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Old 06-20-2011, 09:27 PM
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,175 posts, read 2,179,358 times
Reputation: 990


My family and I will be relocating to St. Louis either this summer or next summer depending on job opportunities. I've posted a few threads and read extensively over the past week or so. I'm getting a pretty good picture of some areas that we will be targeting to live in. So I thought I would throw out some specifics that are important to me and maybe those in the know could help me narrow it down even further.

We are looking for a middle-class area, either in the city or inner-ring suburb. I don't want the cookie cutter homes, strip malls, and chain restaurants of American suburbia. We would probably be renting initially and are looking to stay in the $800-$1200 range for a 3 bedroom house, apartment, or condo. We have two kids ages 8 and 11, so schools are important. I would like something where I could walk to eclectic restaurants, shops, and other types of cultural entertainment. Someplace where I could catch the Metrolink down to the Loop would be cool as well. I'm also a huge Cardinals fan, so easy Metrolink route to Busch would also be a plus. We are in our early 40's, and lean pretty far left politically. I'm a social studies teacher and my wife has a degree in Psychology, but has worked in both social work and education. I've lived in Phoenix my whole life, but my wife grew up in Jefferson County, Mo.

So given my profile and wants/needs, what communities seem to fit us the best?
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:44 PM
Location: Saint Louis, MO
3,465 posts, read 8,466,329 times
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Welcome to St. Louis!

Hmmmm, based on your criteria i'd typically say that St. Louis City might be your best bet, and private schools for education...or Charter if you can get your kids in one. If education is number 1, and private schools/parochial schools are out of the question then you're going to have to look towards the county.

Using the private school plan, i'd check out South City. I'm personally a fan of the Benton Park neighborhood, and getting in there within your price range would probably be doable, but you might end up towards the high end of your range. Restaurants are very cool in that area, along with the surrounding areas, and you'd be a short drive at most from much of downtown. Tower Grove South is also very popular, and will give you lots of non-chain restaurants to choose from, and a very cool location, plus very close access to the botanical gardens, and tower grove park which is excellent in it's own right. You might do a little better in Tower Grove South than you would in Benton Park as well, and i think in some instances the area has come along further than some parts of Benton Park...I'd stay West of Grand however, you're probably not going to get shot going east of there, and i ride my motorcycle through those neighborhoods all the time, but it's not the side of the street i'd want to live on.

Looking towards the county, you'd do great in Webster Groves or Kirkwood. They're the most popular county destinations for typical "urban" dwellers, as they provide a great "small town" feeling and a vibrant downtown/main street. Kirkwood's downtown is a tad more walkable by most accounts, but if your closer to either areas main drags you shouldn't have any trouble navigating without a vehicle. Kirkwood and Webster Groves both have excellent school districts also.

Richmond Heights is another great area and would put you within an ears shot of Forest Park and all the things it has to offer (Science Center, Zoo, Natural History Museum, Muny Theater, Row/Paddle Boats, Golf, Bike trails...list goes on forever) and the school districts would be either Clayton (Excellent) or Richmond Heights/Maplewood and i'm not so sure how good that district is...someone can probably chime in for me. Getting your budget price in Richmond Heights can be done, getting something in the Clayton district might be a little more difficult. Those two areas would probably get you the closest to metro access too, without being in Brentwood, Shrewsbury, or Clayton. University City is an option too, school district isn't as good if memory serves me right, but it'd get you quick access to the Loop, close to the metrolink, and you might be able to remain within the planned budget too...Good luck in the hunt!
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:53 AM
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 30,406,532 times
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If you move here this summer, look at Maplewood, Richmond Heights, Shrewsbury, Brentwood or University City -- it'll be too late to get into a city magnet or charter. Pay attention to elementary school boundaries as some are better than others in those cities -- but you'll find some of them quite good. Webster Groves and Kirkwood (as well as the small surrounding munis like Rock Hill, Glendale and Warson Woods) will be farther from the city proper and not accessible by metro, but the schools are top notch.

If it's next summer I highly recommend looking at a few city neighborhoods as well. The additional time frame will allow you to do the necessary research and get into the lotteries for the 2012-2013 schol year.

In that case, I would look at The Central West End (something like this: 5111 Waterman, First Floor (http://stlouis.craigslist.org/apa/2435749150.html - broken link)), as well as the two neighborhoods directly west to the edge of the city: Debaliviere Place and Skinker-DeBaliviere (like this place in Skinker-Debaliviere just off the Loop). Those, with the addition of downtown (which likely will be out of your price range if you want a three bedroom), will give you the best metro access to all that the city has to offer. Someday, hopefully, they'll get the N/S metro line going, and some of South City's best neighborhood will be hooked up to the transportation grid, but realistically in this time of austerity it's unlikely to happen soon.

If you don't mind trading proximity for metro access, I'd also recommend looking in Tower Grove (This place is in a stellar location right off the South Grand strip: Huge 3-plus BR in Grand South Grand neighborhood (http://stlouis.craigslist.org/apa/2449906963.html - broken link)) and nearby neighborhoods of Shaw and Compton Heights)

The Hill is super family friendly and quieter than some of the other above options in the citybut is full of family-owned Italian restaurants and delis, next-door-neighbor Southwest Garden is also a great, safe neighborhood.

Dogtown is just south of Forest Park (broken into three separate neighborhoods called Clayton/Tamm, Franz Park, and Hi-Point) and tends to have a good number of rental houses available and would be worth checking out.

And finally, essentially the entire western side of the city from Northhampton and Southhampton through Lindenwood Park and St. Louis Hills is very quiet, very safe and close to everything.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:21 AM
14 posts, read 18,869 times
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Default Central Corridor

You want to live anywhere from U-City (south of Grand Ave) west to Clayton. I would focus only on those areas (per your criteria) best value and nicest places.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:12 PM
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,175 posts, read 2,179,358 times
Reputation: 990
Thanks for all the input. I really appreciate it. I hope that most people in St. Louis are as nice and cordial as the people that I've spoken with on the city-data forums.
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