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Old 11-17-2016, 10:51 AM
 
49 posts, read 44,947 times
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Did there used to be a lot of industry in and around Lapeer? It has a super charming historic downtown area with beautiful historic estates, but it's vacant, and the town in general has some deep trailer trash vibes. What happened to their economy?

Further, looking at the sprawl trends, you have northern bedrooms like Oxford and Romeo getting a lot of new development, so is it only a matter of time before Lapeer-Metamora experience some pop, or is it too far north and in the wrong county (Lapeer County vs Macomb and Oakland).

With M-24, Lapeer-Metamora is a convenient commute to Warren, Pontiac, Troy, Auburn Hills. Or to Flint via I-69.
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:12 PM
 
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1) Lapeer's economy is pretty typical of most Mid-Michigan communities and the same broader factors that have decimated smaller towns throughout the Midwest/Rust Belt. They had their boom-bust cycles, a lot of the boom associated with the automotive industry in the great-Flint area. Lapeer became a bedroom community for Flint, but also supported a lot of industry and suppliers that directly supported the automotive industry. Also that area early last century was big for gravel quarrying that was used to build lot of infrastructure and highways in Metro Detroit

2) Lapeer is pretty far north to be viable and/or tolerable for most of the communities listed. Lapeer is 15 miles North of Oxford. Without traffic, Lapeer is easily 40+ minutes to Auburn Hills; with traffic this easily 45-60 minutes with traffic/weather. Oxford already pushed the limits of must. Anything south of Auburn Hills is a very long commute and the I-75 construction and backups doesn't make it any easier.

Flint doesn't have much growth/sprawl of new construction other than Grand Blanc area which pulls in some of the Metro Detroit sprawl.
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:22 PM
 
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I've had to drive to Lapeer a few times in the past year, and it is not convenient to get to from anywhere but Flint. So Flint is the only nearby jobs center, which is obviously a problem.

Lapeer is completely hollowed out and has a lot of poverty. And, unfortunately, your trailer trash observation is accurate. I don't see it ticking upward anytime soon.
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Old 11-17-2016, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Back in the Mitten. Formerly NC
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As someone who grew up on the Lapeer County line, Lapeer has never been considered a trashy town. Rural, and as Flint has, it has continued to get poorer, but it has never been looked upon as trashy. Half of my town would choose to go to Lapeer to shop rather than Flint because it is nicer, safer, and the clientele was better.
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:27 PM
 
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There are a whole swath of towns in Mid-Michigan that seem similar to Lapeer in terms of having good bones, some small downtowns and nice houses and were in their hey-day in the 1950s-1960s but now of the same struggles of Main Street USA.

Lapeer, Davidson, Imlay City, Goodrich, Linden, Owosso, Durand, Corruna, Perry all fit this mold. The towns all have their economic struggles, face brain-drain of educated people, and/or rely upon being a bedroom community for better paying jobs in adjacent bigger cities.
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Old 11-17-2016, 10:44 PM
 
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There's a lot of quiet wealth in Metamora - strong equestrian scene, big lots, custom mansions, lakes, hilly terrain. I know a few folks that commute to Macomb and Oakland County offices from Metamora.

Quote:
Lapeer, Davidson, Imlay City, Goodrich, Linden, Owosso, Durand, Corruna, Perry all fit this mold. The towns all have their economic struggles, face brain-drain of educated people, and/or rely upon being a bedroom community for better paying jobs in adjacent bigger cities.
Lapeer's downtown mansions and (abandoned) commercial has 10x more potential than those tiny bedrooms. M-24/I-69 makes Lapeer-Metamora much more promising. Lapeer's M-24 commercial district is thriving. Lapeer also has a hospital.

But yeah, outside of their M-24 commercial area Lapeer is a rundown hick town with crappy schools. But then again 10 years ago South Lyon was a hick town. And Romeo is a hick town, yet won't be for long.
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Old 11-17-2016, 10:50 PM
 
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I think it would take combo of sprawl, McLaren-Lapeer hospital expansion, and a new supplier-Ford-GM factory to turn Lapeer around. Outside of that, that area is just going to continue dying a slow death as all the boomers with pensions die off.
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:27 AM
 
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Yes, Metamora has a bunch of hidden quiet wealth in the old hunt/equestrain clubs. Metamora was the place where you could get sizeable pieces of land to built your own estate.

Comparisons to Romeo and South Lyon are different. Both are much closer to the suburban/exurban sprawl. Lapeer is 20 miles farther out in comparison to major pockets of white collar jobs that drive the sprawl.
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:22 PM
 
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Metamora to Auburn Hills is only a 30 minute commute. 40 to Pontiac. 50 to Troy.

Romeo to Warren is 30 minutes. Romeo to Detroit is 50 minutes.

South Lyon to just Southfield is 30-40 minutes. 30 to Ann Arbor. 50 to Detroit with no traffic.
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:24 PM
 
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Anyone know what year Lapeer-Metamora peaked? What was peak Lapeer like? I know it had two high schools up until a few years ago, so it must have been bleeding population for a while now.
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