Challenge: Gary-New Duluth vs. East Hillside / Chester Park

The challenge is to list the Pros and Cons of living in either location. GO TEAM GO!

45 Comments

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

Gary/New Duluth = too fuckin far.

ruby2sd4y

about 9 years ago

As much as I don't 'enjoy' existing in this godforsakenfrozen-tundralandia, I can live with residing in Chester Park, lo these many years.

Barrett Chase

about 9 years ago

"Too far" is completely relative. Too far from what? It all depends on where you need to go, though I will say that Gary/New Duluth is comparatively far away from any supermarket.

I've never lived in Gary/New Duluth, but I have lived in the East Hillside and West Duluth. I can say this: parking on the street, on a hill, in the winter, in a neighborhood where the average rental house has at least two cars, really sucks. The streets never get properly plowed in the East Hillside, whereas in the western part of the city, the streets are flatter and every block has a guy with a truck and a plow who is more than willing to plow the alleys way before the city gets around to it.

I think the relative ease of living in West Duluth in the winter is the #1 factor for me. Sure, you have the lake view in the Hillside, but I'd rather drive 10 minutes to the lake on nice days than deal with unplowed streets and unshoveled sidewalks for half the year.

-Berv

about 9 years ago

Gary pro: Lotus Inn

Lojasmo

about 9 years ago

Chester pro: Mount Royal.

maj

about 9 years ago

Chester Park has a weather station so I can get info that actually reflects conditions at my house, plus the a lake view and central Duluth location! Plus, I never see my friends who moved to Gary; they never come to downtown shows anymore.

Bret

about 9 years ago

East Hillside and Chester Park.  Proximity to downtown, Chester Park, UMD.  And I like the hills.

Lisa

about 9 years ago

Gary/New Duluth:
Pros - easy access to Jay Cooke State Park, Magney-Snively, SHT (without annoying road walks), Mission Creek, Oliver Bridge, St. Louis River.

My guess is the housing is cheaper too and you may even get more than a postage sized yard if you so desire.

Cons - feels like it is a long distance drive from the rest of Duluth (though for some this could be a pro); no grocery store, one bus line and limited schedule on same.

East Hillside/Chester Park:
Pros - close to downtown and all sorts of grocery stores, shopping and restaurants and venues for entertainment; Chester Creek (the park), Hartley, Hawk Ridge, the Lake; easy access to the DTA on multiple routes.

Cons - housing prices seem a bit high compared to other parts of town, parties on every other block during some times of the year, lack of yard (if inclined that way), densely populated.

Claire

about 9 years ago

I'm a city person, so it's Chester Park/East Hillside for me. Gary/New Duluth just seems so far away from everything. And I love having a view of the Lake, being able to walk to restaurants, stores, libraries, parks...

I did see the listing for the house you are considering in Gary/New Duluth. Sweet. I can see why it's a tough decision.

Jeff P

about 9 years ago

Now I want to see the listing!

Beverly

about 9 years ago

If your lives are centered closer to downtown, Gary-New Duluth will start to seem very far away. Try driving from the downtown library, for example, to Gary. Then do it again on the same day. Do you ever have to make trips like that twice a day? Do you shop in the mall area? Where do you work? Housing prices are lower, but so would be the appreciation and resale value.

I think it's fair to say the downside of the neighborhood is that it's "too far" without being specific because it's far away from so many things. It doesn't compare to West Duluth, which is in the middle of the city.

That said, if I could get a deal on a really great house, I would consider moving there and dealing with the long drive(s). It might be a much better place to relax with your family.

Barrett Chase

about 9 years ago

WOW. That place is awesome! Obviously having a 5-car garage and a pond in your yard are benefits to living in Gary.

zra

about 9 years ago

Plus ... it's a freakin' church!

vicarious

about 9 years ago

Holy cow! (Get it?)

That looks awesome T and Z. I might be concerned about the cost of heating it, though. Plus, more square footage equals more long-term maintenance costs. Very cool, though!

Claire

about 9 years ago

There's definitely plenty of room for your brood, too! AND, I love the idea of you guys living in a church!

ruby2sd4y

about 9 years ago

You could always rent out any unused garage stalls for storage as well. Cool looking place!

Timk

about 9 years ago

My Chicago friends looked at that but couldn't swing the financials. Heating would be my concern, too. I see the roof is new. I'd throw lots of house shows with that kind of space. Good Luck with whatever scenario you pursue!

Sam

about 9 years ago

They are all very nice places to live, IMHO.  I'd live wherever I would be closest to work, friends, etc.  The closer to those things, the better.  I hate having to go far.

zra

about 9 years ago

Gary: it's a church!
Gary: it's a huge church. (We have a pretty big fam.)

Hillside: We have friends. Walking distance to the 'Kef, the Brewhouse, Union, etc ... not so much with the church on Peary.

And dammit, even though our streets are for shit, I love our little pocket of a neighborhood, college students and ipod thieves be damned.

So, unless we come into a shitload of cash in the next few months, we'll likely stay here for the foreseeable future.

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

That place is awesome!

Claire

about 9 years ago

Zra, we're looking around ourselves. One bathroom and a teenage girl... Need I say more?

Nick

about 9 years ago

Gary Pros:
Downtown is only about 15 minutes away. That's like forever in Duluth commute time but zip for people used to Twin Cities, Chicago, Milwaukee, etc.  

Bridgeman's opens this summer.

Daily views of Bardon's Peak and Ely's Peak.

Raptors circling and cruising

Skatepark at the elementary school.

More SHT, mt. bike, ski and Munger trails than you'll know what to do with.

Oliver bridge 1.  Way cool double decker Dickensian looking rail/highway bridge.

Oliver bridge 2.  Be back home sipping your Sunday off-sale from the El Dorado before Lakesiders even reach Superior.

Hugo's Pizza.

Midway/Beck's Road exit cuts 20 mins. off Twin Cities trips.  This is a godsend when the first tournament game kicks off at 9 on some windswept field in Blaine ... or your kid remembers in Cloquet that cleats and shin pads are under the bench in the front porch.

Skippy

about 9 years ago

My wife and I did a walkthrough of the site and it is a beautiful church, but it is HUGE!  Heating costs are what killed it for us, that and while a lot of work has been done on the building (it has a new roof), there is still a lot of work to be done.  Cool church basement-y feel downstairs but that is where the only bathroom and kitchen are.  The main floor has a bunch of church offices that are serving as bedrooms but they all have pretty nasty paneling in them and would need to be redone.  The main area of the church has had the flooring resurfaced but the choir loft needs to be finished out (great potential as a reading area/library).

Our guess would be that you would have to sink an additional 50K to get it up to snuff, on the bright side though there is a 6 bay garage.

in.dog.neato

about 9 years ago

yeah, we did a walk through on saturday. the missus isn't quite *as* in love with it as i am, and the kids obviously loved the space.

as far as the work goes, i'm definitely not afraid of the labor involved with finishing out the main sanctuary. stuff like that kinda comes easy to me, so it'd be a natural...

nevertheless, we're biding our time for a little bit longer on the Hillside. as much as we'd love to own such a sweet piece of property, we're still in love with our little pocket of a neighborhood.

with three kids (two boys, one girl, three bedroom house), we will be looking at a larger piece of property in the near future, but there may be even bigger things on the horizon for our family in the future, so we'll see what happens.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Mark my words, Zra & Tamara: in about 8 years, your lovely and sweet daughter will become the bathroom hog. You will need a bigger space with more b-rooms.

wildgoose

about 9 years ago

As for the commute, I grew up in Lester Park and I thought it was close to everything. But now I go out there and it seems like I'm driving forever. SO perspective is important I agree on that.  

Another plus that I don't think anyone else mentioned is Gary weather.  They are often outside of the "Colder by the Lake" pocket and it can be 10-15 or more degrees warmer there in Spring/Summer/Fall.  

I'd stay in the Hillside if I were you but ... I agree there's a real choice to be considered.

Proximity of grocery store is another factor.  What is Super One from Gary?  15 minutes in good weather?  And you can forget about a hop-skip-and-jump to the co-op, if that's where you get most of your vittles you are going to have to plan ahead.  Every time.

Erin

about 9 years ago

I live about 4 blocks from the property in question (and have for my whole life, so I can't add pros or cons to the other option), and it's roughly about 10 minutes from the West Duluth location of Super One. If you're in a pinch for some essentials or just some snacks, both the GND Milk House and Little Store have a fair selection. If there should happen to be a medical emergency, the local firetruck can reach you in 1-2 minutes. Gas is relatively cheap out here compared to other stations on Grand Ave. and further east, especially with the $.06 discount for paying with cash at the Milk House. And you'd be three blocks from Stowe Elementary School. I'm a little bit biased in my input here, but it's a great, safe neighborhood for families.

ruby2sd4y

about 9 years ago

Seriously? The Co-op?

...if so, the DTA runs from Gary to DT and right to the Co-op...(#2 & #13 I believe.) 
Look at is as... An adventure with the kids!

People seem to forget there's a library in West Duluth too.

Regardless, the DT branch is right on the DTA route to the Co-op! 
Two errands in one!

BYOB (Bring your own bags!)

PLUS - There's the whole Ride Free deal going on during the Road Construction period through October.

And, it's flat out there (plus the trails) - you (all) can ride a bike forever! Or Bike and Bus!

You could end up as the DTA spokes-family! HAHAHAA

Barrett Chase

about 9 years ago

I don't understand any of that.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Uh oh... I totally understood what ruby2sd4y was saying....

ian

about 9 years ago

Hillside Con:  Car life is instantly reduced by 40% while maint. costs go up 100%.

wildgoose

about 9 years ago

I will +1 Erin on the Gary Milkhouse.  Decent selection and friendly service.  Also doubles as a neighborhood hitchin post for meet-ups and news sharing.  Still ... Gary feels really far out to me.  Ultimately this is obviously going to hinge on what is best for you as a family since, even though I have my own opinion, I don't see any way to say that either neighborhood is fundamentally better than the other overall.  Location location location.  It's so important they say it 3 times in business.

The Friendly Old Knifey

about 9 years ago

I can't wait to move back into town.

There are obviously things that I have learned to love about Gary. The Milkhouse, Shotz, biking to Boy Scout Landing with my fishing gear, and the short drive to Wrenshall. However, I miss the hustle and bustle of Downtown/Hillside Duluth.

If I need to run errands or want to do something in the Downtown/Hillside area of Duluth, or even the West End, I have to plan ahead significantly or risk spending a ton of money on gas.

The houses out here can be pretty nice. The area is nice enough, but it just can't offer the get-up-and-go atmosphere that can be found elsewhere in Duluth.

Laura

about 9 years ago

I'm not a fan. I don't understand why anyone likes it here. I have lived in Gary for three years now and I absolutely hate it here. The only pros I came up with was its a tiny bit cheaper to live here, the staff at the Milk House is awesome and Hugo's is kind of amazing. 

Forget about the bus, it takes nearly an hour just to get downtown I don't even want to think about going to the mall or beyond DT via bus. 

It seems like parents don't give a crap about parenting here because all the kids run amok without paying attention to their surroundings, so half the time you nearly kill some 3 year old out riding their bike down the middle of the street.

Also, it's not like you are taking a long-ass drive out to quiet country living, the train yard and foundry are really loud basically all the time, and a lot of the houses are really close to each other so you don't have much privacy in your own yard and you can't have parties without your neighbors getting bothered (meaning me).

Well I could rant all night but I think you get the gist of it. Heed my advice. Don't move here. It just sucks.

Alternatively, I have lived in Spirit Valley and I looovovvveeedd living there! It's like the perfect place to live -- specifically south of Grand and Central avenues.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Laura, why do you continue to live in Gary, then? Why not move back to Spirit Valley? The housing prices/rents can't be that much different. I know it's a hassle to move, but if I lived somewhere I hated, I would find somewhere more to my liking.

Rae

about 9 years ago

I've lived in Gary for 6 years now and I enjoy it.  I get a great deal on housing, it's quiet most of the time (with the exception of the train rumbling), the Milkhouse w/ car wash and Hugo's are awesome and the people in general are friendly and willing to help if they see you need it.  There are a lot of kids/families in the area, so you do have to be cautious of children in the streets, but in a residential area, you shouldn't be traveling over 25 mph anyways.  I-35 is only 5 minutes up Midway and Proctor is just a short drive away.  The Wal-Mart/Target in Superior are accessible and you don't have to manage the mess up on the hill.

As far as the drive, which seems to be everyone's major complaint, the first time I drove out there it felt like forever.  It just kept going and going and going.  Now, it seems like nothing.  It's 7 minutes to get on I-35 North.  I don't think 7 minutes to connect to downtown is that unreasonable.  Certainly it's comparable or better than Chester Park area.  It's 15 minutes to Downtown Duluth and 17 minutes to Superior.  For me, that was very manageable.  If you want yard space and space between houses, then you should live out in the country, where your commute will be at least 25-30 minutes.

double barrell darrell

about 9 years ago

My wife and I spent a year in Morgan Park, a year we will never get back. At first it seemed cute and quirky ... love the Oliver Bridge, El Dorado, Shamrock Pizza, Les Bird's. Used to go fishing at Boy Scout's Landing until the drug dealing made it sketchy. The drive is a matter of perspective; running the deer and police gauntlet made it seem longer than it is. As winter came on and the sun dropped behind the hill by 2 pm the whole scene turned dark.

We now live in Chester Park with the city, nature, and great food within walking distance during good weather, a bus ride when the hills turn treacherous. We've never looked back.

CeeGee

about 9 years ago

I've only lived in East Hill/Chester, but to me it has a just-right mix of proximity (to downtown, retail hubs, nightlife), nature trails (Chester Bowl and Tischer within walking distance) and scenery. The only detractor I sense is the area's shift toward student rentals, which will only continue as years pass. The 300-foot rule won't survive to protect homeowners forever (nor should it). So if that's something that you find even a little bothersome, probably best to look elsewhere.

zra

about 9 years ago

Oh, I wouldn't worry. If my neighbors and me have anything to say, the 300-foot rule will be very much intact for many years to come.

Laura

about 9 years ago

Claire, its because my husband doesn't want to move, It's not for lack of trying to move to my favorite neighborhoods in D town (our rent is rediculously cheap too I can't find anything better for $550 or even $650 all included is the problem). Plus he's super lazy and he's a nerd which means he doesn't like change. I was also in a pissy mood that day because my upstairs neighbors are inconsiderate jerks and left their garbage out for animals to get into then didn't pick it up for a couple days. So I guess if you like Gary thats just fine, I personally don't care for it at all.

Laura

about 9 years ago

Also, if you ever need a ride no one wants to come pick you up or bring you home.

Claire

about 9 years ago

At least you have a great restaurant nearby, Vietnamese Lotus.

Jen

about 8 years ago

Honestly....watch your language - really??  MUST you??

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