lot of other places. If I were an investor with courage, I'd buy up large areas of Newark, Trenton and other current horror stories. Parts of Baltimore were disaster areas 30 years ago, astute investors or homesteaders bought "junk" houses on Federal Hill for back taxes and ten years ago were selling them for $300k and now they're probably a great deal more. Same will happen in Richmond and a ton of other older cities.

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Old 06-01-2007, 08:55 AM
2 posts, read 9,727 times
Reputation: 10
Richmond is a very easy place to live and close to mountains and beach. The City is coming back and Shockhoe Slip, the Fan, Carytown, and Old Manchester are up and coming young hang-outs. I've been to Reno and I like richmond a whole lot better!
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:33 PM
Location: Richmond
111 posts, read 395,088 times
Reputation: 25
I have lived in within Richmond city limits for over ten years and can positively say that Roanoke's view of Richmond is NOT accurate. I currently live in Byrd Park in a small condo and have loved every minute of it.

The city is not decaying - in fact, it's just the opposite. New construction, rehab and adaptive reuse of old buildings is the norm here. Just check out the two new condo towers on the James River in downtown as examples. Old warehouses are continuing to be converted into apartments, lofts, and condos (Tobacco Row was -and may still be- the largest tax credit adaptive reuse project in the country). But other great areas exist in Richmond depending on what you desire in your living environment - Westover Hills, Stratford Hills, Byrd Park, the Fan, Museum District, Church Hill, the Shockoes, downtown, Sauer Gardens, Windsor Farms, River Road, and the list goes on.

As far as amenities go - museums, Carytown, excellent restaurants for a wide array of ethnic tastes, live music all over the place, public concerts and events nearly every weekend during the warm months, Arts in the Park, First Fridays Art Walk, Browns Island ........ I could bore you with all the options.

Richmond has really come into its own over the last few years. I grew up here but left for Europe then the west coast for a number of years. Although I appreciate all the other places I have lived, I really enjoy Richmond today!

I hope your move to the area is an enjoyable one! Good luck!
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:01 PM
Location: Richmond, VA
1,802 posts, read 5,728,034 times
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And let's not forget what a gem the riverfront is and all the outdoor activities that are possible in the James River Park System!
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Old 06-29-2007, 03:34 PM
Location: Richmond
1,489 posts, read 8,207,403 times
Reputation: 708
Originally Posted by roanoker 4 View Post
When you first see Richmond, it is not particularly the most inviting City. The downtown section has been allowed to decay by this crazy Virginia independent city/county arrangement which has kept many lower income people in the City, while encouraging the more aflluent to escape to Henrico and Chesterfield Counties for better schools, etc. There is little coperation in the region to change the course that Richmond seems to be heading. There is a beautiful old train station(designed after DC's Union Station) that has been turned into a Science Museum. I could only imagine another time after arriving at this station, going to Broad Street and taking the streetcars downtown which should be filled with restaurants, hotels, offices, shops, etc.
Instead this once great City's downtown is ugly and not inviting to the visitor.
The "real" Richmond is now made of up massive office parks with hotels, restaurants and retail as far as the eye can see. One only has to drive north from downtown on Broad Street and see the big boxes, strip malls, upscale shopping centers, etc etc. I often wonder what happened to City life in Richmond? Todays' Richmond is mainly a suburban type community. There are very attractive housing developments in Henrico and Chesterfield and the prevailing wisdom is to get as far away from downtown as possible. Richmond is a great place to find a good job/career as many post graduates migrate there from other parts of Virginia and the region. With such a great history as Richmond, this City should strive to be more!!
Downtown Richmond is ugly?

Compared to what Paris, France?

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