By Stephanie Co
Stephanie Co serves as Special Assistant to the President/CEO at Beyond Housing and currently facilitates the Pagedale Marketing Team. She was worked in community development in St. Louis since 2010. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Public Policy Administration candidate at University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Just a few years ago, Pagedale residents had to leave their community if they wanted to shop at a full-service grocery store, go to a bank, see a movie, and the list goes on. Residents spent their money outside of their own community, not because they wanted to, but because of necessity.
Now, residents for the first time have their own Town Center, where they can do all of these things. Pagedale Town Center also has senior living and an array of financial services, and will soon be home to a health clinic and a coffee shop. And these new amenities simply add on to other thriving businesses – delicious barbecue, the best grilled chicken, beauty and barbershops, and more.
In addition, Pagedale will soon have safer and more walkable streets through the Great Streets Project, as well as St. Vincent Greenway, a walking and biking trail. Pagedale is accessible to two MetroLink stations; one of these stations is a future Transit Oriented Development site. Youth and residents build community through community gardens, the boxing gym, an after-school program, community arts spaces, parks and events. Pagedale has a lot to be proud of.
Simultaneously, a lot of people don’t know about all the progress the Pagedale community has made. Even some residents are still learning about what Pagedale has to offer. A group of residents and business owners are working to change that. Supported by Beyond Housing through a NeighborWorks marketing grant, this group, the Pagedale Marketing Team, is exploring what makes Pagedale special.
Deeply-rooted. Progressive. Vibrant town center. Home. These are some of the words community members identify with when they think of Pagedale. They are thinking of the multi-generational families rooted in the community, the community’s willingness to take action, grow, and change, the new development and their first ever Town Center, and a place where everybody knows everybody (and their grandmother). Those qualities set Pagedale apart.
Through this marketing and branding initiative, the neighborhood marketing team is working to change public perception of Pagedale, increase investment in the community, and engage community members in building a shared identity based on respect and community commitment. This effort will not only improve community identity among existing residents and business owners, but it will showcase Pagedale and its strengths to the greater region, including to prospective businesses and residents.
Most importantly, this neighborhood branding is driven by the community. It is important to have stakeholders, whether residents, business owners, or elected officials, engaged from the beginning. This community-based team has not only led the visioning and creation of a marketing plan for Pagedale, but will be instrumental in implementing that plan.
Ultimately, we know neighborhood branding alone is not enough. Branding is complementary to revitalization and development efforts working to create better communities to live in. As the team launches its new logo, events, social media campaigns, media press kits, street banners, and more, their efforts will only be successful if partnered with other community development strategies.
Through this neighborhood branding process, the Pagedale marketing team created a slogan to reflect the brand and better represent the community: “Pagedale Pride Grows Here.” They want you to come to Pagedale and see why they are proud of their community. Visit Pagedale Town Center, come watch a movie, and see how Pagedale has grown and will continue to grow.
Articles in “From the Field” represent the opinions of the author only and do not represent the views of the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis or the University of Missouri- St. Louis.