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fuja

Hickory?

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Hello! I'm considering a relocation to Hickory. Any thoughts about this city?

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Hi fjua,

Depending upon what you are looking for, Hickory is a nice place to live. It is situated on I-40 between Charlotte and the mountains so it has the advantage of being near the largest city in the Carolinas but located in one of the most beautiful areas of the southeast. While is is a small city (<50K people) it does a great deal of shopping, eateries, and recreational opportunities for a city of its size. There is lake recreation on Lake Hickory during the summer months, and right now, the NC ski resorts are only about a 30-40 minute drive from there. You can easily drive into the snow, go skiing, then return to Hickory which isn't in the mountains in the same day.

If you have specific questions, I will be glad to answer them.

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It's nice to see that someone brought up Hickory. I see it a lot on lists of cities for high unemployment, however being and hour from Charlotte and being in the mountains I'd imagine the area should start getting recognized soon. The metro has roughly 350,000 people making it comparable in size to Asheville, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Savannah, Huntsville, AL or even Halifax, NS. There is now a highway connecting Hickory to Gastonia. If anything I could at least see it maybe becoming an attractive place for retirees. Has anyone ever posted pictures of the Unifour?

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Hickory is nice... I grew up in a neighboring community. From my pov the unemployment story is a little misleading as the area has had some success in transitioning from a traditional furniture and textile manufacturing hub into a contemporary manufacturing hub that can offer prospective companies a bunch of manufacturing 'know-how'.

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I grew up in Hickory as well. It is a pretty wealthy city and has quite a bit of culture (art museum, science center, choral society, symphony orchestra, community theater, etc.) There are a lot of retail stores and restaurants that you would normally find in larger cities. One interesting thing is that many of the people who live in Hickory travel outside of Hickory to shop in larger cities. Then, when the stores they were travelling to shop in come to town, they think they are too good to shop there anymore. Ridiculous! Another interesting thing is that Hickory had a Fresh Market from about 1992 to 1994, but didn't support it. Then Harris Teeter opened a new store with lots of bells and whistles, but has cut way back on amenities because Hickory didn't support the upscale stuff.

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For someone who lives in a small town nearby, Hickory's shopping options are really nice.

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Another interesting thing is that Hickory had a Fresh Market from about 1992 to 1994, but didn't support it. Then Harris Teeter opened a new store with lots of bells and whistles, but has cut way back on amenities because Hickory didn't support the upscale stuff.

That is interesting. Is the HT where the Fresh Market was?

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No, it's about 1/3 mile up the street, in a shopping center with SteinMart, Talbots, Chicos, Blockbuster Video, and some nice restaurants. That center, however, has a huge spot formerly occupied by Eckerd Drug, and has sat empty for years since Eckerd built a freestanding store a block away. There was also a Mama Fu's Asian House there for about 2 months, but it went out of business.

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Hello!

I am glad to see someone else mention Hickory!! I live close by. I am in Alexander County, but I work at the Courtyard Marriott in Hickory. Personally, I like Hickory. It has an interesting history. It has large historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has a nice, lively downtown area with lots of coffee shops, restaurants, including a new Jamaican restaurant, lots of nice, unique shops, a theater, and an entertainment complex inside the old train station. Union Square is the center of Hickory, surrounded by historic buildings. Lenoir Rhyne College's historic campus, near downtown, is beautiful and architecturally significant. Also located in Hickory is Catawba Valley Community College, and I've heard that U. of N.C. wants to build a branch campus there. Hickory is also home to Hickory Speedway, from which a lot of Nascar stars got thier start. Also based here is the Hickory Furniture Mart, a multi level showcase of the world's leading furniture manufacturers where both companies and private individuals can come see the new designs and buy at factory direct prices. Bonita Furniture Galleries is also in Hickory. Transportation options are I-40, US Hwy's 321 and 70, NC Hwy's 127 and 16, and Piedmont Wagon, a bus service for the Hickory area. The best shopping areas are Valley Hills Mall (the biggest mall west of Charlotte, they say). It is 2 levels, and anchors are Belk, Dillard's, J.C. Penney, and Sears. Numerous strip malls and shopping centers exist throughout the area, featuring Old Navy, Khol's, Target, A.C. Moore, Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath and Beyond, Marshall's, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Office Depot, Office Maxx, T.J. Maxx, Circuit City, Goody's, and other stand alone's such as Super Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Lowe's, Home Depot, K Mart and Barnes and Noble with a Starbucks Cafe. Dining options are the typical big chains, such as Ruby Tuesday, Cracker Barrel, Applebee's, Red Lobster, IHOP, Bob Evans, Zaxby's, Longhorn Steakhouse, Golden Corral, Texas Roadhouse, Fudrucker's, Schlotsky's, Olive Garden, and Shoney's, along with fast food joints. There are other, unique cafe's and eateries featuring Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mexican, Greek, Jamaican, and Southern style foods. In short, it's typical southern suburbia in most areas, but does have a nice, historic core, at least.

Someone mentioned that Hickory was small, but it is growing rapidly. There is always new construction going on. The city had only 15,000 people in 1980. In 1990 it was 28,000. By 2000, it had grown to 37,000 (35% increase over 1990; 150% increase over 1980). It now stands at more than 41,000. Hickory is in Catawba County (pop. 150,000). The city of Hickory is located on Lake Hickory, which is really nice. It is surrounded by large residential areas, and smaller cities. Newton (pop. 13,000), Conover (pop. 7,000), Long View (pop. 5,000), Bethlehem (pop. 4,000), Mountain View (pop. 4,000), Claremont (pop. 2,000), Hildebran (pop. 1,000), Catawba (pop. 700), and Brookford (pop. 600) are all pretty much joined together with Hickory. In addition, it is part of the Hickory Morganton Lenoir Metro Area, which is is the fourth largest in NC.

It is still experiencing rapid growth, so the employment picture is much improved, plus, it is close to Asheville, Triad, Statesville, and Charlotte if you want access to a larger area. Personally, I like it here, it is close to a lot of NC's best.

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Hickory is a nice sized town with a good mix of shopping. i'm not to fond of the downtown area though.

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Even though I live in Winston-Salem, my office (which is pretty much a telephone on an unused desk) is in downtown Hickory. I do get there at least 5 times per month and do go there some on weekends to do things with friends from work. For the size city Hickory is, there is an amazing amount of activities to do, but like other posters have mentioned, the locals don't support them. They are very willing to get in there cars and go to Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Asheville, or Greensboro. All reachable with about an 1.5 hour drive or less. There also isn't much cohesion in the development of the city, there is a LOT of sprawl for a city this size.

Hickory is a transitional city in all ways as it tries to find it's footing in the new global economy. Based on its geographic location, I'm sure it'll find its niche.

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