Peoria-based Cullinan Properties has a long tradition of success in mixed-use real estate. With their new construction on South Fifth Street in St. Charles, named Streets of St. Charles, the brand encountered both excitement and a great deal of branding challenges. The property featured an up-scale Chicago-based locavore restaurant, prasino, and residential units that were higher priced than the area had seen. Would the property be able to shed its association as the “old Noah’s Arc” (a rundown roadside attraction location)? Would they be able to find a compelling story to draw the right audience warm to their message?
Sometimes the best way to tackle a larger branding question is through an iterative approach to marketing. And with the Streets of St. Charles, we started with tangible marketing collateral in the form of TV commercials. By directing the creative to re-tell the story of what it means to shop, dine and live in St. Charles, we invited Cullinan to dream about a bigger story they are telling – one of a much more contemporary and open-minded St. Charles. From there, the story grew into a chance for creating a hometown, yet urban feeling – a feeling we invited many to experience via an ongoing, free community party called StreetsFest, a monthly outdoor celebration of the diversity in the area. Other events, such as the Timmy’s Mountain StreetPartyRun have proven to seal the story and rebrand the area.
Today, boasting a cinema, new restaurants and a 95% occupancy rate on its residential units, the Streets of St. Charles has exceeded its initial brand outlook. No longer is the area the “old Noah’s arc.” Instead, the brand has stepped into its own identity and is working to reshape the way the St. Louis region views St. Charles.