Dixon Holmes, division director of economic development in Provo, confirmed Tuesday the city will be getting its first standalone Starbucks in 2020. He said the official decision came after the planning commission approved the site plan a few weeks ago.
The Starbucks will be immediately south of Costa Vida and Fat Cats on University Avenue, near Brigham Young University campus.
There already is a Starbucks in Provo, Holmes clarified, in the Provo Marriott hotel, as well as several local coffee shops and other restaurants that serve coffee such as Einstein’s Bagels and Kneader’s.
“If anything else, it may be just a confirmation by a national chain that Provo’s a good investment for them,” Holmes said.
There was practically no pushback to the plan to bring Starbucks to the site near campus, except for one concern about parking. Somebody suggested at one of the meetings that people use the parking near to the small business area, to which a BYU representative responded that wouldn’t be acceptable because that’s university parking, Holmes explained, and BYU is well within their right to not allow business patrons to use campus parking.
“If you want to go someplace, you should park in the parking lot ... park in designated areas only,” Holmes said.
In reference to local coffee shops, Holmes thinks the presence of the national coffee chain will just improve their business.
“I think competition’s a good thing, and Provo does not have a prohibition on national chains,” Holmes said. “We have a land use code, and if you meet the land use code, whether you’re a local or regional or national or international chain, you’re welcome to do business in Provo, we welcome all businesses.”
Holmes said they do strive to have a balance between local and national businesses, but that much of those decisions are consumer driven and depend on the market, what residents buy and where they buy it from.
“I think there’s a good healthy mix there,” Holmes said, referring to the blend of local and national businesses in Provo. “It’s just one more little piece of the puzzle in the overall fabric of our community.”
Having more choices when it comes to goods and services, and locations to obtain those goods and services, is part of a higher quality of life, Holmes said.
“Dispersing the commercial offerings, the retail offerings throughout our community we think is a good thing,” Holmes said. “It must mean there’s a market for it if a national chain is paying attention. There will probably be other things like that in the near future.”