Located along the shores of the Puget Sound, halfway between the cities of Olympia and Seattle, University Place is considered one of the most desirable places to live in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest.
Its ideal location is just one of the many things that make this city a standout. Surrounded by water, forests, and mountains, the city boasts beautiful views and endless opportunities for outdoor activities. While it’s the perfect launching point to the many attractions of the region, it’s also a destination in itself, thanks to the beaches, apple orchards, parks, and excellent restaurants that you can find here. Recently, the city gained more prominence with the opening of Chambers Bay, an award-winning golf course that hosted the US Amateur in 2010 and the US Open in 2015.
University Place got its name in the 1800s when the University of Puget Sound purchased the land it now occupies with the purpose of building a campus here. The plan never materialized and the university eventually sold the land back to the city.
Before that, the area was home to Native Americans, and later, part of it was used for the lumber industry, gravel mining, and as a railroad center. In the 1900s, the place attracted new residents looking for an ideal location to raise their families. University Place remained an unincorporated community until the forming of the city in 1995. Today, it’s home to around 31,000 residents, and is one of the highly sought communities in the Pacific Northwest.
University Place, WA real estate
University Place boasts gorgeous waterfront homes along the Puget Sound, with spectacular views, top-of-the-line finishes, boathouses, and the best access to the water. Properties near the Chambers Bay Golf Course are also among the most coveted in the city.
Homes here come with expansive lots, typically 5,000 square feet to 0.25 acre, as well as spacious living areas with three to four bedrooms. Architectural styles widely vary from ranch to contemporary.
There are plenty of new developments in the city, featuring homes with customizable floor plans, topnotch designs, and beautiful finishes. You’ll also find older properties in more mature neighborhoods. Some are historic homes that are at least 75 years old, and have retained their original charm and character.
Townhomes are also gaining popularity, particularly in areas near the Puget Sound and the Chambers Bay Golf Course.
Living in University Place
- Cost of living As one of the most sought after communities in the Puget Sound, the cost of living in University Place is generally higher than the average cost of living in the US and Washington state. Housing costs account for much of the difference, but utilities and healthcare costs in the city are considerably lower than the national average.
- Education The city is served by the highly rated University Place School District. All schools belonging to the district are among the top performers in Washington state. These include four elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school.
The top employers in the city are healthcare services, educational services, and retail trade. As a mostly residential community, employment options in the city are rather limited, but many residents make the short commute to Tacoma, Seattle, and other nearby employment centers for gainful work. The median household income in the city is higher than that of the US and at par with the state’s.
- Healthcare University Place is served by a number of primary and specialty care providers, including University Place Medical Clinic, Franciscan Medical Clinic, and University Place Care Center. The MultiCare Allenmore Hospital and other healthcare facilities in neighboring Tacoma are just minutes away.
- Attractions The beaches on the Puget Sound provide countless fun things to do in University Place. Locals frequent Titlow Beach Park, where tide pools reveal various sea creatures like starfish, jellyfish, and periwinkles.Chambers Creek Regional Park is the latest favorite outdoor destination in the city. This 930-acre park is home to the prestigious Chambers Bay Golf Course, with plans to add a hotel, clubhouse, and other amenities in the future. The park provides bridge access to the beach, as well as easy trails for walking and biking.The city maintains several other parks with creeks, trails, wildlife habitats, and acres of natural areas and open spaces. These include Curran Apple Orchard, a 7.33-acre apple orchard with 200 trees of over 15 apple varieties. Visitors can enjoy activities like apple picking, cider making, and tree pruning. The orchard also hosts Summer Concerts at the Park and other special events.
The city’s public art program is another source of pride for the community. The Gallery of Public Art features permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as concerts and live performances.
Interested to know more about University Place, WA? Get in touch with me, Lori Lewandowski, to inquire about housing options, learn more about the community, consult about community resources and facilities, or discuss related concerns.
I’m a Top Producing agent at John L Scott KMS, and I work seven days a week to help you achieve your goals. Call now at 253.617.5922 or email me at LoriLewandowski@gmail.com.
You can also view your housing options in other fine WA communities like North Tacoma, Sumner, and Buckley.