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roundhere

Hickory, North Carolina

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Does anyone have any information on Hickory? How is the city? While it doesnt seem to be growing at the rate of Mooresville or the Lake Norman area, it seems to be adding places one at a time. Considering a move to Hickory, I noticed a new Circuit City just built and a some other major retail stores that look rather new. I know the economy busted a few years ago. I heard the city is trying to transform itself into a retirement area? Any truth to that? Google and Target are coming to the area which seems should start attracting other businesses and entertainment. Any information is appreciated. Thanks.

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My office is located in Hickory and strongly considered moving there. However, I have a several issues with Hickory. The zoning, or lack thereof, annoys me. You see mobile home parks close to downtown and close to high end developments. There is much abandoned retail space. It seems like you had too much speculative commercial development and now you have empty shopping centers, which if my sources are correct will get worse. The unemployment rate has improved, but I think it's still one of the highest in the state. The area's economy is based too much on manufacturing, and it's suffering due to that.

The potential is there, but I'm afraid it's not on an adequate major corridor to experience a "boom" anytime in the near future. A lot of my co-workers commute from the Charlotte or Asheville areas.

As far as retirement community, NC is getting a large influx of retirees all over the state with the largest percentage in the Mountain/Coastal regions.

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My office is located in Hickory and strongly considered moving there. However, I have a several issues with Hickory. The zoning, or lack thereof, annoys me. You see mobile home parks close to downtown and close to high end developments. There is much abandoned retail space. It seems like you had too much speculative commercial development and now you have empty shopping centers, which if my sources are correct will get worse. The unemployment rate has improved, but I think it's still one of the highest in the state. The area's economy is based too much on manufacturing, and it's suffering due to that.

The potential is there, but I'm afraid it's not on an adequate major corridor to experience a "boom" anytime in the near future. A lot of my co-workers commute from the Charlotte or Asheville areas.

As far as retirement community, NC is getting a large influx of retirees all over the state with the largest percentage in the Mountain/Coastal regions.

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Hickory's fortunes are highly dependent upon the NC furniture industry which is being ravaged by off-shoring. If you look at the economic statistics for the area you will find they are not so good.

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I talked to some people, called around for more info on the city, city government. Heres a compilation of what Ive been told:

Contrary to popular belief, the economy of the city is not based just on manufacturing jobs. Its is home to two major hospitals, Frye Regional and Catawba Memorial. There seems to be quite a bit of the healthcare industry in Hickory and the area is attractive for more of this growth.

Hickory is the city of the Catawba Valley. Much like Charlotte or Raleigh is the center of their respective areas.

I was told that "the city is going to make some big business announcements in 2007" though the city staff would not elaborate any further on this.

Now Im not in the health care area and I dont know what other businesses are being attracted to this area.

It seems that the local and state politicians are willing to make great strides to bring major corporations to this part of the state, as evidence with Google and Target Corp. coming.

Well thats what Ive heard, anyone have more info?

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The Google deal appears to be one of the most irresponsible uses of public money in the state's history. Someone who lives there made a good point about it in today's Charlotte paper. Why didn't they spend this money to give the breaks to the furniture industry which has eliminated 1000s of jobs in the area, instead of spending it to create just a couple of hundred.

As far as the hospitals go, I don't see them prospering if the main employment base is disappearing from the region.

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I dont think thats the type of job they wanted to bring back to that area. If it left once, it can leave again. Global competition will only increase.

Google to Lenoir could be the what the research triangle is to Raleigh.

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Contrary to popular belief, the economy of the city is not based just on manufacturing jobs. Its is home to two major hospitals, Frye Regional and Catawba Memorial. There seems to be quite a bit of the healthcare industry in Hickory and the area is attractive for more of this growth.

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I have not been to Hickory in 25 years. Can't imagine how it looks today....can someone post photos.

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I saw that a new Circuit City opened, and they had a grand opening all weekend there. Also a new Ross Dress store, Michaels, and some shoe store type of place is coming. I went by that shopping center the other day, used to be an old KMART, but have revitalized it.

The mall there in Hickory, Valley Hills Mall, is old but looks modern on the inside.

Hope Hickory builds some shops/residential mixed use stuff like Huntersville and Mooresville are doing, would really help the city out.

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Hope Hickory builds some shops/residential mixed use stuff like Huntersville and Mooresville are doing, would really help the city out.

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What little that's been tried in Hickory has failed miserably. People seem content with their sprawl there... one thing that has bothered me about Hickory and the Unifour area is that they are just starting to embrace planning/zoning. You can tell in how the cities are layed out as it's almost incomprehensible the land usage currently.

I'll try to snap a couple of pics when I'm there at my office. Probably by next week.

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Hickory is what I call a "sorta city." It's sorta close to Charlotte and the mountains, but not close enough to really be able to capitalize on the growth from either region (general business growth for the former and second and retirement homes for the latter.) Hickory has been able to establish itself as a decent regional shopping destination, but as far as other factors such as business development and investment, it's lagging behind.

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<br />Hickory is what I call a &quot;sorta city.&quot; It's sorta close to Charlotte and the mountains, but not close enough to really be able to capitalize on the growth from either region (general business growth for the former and second and retirement homes for the latter.) Hickory has been able to establish itself as a decent regional shopping destination, but as far as other factors such as business development and investment, it's lagging behind.<br />

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May be repeating myself, but I think Hickory can be a great city and has alot of opportunity if it takes advantage of it. Needs to start seeking out attracting rare retailers in the area. I heard Gander Mountain which is now in Mooresville had originally planned to build in Hickory instead. I believe that Gander Mountain would have done alot better in Hickory than Mooresville because there are alot more hunters up there, in Mooresville there are alot more window shoppers than anything.

Hickory is actually too far to be affected by Charlotte, good or bad I believe. The city (Hickory) is self supporting, but all the other cities near Charlotte basically owe their growth to Charlotte. Maybe it wouldnt be a bad thing for Hickory to attract retirees. I stated in an earlier post that Hickory was going to make some big business announcements in 2007, though I dont know what they will be.

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Here are some pics of the new Hickory area WalMart. It is indeed not like any built so far in NC that I've seen (of course, except for the new one in W-S I haven't seen the ones previously mentioned.) It is located at exit 132 off of I-40.

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While that Walmart may look different than your everyday Walmart, the part about Walmart that makes it so bad is the level of traffic it brings and the enormous parking lot that always accompany them. It's a sad reality, but no matter how nice you make one look, it is still the same evil big box that 90% of America hates but shops at anyway.

Downtown Hickory reminds me of a larger scale version of downtown Kannapolis (in the Mills era.)

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That Walmart looks just like the Super Target they built on Hwy 150 in Mooresville. It just has more EFIS blown onto it to make it look like an old town. It still fronts a huge parking lot.

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suburbangeorge, thanks for the pictures.

Very nice.

Hickory looks to be a good place to live. Will be interesting to see where the city will be in two years or so, if it is able to tap into the massive growth taking place in other nearby cities, the city may grow by leaps and bounds...

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Hickory looks to be a good place to live. Will be interesting to see where the city will be in two years or so, if it is able to tap into the massive growth taking place in other nearby cities, the city may grow by leaps and bounds...

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Hopefully everyone remembers the notorious sinkhole in Hickory that "swallowed" a Corvette and only gave up the bumper! Well, the new owner has exposed the the hole in the parking lot and has pretty much left a pile of eroding dirt. It's really an eyesore on a prime piece of commercial property. I'll try to get a snapshot tomorrow while I'm at my office there.

Charlotte Observer Article about Hickory Sinkhole's continuing problems...

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As promised, the great 'Vette' swallowing sink-hole in Hickory. U can read my previous post about the uproar this is now causing as 'nothing' has been going on at the site for some time...

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