Comment 78812

By Jay Robb (anonymous) | Posted June 22, 2012 at 11:25:42

Don't have any answers but more than a few questions....

1. Is there a vision & strategy in place for revitalizing downtown Hamilton? Seems to be a lot of ideas and 11th hour proposals and grand plans that don't quite knit together. What do we want downtown Hamilton to be known for?

2. Who do you want working, living and shopping in downtown Hamilton? This may be different from who's currently there. How much residential? How much commercial? Given demographics, how do we make the downtown senior-friendly? How do you entice the downsizing boomers to live the suburbs and relocate to the core? What services and amenities do they need?

3. What are the odds of turning downtown Hamilton into a dining, arts & entertainment district? Downtown retail is a challenge that lots of communities are up against and haven't solved. Entire blocks jammed with pubs, ethnic restaurants and fine dining would be pretty cool. Is it doable?

4. How do we get more destination shopping in the core? Right now, there's very little there that you can't find somewhere else. What would draw folks with discretionary income from Ancaster, Dundas, Stoney Creek and West Hamilton?

5. Why aren't established brands setting up shop in downtown Hamilton? Why isn't there a Starbucks? An 8 a.m. to midnight Shopper's Drug Mart? A stand-alone LCBO? Love 'em or hate them, the presence of these kinds of businesses is a good way to measure the health and vibrancy of a neighbourhood. Their absence is hard to miss.

6. Why are landlords letting their buildings sit vacant? Is there no demand? Rent too high? Too much red tape with setting up shop downtown? Why aren't landlords trying to poach the best retail and restaurants from other parts of the city like Locke Street, Westdale and Ottawa Street? Imagine taking the best from these areas and putting them side by side on a street of James St. North.

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