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hipstamirror

Revitalization?

Revitalization?

New banners on Broadway, apparently intended to induce neighborhood self-esteem. [Ed: and by self esteem do you mean pride? -- isn't that way too obvious?]


p.s. the others are: community, dining, diversity, and entertainment

Comments

..that reminds me of the horrid 'West Edge' banners in Belltown/Downtown.
they look really cheap, too! I thought it was especially funny that the shopping one was right next to a Rite Aid.
haha where is the 'Panhandler' banner next to Dick's? Or 'El Borracho' near the funeral home bus stop where the drunks always hang out?

Shopping at Rite Aid!
another funny part is that the "entertainment" banner is right in front of the Bank of America[?] across the street.

I guess that sometimes Streetbeat danced there . . .
oh, it's that ghetto US Bank that always look like its on the verge of closing!

..i saw the banner this morning while waiting for the bus and they look so cheesy. what is with that little logo beneath the rainbows?
I think it's related to the brass dance step diagrams embedded in the sidewalks.
I totally just made a reference to the West Edge banners in his Flickr post about these banners.
They really seem out of place on that street.
it looks like they really tried -- perhaps the mini rainbow of diversity and picture of the brass dance steps aren't visible given the low quality of sidekick photography.

but I agree, they look really cheap and not well thought out.
do you remember what the other option for "the west edge" was? i feel like it was some naming combination thing. like bococa.

who can forget "Chenora"

. . . producing and rejecting neighborhood names including Chenora (Cherry + Lenora), the Steppes, and the Blocks. [thestranger]

Re: who can forget "Chenora"

thank goodness you remembered--i've been trying to remember this for years. i can't wait to tell kailin.

but that url doesn't work anymore?

Re: who can forget "Chenora"

weird, I wonder if they're doing something with the servers. it worked this morning. Just in case, the googlecache is pasted below for posterity:
Gentrification by Any Other Name

In an effort to create an identity for the neighborhood between Belltown and Pioneer Square (the blocks between Lenora Street and Cherry Street on the north and south, and Third Avenue and Western Avenue on the east and west), local marketing firm Tip Top Creative has given the area a "place brand."

Starting in September, residents and property owners in the zone will find themselves part of "The West Edge," a name Tip Top marketer Debbie Campbell calls "fun and bright." The firm's services (converting social problems like homelessness and vacant storefronts into marketing tools like "edginess") were contracted by the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), a neighborhood development organization funded by a voluntary tax on downtown property owners. Sylvia McDaniel, a spokesperson for the Downtown Seattle Association, which set up the improvement district, says branding neighborhoods is a popular national trend. "Branding brings identity and recognition to your service, product, or destination," she says. "It also provides the customer with a total experience they can embrace and gives them more of a reason to buy than, 'It's just a good product.'"

While the MID will coordinate the brand rollout in September, Tip Top began its work in January with focus groups, research, and surveys, producing and rejecting neighborhood names including Chenora (Cherry + Lenora), the Steppes, and the Blocks. MATTHEW PREUSCH

Re: who can forget "Chenora"

there is also this, from 2001-09-06:
SPIN CITY
A New Marketing Plan Transforms "Downtown" into the "West Edge"
by Matthew Preusch







Beginning Friday, September 7, Seattleites will be asked to stop saying they are going "downtown" when visiting the Seattle Art Museum or Pike Place Market, but to say they are going to the "West Edge." That's right--thanks to a marketing ploy by the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) and an official Mayor Schell proclamation, the area west of Third Avenue, between Belltown and Pioneer Square, has a new name.

The "West Edge" is an attempt by the city and the DSA to brand a part of downtown, to make it familiar and give it an identity that Seattle shoppers can relate to. "There's nothing dull about it," says the new neighborhood slogan.

"The popularity and success of branding can be seen with tangible products such as Coca-Cola or Disneyland," says DSA spokesperson Sylvia McDaniel of the name change. "More people buy into brands and become brand loyalists and, more often than not, customers for life--this is the essence of branding," she says. The "West Edge" is a place brand, a natural extension of consumer-driven marketing strategy.

With the help of Seattle marketing firm Tip Top Creative, the DSA used focus groups, surveys, and pedestrian and merchant input to come up with "West Edge," a name that beat out other potential names like "Chenora" (the area is bordered by Cherry and Lenora), "The Stepps," and "The Blocks." "West Edge" is meant to evoke the neighborhood's geographic location and "spirited environment," according to DSA literature. Glossed over by Tip Top and the DSA, though, are the area's less marketable characteristics, like homelessness and public drug use. According to the Seattle Police Department, census figures show the area tallied 1,453 thefts and two homicides between January and July 2001, a disproportionately large number of Seattle's total. Reality aside, place branding is becoming popular across the country as a relatively inexpensive means of generating recognition for a new or lonely place in town.

For example, Phoenix, in hopes of revitalizing a downtown that was never vital, named its lonely retail core "Copper Square," though nobody calls it that. In Edmonton, Alberta, downtown is called "The Arts District," though most of the art scene lies outside its borders. Such creative naming is not unprecedented in Seattle either: Lower Queen Anne has become "Uptown" in recent years, and many call south of downtown the "SODO" district.

Jeff Stuhmer, another DSA spokes- person, hopes the West Edge name will help those in the neighborhood feel connected through a common identity. But just like Pepsi's "Choice of a New Generation" campaign, the DSA branding philosophy is mostly about money. The hope is that shoppers will think about the West Edge like a brand, and eventually a favored shopping destination. But will it catch on?

"People who have lived here for years are by no means going to use the 'West Edge.' They're pretty set in their ways," said Angela, a hostess at the Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House on Second Avenue, while her coworkers nodded in agreement. Some feel it makes downtown sound like "an apartment building, not a city." Others disagree. Many small-business owners like the new brand name, and think it might help draw dollars away from more popular retail centers like the Pacific Place mall. [http://www.thestranger.com/2001-09-06/city.html]