Apex hits it big in Money Magazine's ratings

The town of Apex now will flex its media muscle and declare itself no longer merely a bedroom community of Raleigh. Yes, that’s what happens when, as North Carolina’s official toast goes, the “strong grow great.” And in Money magazine’s annual rankings, Apex is rated as the best place in the country to live. The best.

Get ready, Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, for some needling from Apex officialdom at the next gathering of mayors: “You know what they say, folks, if you can’t live in Apex, you can always move to Raleigh.” Bada bing.

Apex was founded in the 1870s and was so named, goes the story, because it was the highest point on the Chatham Railroad line between Richmond and Jacksonville, Fla. It has survived several fires. And it has continued to grow, now standing at 40,000-plus residents and counting.

The truth is, though they won’t ’fess to Mayor McFarlane, a number of Raleigh’s executives live in Apex, where they find the revived downtown charming and the traffic’s a little less daunting than in, say, North Raleigh. And though Apex housing’s not cheap (the median household income is nearly $90,000), prices are lower than in places with far less appeal.