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Old 05-02-2017, 06:36 AM
 
21 posts, read 13,722 times
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My fiance and I have been living on the plaza this year and it is the best place I have ever lived. My fiance agrees that this is her favorite neighborhood she has ever lived too. She has lived in Scotland and China, so that is saying a lot. I am originally from Denver and moved here for a job. I just recently got a new job in Overland Park. The commute is about 35-40 minutes during rush hour. Her commute will be about the same from each location.

We are considering moving Overland Park right next to work, but are worried that it won't have any of the things we love to do and the people will be to religious. By moving we will get a larger apartment and save approximately 350 bucks a month.

Some things we like to do on the Plaza. Unity temple meditation room, yoga, listen to local musicians in Westport, go on runs on the Plaza and in Lose park, go to the many restaurants in the Plaza and Westport.

We could always live in Overland Park and come down on the weekends. The Overland Park athletic club does look amazing and I am excited about that. My fiance is Chinese and likes the Asian supermarket in Overland Park.


The area we would move to is around Corporate Woods.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:45 AM
 
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You'll probably get plenty of opinions. I personally would stay on the Plaza as long as possible -- until you need more space and want a house (that's coming from an OP resident). But one thing I would not worry about is the religion issue. OP is no more religious than other places I've lived. And I've lived lots of places. You're not likely to have people shove their religion down your throat. I'm a churchgoer, but plenty of people we know in OP are not. Everyone seems to live harmoniously.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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(Religious people live on the Plaza, too).
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:55 PM
 
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I'll say it once; I'll say it one thousand times. Live as close to work as possible. The Plaza is great, and I wish I had lived there in my younger years. Still, unless you can justify the cost and time sink that 30-40 minutes of driving will burden you with, I would live close to work and visit the Plaza during weekends. Also, consider the walk friendly areas of Overland Park as a weeknight destination. For instance, Downtown OP isn't going to give the same options as the Plaza, but it's decent and has plenty of eateries and places to reach on foot. There's also Mission Farms and Park Place. For running, there are great trails in the OP area. Indian Creek is one of my favorites, though there's also Tomahawk Creek as another example.

Although I prefer the Plaza over OP, I think living close to work is the best choice in most circumstances. Good luck!
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:42 PM
 
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Thanks for the replies. Maybe my view of Overland Park religion was skewed when I was near Prarie Fire and saw the megachurch. I just don't want to feel out of place because I don't go to church is all really. We are pretty social and like making friends when where ever we go.

The main issue with the plaza is that it takes forever to actually get to the interstates. The more I think about it the more likely I am to move. My boss talked to me this morning about working earlier, which is even more incentive to move. The apartments are so much cheaper and bigger in Overland Park. With gas, car maintenance, and rent reduction we would easily save 500 or 600 dollars a month. We are thinking about having a kid and buying a house fairly soon, so it might be good to save money towards a house.

It is just sad, my fiance cried the other day because she loves the plaza. Part of me just doesn't want to move to the suburbs where it is much less interesting. Maybe to me it is a sign that I am leaving my 20's behind. Maybe it is just time for another chapter.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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Depending on what suburb you move to, you can be on the Plaza in minutes. I lived on the Plaza for four of the ten years I've lived in KC, and I currently live in NE Johnson County, and can be on the Plaza in under ten minutes.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Nobody's gonna fault you for moving to the suburbs. I did the same exact thing. I've always imagined myself being able to live AND work in an urban environment, but it hasn't happened for me since I was a law clerk working in downtown San Diego making peanuts. I've ALWAYS had to work in a suburban area, including where I live now, and it sucks.

I was working up by the airport, and the commute wasn't difficult, it was just long. Before that I had spent two years commuting from Westport to Lee's Summit. I decided to throw in the towel and moved up north (though still in "KC proper" which still makes me chuckle). In many ways it was a big upgrade. I had a luxury apartment for marginally more than I was paying on the Plaza for a pretty ****ty place, and my commute was reduced from 30 minutes to 6 minutes. So basically an hour more to live my life outside of my car, which isn't insubstantial. It was quiet, but also pretty boring.

On the other hand, I did miss the amenities the Plaza provided, like walking to the movie theater, the museum, the shopping, the nightlife. The sub $10 uber to Westport and other neighborhoods if I wanted to go out on the weekend. But, it was still there for me to visit.

At the end of the day you just have to weigh the pros and cons and figure out what's important to you. Overland Park is not a bad place to move to, I'd have rather gone there than up north (even though the Tiffany Springs area is getting more and more amenities). There's definitely a younger crowd in OP and it's probably the most "happening" suburb in the metro. And don't overlook the dining scene there. Some of the best restaurants I've been to in the KC area have been in Overland Park and JoCo in general. Lots of great ethnic restaurants... Thai, Mexican, Middle Eastern, etc.

I agree with the other posts that it's not a super religious area. Yes, there is that, but Overland Park is pushing 200k people and JoCo is pushing 600k. That's a lot of people. You have people of all faiths, and lots of people of no faith. You will not be the only non-religious person by a long shot. And yes, the Plaza is still close by especially if you live in northern OP, even though you still have to deal with the Shawnee Mission Parkway which gets tiresome.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Life is what you make of it. If you move to Overland Park, just make sure to make the extra effort to visit the plaza and other urban areas every chance you get and you won't skip a beat. Best of both worlds. Suburbs can be fine places to sleep and commute from while still living a very active and interesting more urban lifestyle by taking advantage of areas outside where you live during your free or recreational/social time. Overland Park is a big city white collar suburb. I don't find it all that religious at all. Olathe is a considerably more conservative than OP and most of Kansas outside of JoCo is extremely religious/conservative. Overland Park could be in almost any major metro in American though.

Having said that, this is why KCMO desperately needs more high end urban core jobs. The fact that so many people are nearly forced out of the city do to long commutes to suburban jobs is crazy and has really done a lot of harm to KCMO's ability to grow. Again, if KCMO does not see a huge influx of jobs downtown, the current housing boom will grind to a halt within 2-3 years. Current apartment construction in urban KCMO is not sustainable. The amount of people willing to commute to suburban jobs will quickly max out.

Last edited by kcmo; 05-02-2017 at 09:46 PM..
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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I loved living on the Plaza for the time I lived on the Plaza, but I married a guy who owned a home in his hometown of Mission. I like Mission. It wasn't a big sacrifice for me (or a sacrifice at all, really...just a change). I seldom used 99% of the retail amenities on the Plaza, to be honest, whereas I use LOADS of our downtown businesses, here...it's more like small town downtown, neighborhood of local merchants, etc. which I like. Stuff's walkable and getting increasingly so...food truck night on Johnson Drive tonight a couple of blocks from our house, which was nice, three parks within walking/stroller distance with my kid, I feel more a part of an actual community. I'm glad I lived on the Plaza when I did, and where I am now is a great fit. I don't know that most of OP, specifically, would be my speed, necessarily, as in my experience, it lacks that small town character, but I will say that I've found that suburbia isn't the Nancy Botwin/Weeds hell I'd often imagined it to be, depending on what suburbia. And I avoided suburbia for nearly forty years, successfully.

We also are the rarity...the people who "commute" (though not much of a commute) inward, to Kansas City, from a suburb...my husband for his work, both civilian and military, and me for school.

Ultimately, I didn't find the cost of renting on the Plaza to be worthwhile, to be honest...especially since much of the vintage and architecturally interesting housing immediately adjacent to the Plaza has been razed and/or no longer rental.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Seattle
7,087 posts, read 7,254,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post

Having said that, this is why KCMO desperately needs more high end urban core jobs. The fact that so many people are nearly forced out of the city do to long commutes to suburban jobs is crazy and has really done a lot of harm to KCMO's ability to grow. Again, if KCMO does not see a huge influx of jobs downtown, the current housing boom will grind to a halt within 2-3 years. Current apartment construction in urban KCMO is not sustainable. The amount of people willing to commute to suburban jobs will quickly max out.
I agree. I will, however, say that downtown KCMO has a much better location than Westport or the Plaza. I was actually going to move to the River Market if the out of state move didn't transpire. It has much easier access to nearly all of the major suburban nodes - Johnson County, the Northland, and Independence. You have pretty good freeway access to all those areas with minimal stoplightage. The only area that is sort of a hassle to get to is southeast - specifically Lee's Summit and environs - due to having to take 71.

The OP is correct. The Plaza frankly sucks from an accessibility standpoint. Traffic isn't bad but so many stoplights and far from all the freeways.
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