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morningwoodnews

Article on Northwest Arkansas

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Interesting article. I do know many people have a lot of concerns about the growth in the area. You don't have to look too far back to remember how things used to be different. I think such rapid growth is always going to cause some problems. Perhaps what makes it worse is the fact that there isn't one dominant city in the area. Even if one city turned down some idea or development another city could jump on board and do it. I know people have moved here to get away from some aspects of other metros only to in turn be causing the same things to happen here themselves. Personally I think eventually the metro will begin to grow into something else. Despite all the people in our metro there still really isn't much of an 'urban' feel. While some certainly don't want that aspect to our metro I think it will eventually happen. We may lose some people as they look for yet another area to 'get away from it all'. But at the same time I think we will start attracting other types of people as well. Ones who want a metro with a little more of an urban setting. Of course that doesn't take into account what Wal-mart does. Wal-mart's big boom days may be over but I don't see it busting anytime soon either. I think a bigger problem would be if they ever decided to leave and move their HQ somewhere else. Yet another reason for places like Fayetteville to get it's tech field going to provide more diversity to the economy.

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Great article and straight to the point of what NWA is facing today and tomorrow. While it's not all "doom and gloom" in NWA, my biggest complaint is that NWA has become just one big opportunity for people with lots of money to make lots more money by building more and more expensive homes and strip malls. I really couldn't care less about concrete, traffic, pollution, crime and all that jazz because I was born and raised "big city". But, when all I see is more homes I can't afford and more upscale stores and restaurants beyond my budget then I think maybe "middle-income" people are better off in the big cities where jobs pay the same and cost of living is actually lower (a lot lower in some cities). All the problems those big cities face are headed to NWA anyways, and some are already here.

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I think what some people don't understand is that while we are losing certain draws, we're gaining others.

While those who want a quiet, country, small town feel are not moving to the area as much anymore, those who want a bigger, more urban feel are coming in droves.

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I think what some people don't understand is that while we are losing certain draws, we're gaining others.

While those who want a quiet, country, small town feel are not moving to the area as much anymore, those who want a bigger, more urban feel are coming in droves.

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I wouldn't say that NWA is bringing in people who want the urban feel. While alot has changed in a short amount of time in NWA, I'm sure it seems like a whole new place for those of you living there, but to others it is still a rural place. NWA is still very rural to most mid-size metros, but thats not a bad thing. Thats what makes NWA so different. I just visited NWA about two weeks ago and alot has changed since I had been there last year. The most drastic change would be driving through Rogers, if there is a city in NWA that has a urban feel at all it would be Rogers. I'm sure that NWA will grow for many years to come, but I think the question is to what extent? I would give NWA a good 10-15 years before you start to see some real urban clusters.

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Our cost of living is low and quality of life pretty good. That's why we keep getting mentioned in various articles as a best place to live and why I live here. Honestly, I think people who live in NWA and in cities other than Fayetteville have a lot more complaints about the area. I can't tell you how many people look at my downtown area houses for sale who are currently living in Rogers or Bentonville and who want to move to Fayetteville. None of them are from this area in the first place and didn't really realize the differences that exist in these communities. All have some connection to Wal-Mart and are naturally steered by their employers and real estate people to locations near to their work. The lack of "urban-ness" outside of Fayetteville seems to be the big complaint of these folks.

That said, I do believe Bentonville is developing a real town center that is going to attract more of these kind of people--those who don't want suburban isolation.

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EDIT: Oh yeah! I forgot the biggest difference between NWA and big cities I mentioned. NWA is riddled with TAXES!!! Not only do we have a state income tax to burden us with, but sales tax is higher than most of those cities I mentioned. That regressive grocery tax is an antique obliterated by most of those cities I mentioned. But property taxes still remain low which adds to the reasons wealthy people like it here.

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Ironically the sales tax is even worse in other parts of the state, like the Delta. Southeast Arkansas I believe holds the distinction of having the highest sales tax in the state. I was thinking there was two or three cities in that area that are the highest.

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