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Old 03-10-2007, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Clermont, FL
8 posts, read 25,599 times
Reputation: 10

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I would love to hear from some folks who live in the Hickory / Newton or surrounding area. What's your opinion of the area? I have 3 boys who will be attending school - 2 in grade school and 1 in middle. How do you like the schools? How about class size? Local sports like little league and soccer? Any particular areas to stay away from? My husband and I will be visiting next month for a first hand look. Thinking about staying in a local Bed and Breakfast. Any recommendations? Any and all information or opinions welcome!
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Lake Norman Area
1,502 posts, read 3,924,188 times
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The city of Hickory has quite a bit to offer. Its part of the Unifour area, a 4 county area that Hickory is the center of. Hickory is located in Catawba county, and so is Newton. Hickory is in the northwest part of the county, with Newton being its neighbor directly southeast.

1. In 1998 Hickory was Money Magazines "most livable place to live".

2. Twice has been named "all American city" and this year its in the running again.

3. Many furniture manufacturers and makers of fiber optic cable call Hickory home, 40% of the worlds fiber optic cable is made in the Hickory area.

4. 2000 census, 37,222 people lived in Hickory. The city is 77% White, 14% Black, about 4% Asian, and 7% Hispanic.

5. Dale Jarrett resides in northwest Hickory.

7. Hickory has a minor league baseball team (and stadium) Hickory Crawdads, Class A team.

8. Hickory Motor Speedway.

9. Colleges include Catawba Valley Community College, and Lenoir-Rhyne College.

10. Hospitals in the city are Catawba Valley Medical Center and Frye Regional Hospital.
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Old 03-10-2007, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Lake Norman Area
1,502 posts, read 3,924,188 times
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Hickory is also in the center of the Catawba Valley.

Interstate 40 runs east/west parallel by the city. Quick trip west into the mountains, or east towards Statesville. Hwy 70 runs directly through the city east/west. Hwy 321 runs north/south through Hickory. North towards Lenoir and Boone, or south towards Gastoni and Charlotte.

Malls/Shopping? 2 story mall, Valley Hills Mall is located in Hickory off of Hwy 70.

Hwy 70 which also connects with Catawba Valley Blvd and Lenoir-Rhyne Blvd, is the shopping and dining corridor of the city, with Best Buy, Target, Carmike Cinemas, Kohls, Old Navy, Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Circuit City, etc...

Good things about Hickory? Located in a much quieter area of NC, and has not experienced nearly the amount of growth like other areas. Though the city is growing. Traffic and school overcrowding not nearly as much the issue as other places in NC. There is plenty of land left in the city and especially directly outside for privacy and open space, and subdivisions in the city if you want to live in a neighborhood.

Bad things about Hickory? The economy suffered quite a bit in the late 90's and early this decade with alot of manufacturing jobs leaving. The city was booming in the early to mid 90's but afterwards the economy and growth slumped. However the city is recovering nicely and is adding new businesses and new industry is moving in replacing the old factories and mills. Hickory is also home to a Salvation Army shelter (homeless shelter) and to some public housing. These places are confined to 2 sections of the city though.

One thing I hope Hickory will embrace in the coming future is the mixed use commercial/housing places that have worked so well for Huntersville ie Birkdale Village. Hickory is a much older city than Huntersville, but still has open land and places for renovation to build on.

The downtown of Hickory is nice, called Union Square. Lots of small shops and restauraunts. The downtown area is pretty 'old timey' and is very much still in use, safe, and kept up.
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Old 03-10-2007, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Clermont, FL
8 posts, read 25,599 times
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Wow, thanks. That's alot of info. What do you think of the area personally? Would you recommend it?
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Old 03-10-2007, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman Area
1,502 posts, read 3,924,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolabyday View Post
Wow, thanks. That's alot of info. What do you think of the area personally? Would you recommend it?

I would recommend it. My personal opinion of the area is that the signs of the past economic hardships are still evident there, but there are goods signs of revitalization as well. For example an old Kmart store that was an empty building last year, is the site of a brand new shopping area complete with a new Chilis, Circuit City, and numerous other stores being built that include Ross Dress, Michaels, and PetCo. So the city is doing a good job of attracting new businesses.

The climate is nice, you get all 4 seasons. Typically more snow than say Charlotte would get, but less than up in the mountains. The temperatures can be either extreme in the summer or winter, fall and spring are great.

I believe the city will try to renew its old manufacturing and industry jobs, or replace them with new industry, the city also is trying to target retirees.

The city is safe, there are bad areas as with any place.

The city is not overrun with massive unrestricted development like other parts of NC, I dont know how long that will last though!

Check out the local paper at hickoryrecord.com for more info, or hickory.gov is a good site too.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Clermont, FL
8 posts, read 25,599 times
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Default Finding Work

My husband is a self employed contractor. He works on modular units that are used for office space and schools. GE Capital and Resun are two of the big companies. Any info on that kind of work in the Hickory/Newton area?
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Concord, NC
1,417 posts, read 6,692,324 times
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I would recommend it! Very nice small metro area with mountains in the background. Only an hour from Charlotte.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Vale, NC
2 posts, read 11,222 times
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Make sure your use to the southern way of life if you move here. There's alot of great info above but... as always check on it yourself. The kind of foods you like, what you expect from schools, Are you going to live in the city or surrounding areas. All the standard stuff we have lived here for 8 years and the School in our district is terrible. I have lived in many places and this is not the best by far, no matter what you read in the magazines. I believe in being honest about it. Even if no one was before we moved here. My Uncle was from Hickory so that's why originally considered the area. We are down to 1 First run movie theater here. When we were building our home to get good help was a nightmare. The weather is great.... I just wish more was like the weather. If you have no family here, to make friends is a defiantly a project in itself. We are very friendly people... but after all these years I have made about 2 real friends and 1 of them just moved away. (He and his family weren't from here either) We have tried to "Get Involved" with area activities but again if your a "Yankee" Or outsider thing can be difficult. There are many benifits to the area but I'll let the above post's cover them.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Clermont, FL
8 posts, read 25,599 times
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What area do you live in? What school district are your children in? We plan to move to one of the smaller towns outside Hickory. We are visiting early next month for a first hand look. I have read many posts praising the schools in the area.
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Old 03-12-2007, 12:01 PM
 
219 posts, read 935,970 times
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We have just purchased land in Taylorsville, just north of Taylorsville.
We are from NJ and can't wait to move down

Hickory seems to be a great town.
Where are you looking to move?

Melissa
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