Sometimes the work we do takes a long time to gestate. Way back in 2006 TOKY worked with St. Louis’ Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance to help rebrand an area of Old North St. Louis that was ready to come back to life. We advised the RHCDA to use as the cornerstone of the brand the one asset they had in the area with high public recognition…Crown Candy Kitchen. In St. Louis, everybody knows Crown Candy. Heck, even that “Man Vs. Food” guy knows Crown Candy (and its bathrooms).
We used Crown Candy’s high consumer recognition to build the entire neighborhood brand, and Crown Village was born. This was an area where urban pioneers could buy homes for ridiculously low prices, literally minutes from downtown. Our positioning theme hammered that point home, taking a subtle swipe at the hyper-inflated prices of Washington Avenue’s tony lofts: “Great City Living, Without the Lofty Price.” The logo was made up of letterforms from the old commercial signs in the old 14th Street Mall.
Yesterday at a ceremony attended by lots of the City’s muckety-mucks, Crown Village debuted “Crown Square” which is (according the RHCDA site) “the most significant redevelopment to take place in the Old North Saint Louis historic neighborhood in many decades. This ambitious undertaking includes the historic rehabilitation of 27 buildings into 80 mixed-income apartments, townhouses, lofts and live-work spaces and 34,000 square feet of street level commercial space, with an array of ‘green building’ features built into the development. It includes the removal of the two-block long ‘pedestrian mall,’ tying the neighborhood back together with new streets, sidewalks, lighting, parking and other public amenities.”
Congrats to RHCDA and Old North. It’s been a long time coming!