Neighborhood Fave Five :: Richardson – the City of Innovation and Diversity

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I am a proud Richardson resident of almost 8 years, and I am so happy that we chose to live here when we moved to the Dallas area. My husband and I are thrilled to be raising our family in this small-town inside of a huge metroplex. We feel compelled to ring its praises every chance we get. (I will skip over our restaurants for the most part, but please check out my previous posts about my favorite restaurants in Richardson and even those that are more specifically kid-friendly.)

Richardson is known as the Telecom Corridor area of Dallas with more than 88,000 people working in the City of Richardson each day. With Richardson being the first suburb north of Dallas-proper, it has the bustling feeling of being a major city but when you get out of the High 5 area, you will really notice that is an inclusive and diverse community built on family bonds, great public school education, and love for one’s neighbor. There are so many reasons to love Richardson, but here are my top 5.

 

Sought-After Living & Top Rated Neighborhoods

Three Richardson neighborhoods were recently named as the best places to live in Texas – THREE! According to a list published by Niche, Canyon Creek South, Clear Spring Place, and Canyon Creek North are all in the top 10 places to live in Texas. Rankings were based on public school systems, crime & safety, housing availability and quality, nightlife and entertainment, family friendliness, and diversity. The median age of Richardson residents is 36.8 according to the most recent census data. To me, that supports my idea that Richardson is vibrant and full of young families.

Richardson also offers a Home Improvement Incentive Program that is unique. The purpose of this program is to encourage reinvestment into local neighborhoods, positively impact the city’s housing market, lower the financial hurdle for homeowners to make significant improvements to their homes, and to demonstrate a strong commitment by the city to reinvest in the residents and their neighborhoods. Basically, the city will pay a resident a one-time incentive equal to 10 times the amount of the increase in city taxes due to the homeowner based on the assessed valuation pre-construction then compared to the post-construction appraised value. For example, if your tax assessment goes up $300 based on the renovations, the city will pay you $3,000 to help re-coup some of the cost of your improvements.

Diversity & Inclusion

Niche also categorizes Richardson as one of the most diverse cities in our area. Richardson ISD once had a miniscule Hispanic population and has now shifted to seeing minority groups make up larger demographics in our city and our schools. Racial diversity is even more evident at the University of Texas at Dallas, domiciled in Richardson. The student population at UTD is 35.7% white while other ethnicity groups make up the majority, including 29.5% Asian.

Diversity is evident in Richardson, but with that comes the inclusion of all people. According to Ferris State University, “inclusion is involvement and empowerment, where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized.” Richardson residents have a strong love of neighbor, regardless of differences. My local elementary school has a Facebook group for moms. There are almost daily opportunities for each of us to love our neighbor, help out a family who may be different than our own, and build each other up as a strong community. Our bonds run deeper than our differences ever will.

 

Parks & Art

There are so many opportunities to explore green space and experience expressions of art around our great city. The Eisemann Center is an incredible theater and performing arts center than rivals any in a larger city. We have smaller civic theaters around town offering more intimate and accessible theater experiences, as well as the high school performances always being open to the public. 

Our parks department is just plain impressive. We have access to 5 different city pools that are open to the public all summer (residents get majorly discounted rates for admission). One of those is a water park called Heights Family Aquatic Center. There are numerous green spaces available for outdoor exploration and some of the nicest and most well-kept parks I’ve ever lived near. One of my most proud resident moments was the opening of our new inclusive playground. It is incredible testament to how much our parks department cares about the play of all children. 

 

Nightlife

Okay, this one is admittedly the newest thing we have going for us. When State Farm moved their headquarters here a couple of years ago, our city inherited some exciting pockets of nightlife when these new facilities were built. CityLine DFW offers some great nightlife, including family friendly nights out on Fridays and Saturdays. Enjoy free music out on their lawn and bring a picnic and a cooler. All of the area restaurants have their patios open to the fun as well. It really is a great night out with family and friends. Our neighborhood shoots out a group text every Friday and a group of us meets there to hang out at the end of our busy week.

There are also several new places that are offering later hours for those nights that you are kid-free. Residents near JJ Pearce high school love Cafe Gecko. It’s location feels like a good-time neighborhood bar, and they are open until 2am every night of the week. Similarly, The Fifth in Canyon Creek is a great new restaurant with a hip vibe and obvious staying power. It is a great place for a girls’ night or a date night dinner and drinks. (Praying this place is here for the long-haul!) Gone are the days where Richardson shuts down at 8pm.

 

Festivals

This by far my favorite thing about living in Richardson. The city has several great festivals throughout the year that we all look forward to attending. Wildflower Arts & Music Festival is a multi-day eclectic arts and music festival that draws thousands of attendees to Galatyn Park urban center. This is held in May each year. The Cottonwood Art Festival is one of our favorite just because it is in walking distance from our first home. It is a bi-annual event featuring works from some of the nation’s top visual artists. There is food, drinks, and live music all weekend. This is held in May and October each year. Finally, Santa’s Village used to be our area’s best kept holiday secret. It is a holiday event near the city’s Civic Center and features an entire village just as you would imagine the North Pole to be. It is heartwarming and will immediately put you into the holiday spirit!

For more fesitvals (yes there are more!), visit the city’s arts & festivals site.

Hopefully I have done my great city justice. What do you love about Richardson? Come visit us anytime!

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