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Old 09-21-2008, 03:59 PM
 
22,452 posts, read 33,296,420 times
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I live in Philadelphia, formerly Washington DC and before that a resident of North Carolina and Florida....and always at the very least in a crowded, traffic filled suburb. I'm officially through with all of that and ready to live someplace quieter, more affordable and simpler.

A few caveats are that I am looking for a somewhat liberal town and a place where there seems to be interest in the downtown area from a development/redevelopment perspective. I would be conceivably opening a small organic food business and would be obviously wanting to be in a place where people care about organic/local food and the benefits of buying it.

Additionally a low housing cost from a buyer's perspective is a must. My leftover equity from my home sale (after paying cash for my new home in NE) would fund that. I have some ideas but don't want to sway the responses. Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2008, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Papillion
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More liberal in Omaha would be Lincoln... Not small by Nebraska standards, but probably small by east coast standards... its the home of the University which is located downtown - so its a little more vibrant...

If you want to stay a little more diverse and a little more liberal, in an area that is a very vibrant downtown and has the population base to support the organic foods it would be downtown Omaha... again, not small town - but has the other things you are looking for.

The more you get outside of the Lincoln/Omaha downtown the less liberal you will have.

If you wanted to open a business you might want to check with the state's Economic Development group - they are very aware of the towns that are revitalizing themselves and growing their downtowns... they would be of great help I would think. Their website is: http://www.neded.org/
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
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Probably your best bet, if you want smaller than Lincoln, is Kearney with a University being there. It still is very conservative though. Kearney has been putting money into its downtown and it still does okay, but does face the struggle of the retail giants being and coming in on the north side of town. I think there is a small organic foods store there already, so that may be of concern if it has the population base to support it. It is a great town though.

I will say that although Lincoln is getting near 250,000 people, it does have a feeling more towards a smaller city, while Omaha seems to be more of the feeling of a larger city. Like Dave said, coming from the northeast, Lincoln might feel small and traffic a breeze to you.
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:32 PM
 
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Thanks for the input, however what I'm looking for may not exist in Nebraska. 250,000 is kind of large by my "small standards". Kearney may be an option, can anyone tell me more about it? And how about Seward, just outside of Lincoln? Another college town.
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Lincoln
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Kyle,
If you're looking to be close to Lincoln for better employment options, Seward is a nice little town, about a 20 minute drive to Lincoln. Also look at Beatrice which is about 35-40 minutes south of Lincoln. Lots of commuters in both towns too, both are small towns, not sure of Sewards population, maybe 5-6 thousand, Beatrice is about 10-11 thousand, both have small town feels, places to rent and or buy. Both have some of the conveniences for fast food..good food, movie rentals and such

The college in Seward is a small Lutheran College, Beatrice has a community college. Kearney is an okay town, but I moved from Kearney to Lincoln due to a much better employment opportunity. Actually grew up in a small town out by Kearney, and I enjoy living in Lincoln...lots to do, but it is also quiet...as long as you get into the right area's of town anyway!

If I were to "guide you" in a direction, I'd say live close to Lincoln (or Omaha) but around Lincoln, I'd say you'd be fine with either Beatrice, or Seward!

Personally I'd go the Beatrice direction. Both towns are a little "clicky" though...hard to meet people unless you get out and get involved
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
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Like I said Kearney as about 30,000 people and is about 1hr 45 minutes west of Lincoln. The biggest employers are the hospital and university, so it has quite a few white collar workers for its size. It does have a good balance of blue collar work with manufacturing plants and agriculture. It does have an Arena/Events center with a minor league hockey team being the main tenant but does also attract concernts and shows once in awhile. Housing is a little higher compared to other towns it's size, but still very low compared to most of the country.

Seward is a nice town, big 4th of July festival every year. Still going to be very conservative. You would make the short drive to Lincoln probably quite a bit for entertainment, major shopping, but you can get everything you basically need in Seward.

All these towns will be still be conservative but they have some sort of higher education that might give you some liberal taste. State Colleges in Chadron, Wayne and Peru (very small town). Private Colleges (like Concordia in Seward) in Blair, Fremont, Crete, York and Hastings. Community Colleges in Norfolk, Columbus, Beatrice, Grand Island, Hastings, Milford, North Platte, McCook, Sidney and Scottsbluff. I didn't list private and community colleges in Lincoln and Omaha.

I saw your post on the Iowa forum, so I realize your're not looking at just Nebraska. You might also want to check out Vermillion, South Dakota. Its a town of about 10,000 and the University of South Dakota is there. Its located just over the river from Nebraska in southeastern South Dakota.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Papillion
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Other small college towns are:
  • Chadron (I love this town)
  • Wayne
  • Peru
  • Crete
  • Seward
  • Blair
  • Fremont
  • Norfolk
  • Kearney
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,589 posts, read 9,786,549 times
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Forgot the links to the above towns... sorry...

Chadron: Welcome to the Official Web site of Chadron, Nebraska.
Wayne: Discover Main Street
Peru: *Peru Nebraska The Heart of Steamboat Trace
Seward: City of Seward, Nebraska - Official City of Seward Government Website
Blair: Denied:1up! Software ()
Fremont: City of Fremont, Nebraska: Information Resources for Fremont Residents and Visitors. (http://www.fremontnebraska.com/ - broken link)
Norfolk: The Official City of Norfolk Nebraska Home Page
Kearney: City of Kearney, NE - Official Website

Here are the towns on the map... again, my favorite of all of these (besides Papillion where I live is Chadron)...

Click image for larger version

Name:	Nebr Towns.jpg
Views:	6570
Size:	171.9 KB
ID:	27688
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:38 PM
 
22,452 posts, read 33,296,420 times
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Default Crete

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1215 View Post
Other small college towns are:
  • Chadron (I love this town)
  • Wayne
  • Peru
  • Crete
  • Seward
  • Blair
  • Fremont
  • Norfolk
  • Kearney
I like what I see of Crete, especially it's proximity to Lincoln. Can anyone tell me more about it? Looks like a decent sized/active downtown..??
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:41 PM
 
22,452 posts, read 33,296,420 times
Reputation: 21954
Default Vermillion

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpabes View Post
I saw your post on the Iowa forum, so I realize your're not looking at just Nebraska. You might also want to check out Vermillion, South Dakota. Its a town of about 10,000 and the University of South Dakota is there. Its located just over the river from Nebraska in southeastern South Dakota.
I had thought of Vermillion but was unsure of how active the town might be. Is it filled with student oriented businesses (bars,etc) or is there demand for more adult oriented businesses such as green grocers or coffee shop/restaurants that aren't grungy student-like? I know it's not Nebraska but thought if anyone knew first hand since it was mentioned here. Thanks.
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