Website ranks Gainesville as No. 1 'City on the Rise'

By Anthony Clark | The Gainesville Sun

Gainesville was ranked No. 1 among Cities on the Rise in data analyzed to measure business growth by the consumer advocacy website NerdWallet.

The company measured growth from 2007 to 2012 in three categories, with Gainesville showing an 18.7 percent increase in median income, a 6.6 percent increase in working age-population and 7.4 percent growth in airport passengers.

Each category was given an equal score of 0-100 for 233 cities. Gainesville was assigned 53.9 points, followed by Fargo, N.D. (48.9), Brownsville, Texas (48.2), Bloomington, Ill. (47.6), Fayetteville, N.C. (46.8), Alexandria, Va. (46.3), Shreveport, La. (45.9), El Paso, Texas (45.8), Huntsville, Ala. (45.7) and Mobile, Ala. (45.6).

“The cities on the list are ones that people tend to underestimate,” said Divya Raghavan, senior analyst for NerdWallet who conducted the study. “They can be really great for job seekers. Though initially they might think of cities like New York or San Francisco or Austin, there are plenty of smaller cities that have this growth trajectory that can make them maybe a better option.”

She noted that Gainesville also has a much lower cost of living than nearby bigger cities such as Orlando.

In another list put out by online self-storage site SpareFoot on Tuesday, Gainesville was ranked the fourth fastest growing college town with overall population growth of 30.29 percent between 2000 and 2010.

The fastest growing were Raleigh, N.C. (46.29 percent), College Station, Texas (38.25 percent) and Las Cruces, N.M. (31.44 percent).



Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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