An Evolving Salt Lake City Hopes to Be ‘Just Like Austin’

Also seeding tech start-ups are Kimmy and Sergio Paluch, who founded Beta Boom, which funds underrepresented tech entrepreneurs who lack easy access to capital. Like many other recent arrivals, Ms. Paluch said, she wanted to be part of the evolving city but was also acutely aware that the growth had raised housing prices.

“We should all be thinking about ways to bring all of the population along,” she said.

In the past five years, housing prices in Utah have more than doubled, according to a study by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. The median price is $534,000, according to an analysis by Redfin, the real estate firm, well above the $320,000 median in 2019. State data also shows an increase in the homeless population.

The mayor’s administration is working on proposals to protect affordable housing and create incentives for developers. The state, unlike many others, does not require developers to include affordable housing in their projects. For now, Mayor Mendenhall said, “growth is the best tool for us to work with.”

Despite the challenges raised by growth, Angela H. Brown, the executive editor of SLUG Magazine, which stands for Salt Lake UnderGround, said the city had been shedding its stodgy image.

In the past, “you had to look really hard to find the underground, the arts, the music,” said Ms. Brown, who is also the executive director of Craft Lake City, which organizes arts festivals in the city. “But you do not have to go outside of our state to find incredible talent,” she added. “It is right here.”