Why Evans earned ranking as top place to live in U.S.

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 9:45 AM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Evans has just been named the best places to live in America by Money Magazine, beating out thousands of other well-known places.

According to the magazine, the 29,000+ resident suburb of Augusta beat out other well-known cities like Charleston, South Carolina to take the crown of the best place to live.

So, what exactly is it about Evans that makes it so special?

It’s a no-brainer that Evans is drawing national attention. Between the beautiful Evans Towne Center Park that was packed throughout the day, to the new businesses that have popped up and construction across the street.

It’s the tall cranes and the sounds of construction that have helped earn Evans the number one town to live in America, according to Money Magazine. And people we spoke to in Columbia County couldn’t argue that.

“I’m actually not surprised at all. I love it here. This has been one of my favorite places to live and it’s been really friendly for my family,” said Lorren Lemmons, an Evans resident.

Being family-friendly is only one reason Evans got the top spot. Evans is “a fast-growing town with a welcoming atmosphere and southern charm,” the magazine wrote on its website.

In its write-up, Money gives props to the town’s “good-paying jobs in healthcare, administration, and the military nearby.”

The magazine also gives thumbs-up to the Columbia County School District, the affordability of homes in the area, and overall quality of life.

“We chose Evans because we liked the schools here and we liked that we were close to the community,” Lemmons explained.

Evans is still growing. Money Magazine found that Evans saw a 17 percent increase in employment opportunities in the last five years. That number is expected to grow by another 9 percent.

“It’s like the perfect storm with everything coming together. It’s pretty awesome,” Venus Morris Griffin, vice president of Meybohm Real Estate, said.

The area will soon welcome a new Amazon Fulfillment Center coming to Appling. Two big employers like Fort Gordon and the Georgia Cyber Center are things the magazine cited that give people good opportunities.

“You can still feel that you have the opportunities of a larger area from an income standpoint and opportunity, but the cost of living and quality of life is such a radical change,” Griffin said.

That radical change has made people want to stay in Columbia County after they retire.

“Everyone is so nice here. It’s so well taken care of. You can look anywhere, and you can’t see anything you don’t like,” said Kaci Triplett, a Grovetown resident. “And we liked the area so much we decided to stay.”

Columbia County officials say they are continuing their growth throughout the pandemic. Officials also praised the magazine’s ranking.

“This recognition is the result of many years of good leadership and decision making by citizens, staff, and elected officials. We are truly blessed to live in such an outstanding area,” Columbia County Chairman Doug Duncan said in a statement.

In 2019, the magazine named Clarksville, Tennessee as the top town. Only one city in Georgia, Johns Creek cracked the top 25 last year.

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