Salt Lake City’s booming job market continues to attract professionals of all backgrounds thanks to its diversified economy. Young professionals in particular come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, the Census Bureau classifies young professionals as anyone between the ages of 19 and 44, and since the average person retires at the age of 63, working professionals in their forties are still fairly young in their careers.
However, earnings and housing needs shift drastically between your twenties and forties. For that reason, we looked at the Salt Lake City neighborhoods with the highest ratio of young professionals and grouped them into four categories: The Urban Dwellers, The Up-and-Coming, The High Rollers, and The Lone Star.
The Urban Dwellers
If you’re a young professional who likes living in the heart of the city, but the downtown price tag and traffic don’t appeal to you, then these are the neighborhoods for you.
East Central borders the University of Utah, and it’s an area sought out by buyers and renters alike. While renting in East Central is affordable, home prices tend to be higher than most other neighborhoods. Many college students favor living in the area even after graduating, which could explain the high number of young professionals living here. Although East Central is mainly residential, its proximity to 9th and 9th and downtown gives residents plenty of shopping and restaurant options.
Central City’s ideal location at the heart of Salt Lake City makes it a perfect neighborhood if you work in downtown or if you need quick access to the University of Utah. The local light rail system, known as TRAX, runs through the center of the neighborhood, which makes it an appealing option for anyone who wants to avoid traffic and reduce their carbon footprint. Central City is also home to popular attractions such as Trolley Square, The Salt Lake City Public Library, and The Leonardo.
Liberty Wells sits just west of Sugar House, and over the years it’s become one of the most desirable neighborhoods for young professionals. As Sugar House prices rose, people moved west into what was once referred to as the “hood.” Residents reclaimed the label and lovingly named this neighborhood Sugar Hood before it became better known as Liberty Wells. Liberty Wells is home to the second-largest park in Salt Lake City, in addition to boasting a variety of coffee shops and eateries within walking distance of each other.
The neighborhoods in this category aren’t new; they’ve been a part of the Salt Lake City landscape for a long time. However, in recent years these neighborhoods have grown in numbers and their appeal only seems to be rising with the younger generation of professionals.
Sugar House is one of the hippest and most coveted neighborhoods by young professionals in Salt Lake City. Sunset Magazine recognized Sugar House as one of the best places to live at any age, and, judging by the number of people trying to purchase Sugar House real estate (both private and commercial), we know people are listening. Sugar House has local restaurants, bars, and grocery stores, as well as a train line of it own. Sugar House has become a mini downtown, and young professionals are loving it.
Rose Park has remained one of the most affordable neighborhoods in all of Salt Lake City, and many young professionals are taking advantage of this affordability. The homes in Rose Park tend to be bigger than those found in the downtown area, but it’s only a short five- to ten-minute drive to all of the downtown amenities. For years, Rose Park was seen as an unsafe neighborhood, but it’s a reputation that emerged from incorrectly lumping the whole west side of Salt Lake City together. Still, young professionals are moving here in droves, proving that stereotypes are just that—stereotypes.
Capitol Hill is a stately neighborhood favored by young professionals, and it’s not just because of its proximity to the Utah State Capitol Building. Homes in this area sit above much of the city, which gives residents a stellar view while still allowing them a short commute into town. Capitol Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, but rentals in the area have remained affordable, which appeals to plenty of young professionals needing easy access to downtown.
The Rich Life
As stated earlier, young professionals fit into a broad umbrella, and that includes people who’ve made it big early in their careers. The following neighborhoods are some of the more pricey areas in Salt Lake City, and they’re home to some of the most successful professionals out there.
Wasatch Hollow is an old neighborhood nestled in a quiet area of Salt Lake City. Residents take pride in belonging to such a historic area, as evidenced by the Wasatch Hollow Oral Project, which interviews lifelong residents on their experience over the years. Home prices in Wasatch Hollow are higher than the Salt Lake City average, so while there are many young professionals who reside here, they tend to be well-established in their careers.
East Bench is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, so if you’ve hit the jackpot early in your career, East Bench is the neighborhood for you. The median value for homes in this area is around half a million dollars, with some homes approaching the million dollar price tag. East Bench is not renter friendly since it’s a neighborhood people settle into for good, but it’s ideal for young professionals with families. Popular attractions include the Hogle Zoo, Red Butte Garden, and This Is The Place Heritage Park.
Yalecrest is known as the Harvard-Yale area because many of the streets are named after Ivy League schools. Rumor has it that Ty Burrell from the popular show Modern Family has a seasonal home in Yalecrest, which proves just how desirable this area is. Yalecrest is rich in history, and members of this iconic neighborhood have spent years advocating for the preservation of some of its older homes. Of course, older homes and historic landmarks mean higher home prices, so this is a neighborhood that’s best for young professionals with high-paying jobs.
The Lone Star
The neighborhood in this category is truly uncategorizable. It’s not in the heart of the city, and it’s so iconic that no one would ever think of calling it an up-and-coming neighborhood. Read on to find out what makes the Avenues the Lone Star.
The Avenues is the oldest neighborhood in Salt Lake City, but its young-at-heart residents have made this one of the most progressive and vibrant neighborhoods in the city. The Avenues is home to a variety of people, from college students to artists to lawyers. There are higher-end homes, affordable rentals, and everything in between. In short, young professionals of all classes thrive in this charming and historic part of Salt Lake City. Residents of the Avenues can also take advantage of City Creek Canyon and Lindsey Park for a breath of fresh air.
Ultimately, choosing the best neighborhood comes down to a variety of factors, including buying vs. renting costs, commute time, and cost of living, to name of few. Only you can decide what’s best. Regardless of what Salt Lake City neighborhood you live in, consider checking out The Society of Young Professionals Salt Lake City for networking opportunities. After all, you’re only a young professional once.