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Baton Rouge vs. Lafayette

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Which city do you think has the brightest future?

From what I can tell, Lafayette seems to have nothing but growth in it's future. And quick growth, at that. On the other hand, while Baton Rouge's economy is growing; prior to Katrina, the population was decreasing. As things settle down from the post-Katrina migration, will Baton Rouge's population return to it's pre-Katrina trend and dwindle?

I know that Louisiana, in general, is not a health conscious state, but would you consider Baton Rouge or Lafayette to be health conscious? Which would you consider to be more health conscious?

The reason why I'm asking this, is that I intend to open a health-related business in either Lafayette or Baton Rouge and am trying to figure out which is the better long term choice. Baton Rouge seems to be the better short term choice (not married, no kids, city currently growing)...but I don't know if Baton Rouge has the long term stability that Lafayette seems to.

I know that Ascension and Livingston parishes have the stability that Baton Rouge might be lacking, but I am more of a city person (more than a suburb person), having lived in Sacramento, CA; San Francisco, CA; and Atlanta, GA in the past.

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Welcome to UP and the La.Forums specialreserve :thumbsup:

Say a prayer or flip a coin?? :lol: Tough choice. Lafayette is probably the most up & coming innovative place(city) in Louisiana?? Both road systems are fairly chaotic; but BR is too dependant on a lacking Interstate sytsem. The Green Light Plan was recently implemented in BR with widening/street improvements of major surface streets. Lafayette still trying to get on that.

Both cities have a unique feel with plenty of culture. I have lived in BR my whole life, if I had a 2nd choice it would probably be Lafayette; I have lots of family there, spent time there growing up. Lafayette has a little slower pace.

Close drive from BR to Lafayette with view of pretty Atchafalaya basin in between.

BR has an emerging "medical corridor" in the booming SE part of the city...from the expanding world renowned Pennington Biomedical Research Center, expanding OLOL, Health South, expanding General at Bluebonnet, Oschner, NeuroMedical Center, Specialty Surgery Clinic, etc.

Pre-Katrina BR (city limits) slight decline;but surrounding "urban proper" continued to grow to the south & east. As did EBR Parish...including Zachary & Central to that with there own seperate school districts. Schools are most of the reason people continue to flock to fast-growing Livingston and Ascension. BR's Public School System is hurting, not much better than NOLA's Public School situation.

BOTH CITIES futures look bright!!!

Hard to beat Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium...the atmosphere late in the week becomes electric!

Keep us updated...

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I'll do some Drawbacks:

Baton Rouge

Lots more crime in Baton Rouge

Bad schools in Baton Rouge...but Zachary is really good

More traffic in Baton Rouge (though lafayette could be hairy at times)

Oddly enough, there is a lot less night life in Baton Rouge despite it being a huge city...but that's changing a little every year.

Lafayette:

Will probably never get the funding it deserves for road projects, including the LONG anticipated I 49 corridor

Pretty much no job market unless you are in oil and gas, law, or medical

Small town- everybody knows everybody...ask someone who lives there

More prone to Hurricanes than Baton Rouge.

If Oil prices drip, Lafayette will crash.

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Oddly enough, there is a lot less night life in Baton Rouge despite it being a huge city...but that's changing a little every year.

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Lafayette:

Will probably never get the funding it deserves for road projects, including the LONG anticipated I 49 corridor

Pretty much no job market unless you are in oil and gas, law, or medical

Small town- everybody knows everybody...ask someone who lives there

More prone to Hurricanes than Baton Rouge.

If Oil prices drip, Lafayette will crash.

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I just moved to Virginia Beach, VA from Lafayette.. I lived in Lafayette for around 4 years and loved every minute of it.. If I ever had to move back to Louisiana, I'd move to Lafayette. Don't get me wrong Baton Rouge is great ( I spent every fall weekend there for football games) and you just can't beat that atmosphere.. The one huge negative for me in Baton Rouge is the traffic.. You can drive all the way from here to houston and not hit traffic any worse than you'll find in Baton Rouge.. The junction from I-12 all the way to the bridge is a complete traffic nightmare comparable with Washington DC.. Lafayette can get a little hectic sometimes but in general it is much calmer and smoother moving.. As mentioned earlier the nightlife (IMO) does seem better in lafayette.. You have the normal "college" crowd and there are also a few nice other bars/lounges for the Young proffessional group. I am not aware of any places like this in BR but that doesn't mean they aren't there.. Also if you like cajun food.. You'll love lafayette.. I know you can find good food anywhere in Louisiana.. but Lafayette is the HEART of cajun country.. As for the business market.. Baton Rouge , at the moment, is more diverse.. Lafayette is clawing to become a high tech hub although. The new 3d immersive architecual building seems to be a testament of that as it is only the second such facility in the country.

As in any "compare this to that" they will both excel in areas and fall short in others.. As for me I'll always love Lafayette, so that's what I'd choose..

Good luck!!

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Why choose either? I say you should move to New Orleans, where lots of young urban professionals are relocating after the storm!

I lived in Lafayette after the storm. I liked it alright, but the city did not seem to have a center, a core. It also seemed like I was always stuck in traffic on Johnston, Pinhook, or Kaliste Saloom. The biggest drawback regarding Lafayette, though, was the very clear attitude that the population is VERY conservative. Lafayette was listed as the 8th most conservative city in the country in terms of religion and "family values." Baton Rouge is more progressive.

But, you might like ultraconservatives for all I know! Good luck where ever you move.

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In all honesty, and I know it sounds silly, it seems like there are more young professionals coming into New Orleans now than anytime in the last 20 years prior to Katrina. Even with the crime and political problems, there is alot of opportunity here if you are in the right fields. For example, the New Orleans school system is essentially being rebuilt from the ground up, and that has interested lots of young professionals with interests in teaching and education. Also, with so many businesses now gone, new ones are opening across the city, and a great deal of them are doing extremely well because there is a lot of "locals supporting locals" going on now. Alot of those businesses are being opened up by new residents. A couple from London moved to New Orleans after Katrina, and opened up a store dedicated to cheese in the Uptown area. Their store is absolutely booming, and it was even featured in a piece by NBC Nightly News. And schools like Tulane and UNO are seeing a major spike in out-of-state applicants, because lots of college-bound students want to be able to shape the future of this city through things like architecture, medicine, and bio-science at Tulane, or engineering at UNO.

Of course New Orleans isn't "the place to be" for most, but like I said, there is alot of opportunity here right now if you're in the right field.

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In all honesty, and I know it sounds silly, it seems like there are more young professionals coming into New Orleans now than anytime in the last 20 years prior to Katrina. Even with the crime and political problems, there is alot of opportunity here if you are in the right fields. For example, the New Orleans school system is essentially being rebuilt from the ground up, and that has interested lots of young professionals with interests in teaching and education. Also, with so many businesses now gone, new ones are opening across the city, and a great deal of them are doing extremely well because there is a lot of "locals supporting locals" going on now. Alot of those businesses are being opened up by new residents. A couple from London moved to New Orleans after Katrina, and opened up a store dedicated to cheese in the Uptown area. Their store is absolutely booming, and it was even featured in a piece by NBC Nightyly News. And schools like Tulane and UNO are seeing a major spike in out-of-state applicants, because lots of college-bound studants want to be able to shape the future of this city through things like architecture, medicine, and bio-science at Tulane, or engineering at UNO.

Of course New Orleans isn't "the place to be" for most, but like I said, there is alot of opportunity here right now if you're in the right field.

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What about the legal market? Any comments on that? I'm taking the LA Bar in 02/08 and have considered looking into NOLA as a potential career move (also BR and Laf.) - Actually, any comments on those three cities re: the legal markets would be helpful

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The legal market is booming everywhere...trust me.

Still, it's not easy finding a job right out of law school these days. Most people tend to move where the firm that hired them is located.

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Why choose either? I say you should move to New Orleans, where lots of young urban professionals are relocating after the storm!

I lived in Lafayette after the storm. I liked it alright, but the city did not seem to have a center, a core. It also seemed like I was always stuck in traffic on Johnston, Pinhook, or Kaliste Saloom. The biggest drawback regarding Lafayette, though, was the very clear attitude that the population is VERY conservative. Lafayette was listed as the 8th most conservative city in the country in terms of religion and "family values." Baton Rouge is more progressive.

But, you might like ultraconservatives for all I know! Good luck where ever you move.

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Lafayette definately seems to be growing at a faster more consistent pace economincally. But i think Baton Rouge is definately most improved.

The recent cultural developments downtown, along with the huge development of top tier shopping gives you a higher quality of living in Baton rouge. Plans are underway to improve interstate congestion, and the night life is picking up speed. In the long run I think Baton Rouge will remain the bigger city of the two, and eventually out pace Lafayette in growth.

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