The idea of home has been prominently featured in many ways: From Dorothy's famous "There's no place like home" line, to a gem that I picked up studying cultural semiotics, which separates all places into either homes or anti-homes, and defines the former as having shared meaning for a group of people. But I digress...
It's always a pleasure to write about neighborhoods; telling the stories of the businesses and people who live there, and sharing a glimpse into that neighborhood's unique identity. But when I write about the Central Ninth neighborhood, I start to wax especially poetic because it's the home of Local First Utah's office. You can call it pride or you can call it vanity, but I'll just say that our organization has a special place in its collective heart for the Central Ninth neighborhood.
As a redevelopment area, Central Ninth has been, and is still continuing to undergo a dramatic transformation—which makes it especially exciting for us. Since moving to our green warehouse location, which was generously donated by the Salt Lake City RDA back in March of last year, we've joined fellow Central Ninth transplants Atlas Architects, NoBrow Coffee Werks, and most recently, Sage's Café.
In addition to being surrounded by such stellar, community-minded local businesses, we're also lucky to have a garden from Wasatch Community Gardens right next door and share our warehouse space with City Presbyterian, which holds regular services at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
As Salt Lake neighborhoods go, Central Ninth is still in its infancy. But whatever it lacks in history or prestige, it makes up for with a veritable cadre of engaged citizens, committed business leaders, and other community builders. It's a neighborhood with lofty, but completely achievable goals for walkability, bikability, mixed-use housing and commercial space, and small-scale development continually focused on cultivating and preserving its own distinct neighborhood identity.
We love working here! Seriously, we love it! And as you explore the city—which, even if you're a life-long resident, you should definitely do—you'd be remiss to overlook this jewel of a neighborhood.