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Old 04-16-2008, 08:02 AM
 
9 posts, read 32,238 times
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I will be moving to Iowa this summer, originally from Chicago. I am married with 5 samll kids, we are African Americans. I wanted to find out where are good neighborhoods preferrably by schools, shopping, and transportation. Also Davenport or Cedar Rapids?, which is a better place for jobs. So if you have any info please reply, thanks.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Marion, IA
2,796 posts, read 5,657,966 times
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I've lived in the CR area most of my life. There are always steady jobs in a very large variety of industries. There are corn plants, paper mills, cereal plants, heavy equipment manufacturers, high tech manufacturers, finance sectors and of course the big service sector. If you move here you should be able to find a job in about anything that suits your interest.

As far as housing, NE side is the most expensive, followed by NW side, then SW and the SE side. SE side is mixed with million dollar homes and the slums of the city not too far away. There is also Marion and Hiawatha suburbs which are usually less expensive than anywhere in the city in terms of house prices. I like Marion because the town has most of the things I need w/o going accross Cedar Rapids.

Schools? I'm not sure but there are about 5 1A schools and a good private high school. Also a lot of Catholic grade schools in the area. 7 I think. Good luck!

Quad cities has its advantages though. There's probably a lot more going on there on weekends than in CR. You are also only about 1.5 hours from Chicago which makes day trips very quick. If I had to relocate to another IA town QC would be my first choice.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,586,419 times
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Its good to hear stuff like that from a non-QC Iowa resident.

Either city will probably work. I've always found the Cedar Rapids area to be nice, and I keep meaning to visit the Czech museum. My only concern from the CR area is that it seems like not a lot has been happening there lately. I guess I feel its less vibrant than the Quad City area, but that's also balanced out by having Iowa City just down the highway from Cedar Rapids. I don't know that things aren't happening in CR, but I at least don't hear about them. They don't seem to have the resurgence in downtown residential that Davenport is having, although I've read they're hoping to change that.

Its a bit over 2 hours from most of the QC to Chicago, but hopefully we'll be getting train service soon. That wouldn't cut any time off the trip, but it would sure be nice to jump on a train in Moline and end up in Chicago.
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:26 AM
 
17 posts, read 47,584 times
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Default Depends~

Hi,
I grew up in Davenport but have also lived in CR. I know Davenport itself has had ups and downs, as of lately a lot of new projects in the downtown. It was a great place to grow up. The schools aren't as good as Bettendorf or Pleasant Valley, but there are pockets. Central High School is a vibrant, diverse school community. Both IA QC and CR have strong Catholic school systems. I am not saying much about the Illinois side because I just don't know a lot about schools or areas.

We lived on the NE side of CR and loved our older neighborhood, convenient to everything and very friendly. In Davenport you probably want to focus on the east side closer to all the development near 53rd and Elmore. There are a ton of restaurants and retail. CR, I haven't been back to in a while. When we lived there the Lindale Mall area had a lot going up as did Blairs Ferry Road, I think? I don't know if Westdale Mall on the SW side is even open anymore, or a lot of tenants have pulled out.

I have always liked the feel of a river downtown and CR had a better feel to me than Davenport. Both have a lot of opportunities for culture, concerts, etc. The Mark in Moline is awesome to see a concert. There are wonderful places to fish, camp, etc. in both areas. QC being close to the west suburbs of Chicago is nice. In a little more than 2 hours you can be at Oakbrook Mall. CR you are close to Iowa City which is a great college town though I wouldn't want to live there. The U of Iowa is also only about 50 minutes west from Davenport on I 80.

Overall, I think eastern and central Iowa are both greal places to live.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Quad Cities, IA
85 posts, read 347,888 times
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Either city would be a good choice. While both were traditionaly blue collar manufacturing towns, Cedar Rapids has had more success drawing in white collar and high tech jobs, it helps they are located very close to U of Iowa. Quad Cities (Davenport), metro area is a little bigger at around 400,000, theres a lot more ethnic diversity in the Davenport/Rock Island area. Crime rates are higher in Davenport, but its not East St. Louis like some people make it sound like. I like the Quad Cities because of the location. Its an easy drive to Chicago, St. Louis, Des Moines, Minneapolis, but CR isnt too far out of the way either.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Quad Cities, IA
85 posts, read 347,888 times
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If you have any specific questions about Davenport, I cant be too much help on Cedar Rapids, feel free to leave me a message.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:37 PM
 
204 posts, read 944,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyjuana02 View Post
I will be moving to Iowa this summer, originally from Chicago. I am married with 5 samll kids, we are African Americans. I wanted to find out where are good neighborhoods preferrably by schools, shopping, and transportation. Also Davenport or Cedar Rapids?, which is a better place for jobs. So if you have any info please reply, thanks.
Davenport (and nearby Rock Island) have a percentage of African-American residents approximately three times higher than that of Cedar Rapids. I don't know if racial diversity is of great significance to you, but there is more of that in the Quad City area, specifically Davenport and Rock Island.

Schools are a draw; maybe a small edge to Cedar Rapids because of their slightly higher tax base. Iowa's education system is pretty decent overall no matter what part of the state you're looking at.

Shopping is also pretty close, but the QC has a slight edge because of its larger population. There's not a tremendous difference in the shopping amenities available between the two. You'll probably just find a few extra shops in the Quad Cities that CR may not have.

Transportation is a tough call as well. Cedar Rapids has no mainline Interstate highways, as I-380 is just a spur route to Waterloo-Iowa City. The QC area has three mainline interstates (I-80, 74 & 88) and another local loop (I-280). Both I-80 and I-88 go directly to Chicago, so visiting relatives will be closer and more accessible from Davenport. Airports in both CR and the QC are nearly identical in services and frequency offered. Cedar Rapids probably has a very slight edge in the airline service category.

Job availability has been traditionally been better in Cedar Rapids. I don't have any statistics to back this up, but anecdotal observations seem to give CR the nod in this category. The recent catastrophic flooding in Cedar Rapids may have a negative impact on the local job market, but to what extent, I am uncertain. The Quad Cities job market is stable, but not particularly robust at the moment.

The one category in which the Quad Cities is noticeably better than CR is with entertainment/recreation amenities. Access to major concert tours, professional sports, and performing arts is more abundant in the Quad City area. If having a greater number of cultural venues is important to you, then the Davenport area would be a better choice.

All things considered, there are not a whole lot of significant differences between Cedar Rapids and Davenport. Both are quality places to live, and I wish you the best in your decision.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:27 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,025 times
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Do not move here, our town has slowly been infested by the Chicago crime wave for years now and it is destroying our town...

Last edited by notinterested; 08-23-2012 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:08 PM
 
31 posts, read 73,681 times
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Just be careful parts of Iowa aren't what it seems. I know we were largely disappointed with Davenport, Iowa. I can't remember if it's Cedar Rapids or Iowa City but one of those places a guy who I talked to said they called it the four smells region when he use to go there for business. It's where they smelled four different smells from factories. I'd actually consider Peachtree City, Georgia, before Iowa. It's about 30 minutes southwest of Atlanta, Georgia. If you have the money take a week trip to both places and compare them. You can also find a direct flight out of Atlanta to just about anywhere in the world. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the world's busiest airport. Also the Kia Car plant in West Point, Georgia, is hiring more workers all the time. Atlanta also has a lot of technology jobs as well. I have been by there many times and there's no smells from that plant. I find the southern folks a lot easier to approach and get along with then the midwestern folks as well. Spent half my life down south and half my life in the midwest.

EDIT: opps sorry it is Cedar Rapids and it's the five smells region not four. lol I think I rather take four then five.

Last edited by oinkerville; 09-04-2012 at 11:12 PM.. Reason: correct myself
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:38 AM
 
389 posts, read 829,065 times
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Without knowing you well, its hard to suggest because we don't know what are you looking to have. If easy access to quality entertainment, transportation hub is important in your decision, you should probably not consider moving to Iowa, unless you are gonna live in Omaha metro area. If 2+ hours to weekend getaway or airport is enough then you should have no problem. QDC also has its own airport and it has most destinations connecting through ORD. It also has some entertainment venues, like IWireless Center but for more you have 2-3h drive away to Chicagoland. I'd recommend staying away from CR, Davenport is a lot more modern and gentrified.

As for schools, if you move to QDC, you should consider districts in Bettendorf. Homes may be more expensive and property taxes higher but you benefit from it. Better schools, better safer neighborhoods, better town, library, etc. I think Moline also has good schools. I recommend you rent instead buy house first year, in case if you want to move back to Chicago area. Its still cheaper and more affordable in some Chicago suburbs than the city and public schools in suburbs are actually quite good.
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