When you think of Utah's business community, you likely picture the tall office buildings of Salt Lake City set against a backdrop of mountains. Now, think of the booming tech scene. Did you immediately think of Lehi? You're not alone. But outside of these two big business hubs, Utah has several suburbs that are home to big, vibrant businesses. Companies like Overstock, CHG Healthcare, Instructure, and doTERRA are just a few examples of big businesses that have planted roots in the burbs.
THE BENEFITS OF THE BURBS
At first glance, the suburbs might not seem like the best place to open a business, but in a lot of ways, it makes sense. So, what's driving-companies to locate to suburban office parks? Of course, cost plays a role as it's typically much less expensive to lease or acquire office space outside of the city. But it's not just cost that's driving this trend. James Bullington, senior vice president at Colliers International, says that there are many factors driving companies to leave the city for the suburbs.
"Traffic is one of the main reasons businesses are going to places like Millrock Park and Canyon Park Tech Center--they don't have to deal with nearly as many cars on the road," says Bullington. "Right now in Lehi, getting on and off the freeway takes a lot of time because it's always congested, especially during rush hour. Getting in and out of downtown Salt Lake has the same problem."
No one wants to spend their time stuck in traffic, especially after a long day at work. And as congested roads are only expected to worsen as Utah's population grows, many companies are setting up shop in Pleasant Grove, Draper, or Cottonwood Heights in hopes of shortening the daily commute for employees.
But it isn't just less time in the car that has companies moving to the 'burbs. As Utah's unemployment rate drops to record lows, finding employees has become a challenge for many businesses. This makes a company's location more important than ever, says Jordan Wall, senior executive vice president at Colliers International.
"It's why we've seen companies gravitate to the south end of Salt Lake and the north of Utah County," he says. "Being able to recruit and retain talent from both Utah County and the entire Salt Lake Valley is a huge advantage for companies. And, companies aren't necessarily moving to where their executives are anymore. It's all about where the employee base lives and where they will live in the next 10 years."
While moving to...