Salt Lake City ranked No. 4 in growing population

Statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Sept 27 ranked Salt Lake City as the No. 4 city in the nation that witnessed an influx of people moving downtown. Ranked behind Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia, the statistics were based on the increase in population between 2000 and 2010 within two miles of its city hall. New real estate in Salt Lake City has been popping up all over the city, attracting more people to areas that were once plagued by vacant and dilapidated properties.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, 19,712 more people moved downtown in the past decade, bringing today’s total number of residents to 355,804. The city has made commitments in increasing public transportation and creating more walkable communities. These initiatives, along with a booming night life, have attracted young professionals to the area. But Salt Lake City has also seen an increase in seniors relocating downtown who enjoy being able to walk to Broadway theaters and other attractions.

"When we came here five years ago, you could walk around downtown Salt Lake City on an evening and wonder where the people were," Frank Gray, the city’s community and economic development director told the publication. "Now, it’s alive. Businesses are open. People are on the street. Just in five years, it has changed tremendously."

Mayor Dan Snarr has played a major role in the revitalization of downtown. Currently in his third year of his fourth term, Snarr told the Salt Lake Tribune that his goal was to clean up the community, especially the Fireclay district, before his term is over. The neighborhood named after the brick factory that once operated there now boasts towering apartment complexes, including a five-story building currently under construction that is slated to open in March. The incorporation of transit convenience is another reason more people are attracted to downtown.

Additionally, more financing options are available for homeowners in Salt Lake City that may have been reluctant to buy and sell in an unstable market. Statistics have shown that real estate in the city has shown signs of life during the summer months, and new financing structures may help boost it even more. UBS Bank and the Utah Housing Corporation joined together to offer an innovative financial agreement that is especially popular among first-time homebuyers. According to Mainstreet Business, it will help increase availability of mortgages with lower payment options, low interest rates and down payment assistance.