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Which City Is The Next Austin?


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The only company I’ve ever seen anyone fly into NOLA for legit business (not corporate events, or retreats or industry events, but because a Corp. is HQ’ed in NOLA) is Entergy. Would love to hear about it’s growth because there doesn’t seem to be much there to allow for a 7 figure earning for your common clay type man.

Smaller as in start ups. I have a few friends out there that end up staying for a while but rarely long term due to the obvious* factors.

*i’ve spent/worked significant time in some of the worst crime areas in the nation including West/South sides of Chicago, Bronx, Brownsville Brooklyn, Watts LA, Memphis, Oak Cliff, Detroit but New Orleans is on a whole another level with crime and frankly scares me in its worst areas. That’s what’s going to hold it back from going to that top tier.
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1 hour ago, Stunns38 said:

New Orleans is on a whole another level with crime and frankly scares me in its worst areas. That’s what’s going to hold it back from going to that top tier.

A buddy of mine who was in the Louisiana Natl Guard, and who was, quite frankly, a one-man crime scene himself, and he'd thank me for pointing that out, had a variety of tales about things that happened when they'd get called up and sent to New Orleans.

The stories usually ended up with the Guard fleeing.

But near as I can tell, this thread is a quest to identify unsuspecting towns where you could dump thousands of tech weenies and murder any local culture, so that people who own real estate can make bank reselling generic whatchamawidgets. If I am correct in that, New Orleans has literal voodoo protection against such a fate.

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2 hours ago, Neonmoon said:

Raleigh-Durham is a great answer. Great colleges and talent pool. Already one of the fastest growing cities. 

Agree. The Research Triangle in NC is more advanced than Greater Austin and the Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins/Colorado Springs corridor. They boomed during early 2000's.  

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31 minutes ago, RDCanecutter said:

A buddy of mine who was in the Louisiana Natl Guard, and who was, quite frankly, a one-man crime scene himself, and he'd thank me for pointing that out, had a variety of tales about things that happened when they'd get called up and sent to New Orleans.

The stories usually ended up with the Guard fleeing.

But near as I can tell, this thread is a quest to identify unsuspecting towns where you could dump thousands of tech weenies and murder any local culture, so that people who own real estate can make bank reselling generic whatchamawidgets. If I am correct in that, New Orleans has literal voodoo protection against such a fate.

Ignoring the crime part and it's historical aversion to letting outsiders join the elites, one element holding New Orleans back is that the tourist money has made a lot of the cooler neighborhoods expensive to buy into. 

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1 minute ago, LCHorn said:

Ignoring the crime part and it's historical aversion to letting outsiders join the elites, one element holding New Orleans back is that the tourist money has made a lot of the cooler neighborhoods expensive to buy into. 

I have not kept track (bc if I were going to move to New Orleans I'd just go whole hog and move back to Mexico) but after Katrina a friend there was complaining about how bad the rents had gotten. When he told me what they'd gone up to, they were still cheap by Alabama standards. Granted this is 15+ years ago, so your info is probably more accurate.

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On 2/20/2021 at 8:28 AM, Grippe said:

This.

Also, Bentonville/Bella Vista/Fayetteville Ar is blowing the fuck up right now.

Only because the waltons are funding the shit out of the startup scene there 

Edited by LABEVO
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the pandemic has shown that people can be just as productive working from home, so population growth from white collar jobs isn't going to be a huge thing. The next big thing will be subsidies for fiber and wifi hot spots. course no one will want to live in buttfuck nowhere still and fuck living in the south

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This thread makes me feel old cuz when I moved to Austin (00) and people were talking about what it was like in the 80s i thought wow nobody gives a shit that was millenias ago, and now when I think of what Austin was (00), that too was millennias ago.

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Knoxville is one that hasn't been mentioned. Somewhat similar to Lexington, but a bit larger, so it may not qualify for this discussion.

Edited by KYHorn
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Fort Worth. 

For all the FW mentions, I lived there 3.5 years recently. They’re so damn lost and poorly run, with oil on the decline generally and the tail end of great biz migration to Texas, there’s just not much cooking for them. Outside of defense manufacturing, which is more blue collar than white collar pay level, there just isn’t much to attract young college grads. I’m older than that bracket but still mobile and know of a handful of peers who gave FW a shot and inevitably made the move to Dallas.

They seem more interested attracting distribution centers around alliance and the pipe dream panther island nonsense than fixing the ISD to attract big job creators to downtown. The one thing they are doing right is the med school just west of downtown, big kudos on growing that.

If you can find one of the few golden goose jobs in FW (or more likely in FW, have family money) and already have a family, it’s a really great place to set up shop. But it’s not a very attractive setup for young college grad, and won’t be until they get a few major good job creators to roll out - so far that’s been a major fail.
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^
Great points.  Was just throwing it out there based on vibe and a decently educated populace that can also draw from the improvements going on at UT-Arlington and TCU.  

I don't see Knoxville.  It's an awesome town and being so close to the Oak Ridge Lab is a huge draw...but there's not much brainpower out in there.  Beautiful geographically but you're not gonna build a world-class economic hub with just Tenn. Vols graduates.  

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9 hours ago, 52-80 said:

This thread makes me feel old cuz when I moved to Austin (00) and people were talking about what it was like in the 80s i thought wow nobody gives a shit that was millenias ago, and now when I think of what Austin was (00), that too was millennias ago.

 

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On 2/18/2021 at 8:51 PM, smoky said:

Raleigh-Durham, Boise or Tulsa

Does OKC qualify, or not since it's already at about 1.4 million metro with a professional sports team? OKC is doing much better at attracting jobs, having a lot to do with the state capital being there. I think their economy might be too dependent on fragile oil companies. Tulsa is smaller but still close to 1 million metro, and is trying hard as hell to attract tech, but it's just not that attractive for drawing in established companies. They seem to be focused on attracting young tech entrepreneurial types with the hopes that some tech or other businesses get established here long term. I'm skeptical it will work, but I don't see how we can really attract big employers with the issues we have on many fronts, but I do think that culturally, artistically, and aesthetically, we're as good a place as any for an industry boom, I just haven't seen much momentum on the big things.

PS: I'm not sure if its like this elsewhere, but people around here have tried to dissuade the concept of Tulsa becoming "the next Austin." I think it became too cliche, and the downside of that type of growth is starting to become known.

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On 2/21/2021 at 5:38 PM, LCHorn said:

Ignoring the crime part and it's historical aversion to letting outsiders join the elites, one element holding New Orleans back is that the tourist money has made a lot of the cooler neighborhoods expensive to buy into. 

I could go on at length about NOLA, but this sums it up. I spent two years seriously looking into moving there. I was an associate at a big law firm in Houston. I couldn’t justify it financially in any way - a first year lawyer at a big firm in Houston makes as much as a junior partner in a “big” NO firm. That’s a pretty good illustration of the disparity between the two cities in terms of financial opportunity. 

I do think the insularity is less of a factor nowadays. The post-K newcomers are predominantly in the non-profit and tech sectors, and they are not the types to care about getting into Comus or the Boston Club. But the Airbnb economy has grossly distorted the housing market. 

 

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16 minutes ago, We’reTexas said:

I could go on at length about NOLA, but this sums it up. I spent two years seriously looking into moving there. I was an associate at a big law firm in Houston. I couldn’t justify it financially in any way - a first year lawyer at a big firm in Houston makes as much as a junior partner in a “big” NO firm. That’s a pretty good illustration of the disparity between the two cities in terms of financial opportunity. 

I do think the insularity is less of a factor nowadays. The post-K newcomers are predominantly in the non-profit and tech sectors, and they are not the types to care about getting into Comus or the Boston Club. But the Airbnb economy has grossly distorted the housing market. 

 

I also investigated a move to NOLA and like you, there is just no way to justify the lack of opportunity to make real money there compared to a larger professional city (like Houston).

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6 minutes ago, bluto said:

Never spent much time there but Atlanta always struck me as a Deep South version of Dallas.

Personally I like them about the same which is not at all to live in but great places to visit.

I could see the New Braunfels/ San Marcos area being similar to Austin/Round Rock over time.

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Birmingham has some very nice neighborhoods on the Hoover side, but always a nonstarter, because I can never get past the endless nightmare of most of the neighbors being Bama and Auburn SEC blowhards.   Holy hell what a beating that would be.

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1 hour ago, bluto said:

Never spent much time there but Atlanta always struck me as a Deep South version of Dallas.

Which is maybe a fair comparison on size, population, urban to suburban sprawl ratio and how segregated the city is by housing/suburbs, businesses and earning opportunities...which again raises the point, how in the world would someone think Atlanta is an up and coming metropolitan city or area when it was already relevant at a time when Austin was the old Austin that dead people were complaining about?

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On 2/21/2021 at 10:41 PM, DonkeyCigars said:

And it's really clean/modern because everything is brand new and nice. it's like a Frisco with a bunch of Arkie grads.

 

On 2/20/2021 at 8:28 AM, Grippe said:

This.

Also, Bentonville/Bella Vista/Fayetteville Ar is blowing the fuck up right now.

 

On 2/21/2021 at 8:50 PM, LABEVO said:

Only because the waltons are funding the shit out of the startup scene there 

And....?  That's how some of this works.  Someone or someone kicks off the development.  Seattle was a working class town until Bill Gates and Microsoft.

Since we're talking about the "next Austin" that means we're talking about smaller markets ready to grow.  That's not Nashville or even the Research Triangle, really.  They're already there.  (Although, I think Nashville has YUGE upside.  Big market, good airport, no state income tax, etc.)

I would also nominate Northwest Arkansas.  A previous poster mentioned workers and skill sets as a main driver and with Northwest Arkansas, you have thousand of tortured corporate souls who hate working for the man.  Depending on the industry, there are plenty of disgruntled white collar types that love living there.  It makes the Best Places to Live lists for a reason.  Also, real estate there is still relatively cheap compared to other markets and the airport is solid for a small market.  Would recommend for any industry other than tech.

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3 minutes ago, Aqua Buddha said:

 

 

And....?  That's how some of this works.  Someone or someone kicks off the development.  Seattle was a working class town until Bill Gates and Microsoft.

 

Very sub-par talent and start-ups to date. 

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I could definitely see Colorado Springs booming. Very desirable location (Garden of the Gods is just insane), has UC CS, a nice downtown, and legal pot. Feels like a more accessible Denver.

It’s on my short list if we move out of Austin.

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I’m intrigued by the Lexington idea still. Fits the size parameter, has a university, and there is a bit of the cool factor. Lexington obviously doesn’t have an Austin vibe but I can see bourbon country, horse racing, and other unique features setting it apart from other southern towns where there isn’t much to do. Might need some marketing but it could work. It’s also been growing every decade. Go back and look at Austin growth decade by decade over the last 100 years and you will see that it’s not a new phenomenon. Since 1790 Lexington has seen double digit growth in every decade except one and it was 7.8%

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Lexington has the bourbon thing going for it.  They're trying to fashion themselves as the Napa Valley of bourbon and with bourbon's growing popularity, that has some upside.

Problem with Lexington is that when you get past bourbon and horses, there is nothing going on there at all.

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I live in the area and one massive positive is that it's close to a lot of different attractions and cities that can help make up for anything you feel is lacking in Lex. Cincinnati and Louisville are all only an hour and a half away. So, if the music/entertainment, sports, arts, etc that are available (and there are good amounts of each) aren't doing it for you, there are definitely plenty of other options a pretty short drive away. There's also world class rock climbing and hiking trails at the Red River Gorge (20min drive), and tons of other excellent hiking/ mountain biking options in and around the city. They just finalized plans for 20+miles of continuous biking and walking trails in the city. Plenty of creeks, rivers, lakes, and caves for fishing, boating, and general adventure-seeking. Also, there is an even more substantial and diverse college population within a 30min radius, with many colleges just outside of Lexington, in addition to the state capital (one big benefit for Austin). Overall, there are diverse and unique food options, a steady growing population, and various business and industries around. It isn't idyllic, but it's a nice place to live with lots to offer, and doesn't have the terrible traffic. I've described it as similar to a small Austin since I moved here nearly a decade ago.

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3 hours ago, gurt said:

I could definitely see Colorado Springs booming. Very desirable location (Garden of the Gods is just insane), has UC CS, a nice downtown, and legal pot. Feels like a more accessible Denver.

It’s on my short list if we move out of Austin.

Have you spent much time in CS? It’s very, very conservative compared to Denver. It’s not exactly progressive.

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11 hours ago, Aqua Buddha said:

 

 

And....?  That's how some of this works.  Someone or someone kicks off the development.  Seattle was a working class town until Bill Gates and Microsoft.

Since we're talking about the "next Austin" that means we're talking about smaller markets ready to grow.  That's not Nashville or even the Research Triangle, really.  They're already there.  (Although, I think Nashville has YUGE upside.  Big market, good airport, no state income tax, etc.)

I would also nominate Northwest Arkansas.  A previous poster mentioned workers and skill sets as a main driver and with Northwest Arkansas, you have thousand of tortured corporate souls who hate working for the man.  Depending on the industry, there are plenty of disgruntled white collar types that love living there.  It makes the Best Places to Live lists for a reason.  Also, real estate there is still relatively cheap compared to other markets and the airport is solid for a small market.  Would recommend for any industry other than tech.

You called out my post as if I was being dismissive. I am saying that Bentonville's development and growth and calling it new/modern/clean like a Frisco full of Arky grads was a GOOD thing.

But, beyond that, I've been to Fort Smith. No Thanks!

Seriously, I did some consulting out there. Funny story, I ended up staying a week longer than planned and I had to buy a golf shirt. I go with a coworker to the one Sam's Clubhouse in town and it became very clear and evident that this is where all the executives shop. Everyone had been wearing the same "business casual" clothes, in different colors, and golf shirts that this Sam's was hocking. 

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