With a lengthy list of investments and accolades that have come as a result of the revitalization of Downtown St.Catharines, the transformation of the City's core has created an ever-increasing demand for a grocery store to serve the growing number of people living, working, and shopping in the area. As more and more people are discovering this vibrant and thriving community, there is no better time than now for a grocer to set up shop. Here are our top 5 reasons why Downtown St.Catharines is the best location for an urban grocery store:
Recent developments in our city’s core have changed the face of our community for generations to come, bringing with it a new sense of vibrancy that has made Downtown St.Catharines a desirable place to live and work. Investments in arts and culture and infrastructure total over $300 million including:
- $50 million for the newly opened Meridian Centre which has space for 5,000 hockey spectators and 6,000 seats in venue space
- $60 million for the new FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, a unique four-venue facility that includes a 775 seat main theatre and event space
- $42 million in the building of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts hosting over 600 Brock University students and faculty
- $28 million in the 600 space Carlisle Street parking garage
Density - People Live Downtown
With a booming real estate market and over $200 million in residential development in the Downtown alone, there are diverse options for urban living in St.Catharines ranging from high-end housing and condo developments to new student housing and retirement communities. As developers are taking advantage of the growing desire to live in our Downtown, the increasing density and attraction of living in a walkable community with entertainment and amenities nearby has created an untapped market of over 5,000 residents living in the downtown area looking for a convenient and accessible way to fulfill their grocery needs.
People Come Here to Work
Downtown St.Catharines is the business and administrative centre of Niagara and increasingly the location of choice for innovative companies in the tech and interactive digital media industries as well as other large employers like Ting Mobile, Clickback, and Quartek Group. Together with the residents and students living here, the daily population swells to over 11,000 in the downtown area, creating the opportunity for a potential grocer to offer quick and easy grocery solutions for workers on the go.
It's Niagara's Only Urban Growth Centre
The Ontario Government's Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe identified 25 key downtown areas in the province as Urban Growth Centres, making them the focus of planning policies that encourage population density and employment growth. The fact that Downtown St.Catharines was designated as Niagara's only Urban Growth Centre is significant as it sets minimum density targets to encourage revitalization and means that it is also a focal point for investment and transit infrastructure.
Demand - People Want It
Whether it's the growing residential population or the professionals that work in our downtown, there is a clear indication that people also want to have a grocery store open in Downtown St.Catharines. According to a Brock University Business Consulting Group study done on the case for a Downtown grocer, 90% of survey respondents said that they would shop at a grocery store in the City's core. Of the respondents, support was consistent across the board among both downtown residents as well as employees working in the downtown, with all respondents citing convenience and proximity as the most important reasons they would support a downtown grocery store. This is in addition to the fact that 1 in 3 downtown residents do not drive for their grocery needs in spite of the fact that the closest grocery store to our downtown is over twice the average distance for other comparable cities in Southern Ontario.
As the shift towards walkable, transit-oriented urban communities continues, Downtown St.Catharines is becoming one of Ontario's most promising urban centres and has become a microcosm of everything that Niagara has to offer--from a nascent business community to a lively creative arts and interactive digital media cluster. This is underpinned by a renewed sense of identity that has been fostered by community leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, and residents alike that have taken ownership of the goal of revitalizing the city's core and making it a place where all are included. For these reasons and more, the addition of a grocery store is a key piece to the puzzle and a great investment opportunity as Niagara's urban centre continues to grow.
For more information on this opportunity, check out our latest Grocery Brochure.