A Starbucks in downtown Hamilton is an indicator that economic change has happened in the city, according to the research director of a University of Toronto think-tank .
A banner hung in Jackson Square indicates that your skinny cinnamon dolce latte is coming soon.
Officials with the mall confirmed that the coffee shop will be housed in the Sheraton Hotel on King Street.
A Starbucks coming into the area can be seen as a sign that transition in an area has happened, said Kevin Stolarick, a research director at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management.
Like many other large companies, Starbucks doesn’t move into an area until it’s sure the economy can support it, he said.
"They’re going to look at the market and see if there is a market there, and if people can afford the product," he said.
Stolarick dismissed the idea that Starbucks can be seen as an indicator of coming change to a neighbourhood.
"It’s more of a lagging indicator," he said.
But the head of Hamilton’s downtown BIA said she’s not so sure the change has fully happened.
'All we need now is a Lululemon and an Apple Store and we’ll be set.'—Person quoted
"A lot of planning proponents would say that a Starbucks arriving means that the area has arrived," said Kathy Drewitt, executive director of the downtown BIA.
"I don’t think we’ve arrived quite yet."
However, regardless of the state of downtown’s arrival, new business is good for the area, she said.
"Every new business that arrives in the area is a good thing," she said.
It’s a sentiment that was echoed by ward two councillor Jason Farr, who said he feels reassured when he sees more big franchises arriving downtown.
"I’m quite pleased to see plenty of franchises pop up in the area," he said. "All we need now is a Lululemon and an Apple Store and we’ll be set."
Farr said he thinks big franchises can exist in harmony with the independent businesses, as both will benefit from the increased number of people that the companies bring into the core.
"Those kind of things help not only the Starbucks, but also the mom and pop shops," he said.