Tag Archives: Strategic Plan

Margate Strategic Planning, Marketing, Branding & Public Relations

Agency

Margate Community Redevelopment Agency

Services Provided

Strategic Plan
Branding
Marketing
Business Attraction
Public Relations
Special Events

Performance Period

2014-2017

Margate Strategic Planning, Marketing, Branding & Public Relations

Issue

The City of Margate, known to most as simply a “bedroom community”, lacked a defined image which made it difficult to attract business to the city or to connect the community in a meaningful way. In addition to the lack of a clearly defined identity, brand and message, there was no strategy or strategic plan for marketing the City’s assets and opportunities. Margate did have innate assets however and a sense of community pride and cohesiveness. Without defining what makes a city unique, it can easily become invisible in a world of cities. The City of Margate Community Redevelopment Agency (MCRA) hired RMA to create and implement a comprehensive plan and campaign that would produce an identity and brand that was representative of the entire City.

Strategy

RMA had already worked with the City on a visionary downtown master plan that was adopted and being implemented. With the goals of establishing an identity, job creation, advancing the economic well-being of the community, and generating a better quality of life for all residents; RMA performed an economic analysis to better define the existing conditions and drivers that made the city unique. Then RMA drafted a strategic marketing plan that focused on the city’s potential, enhancing a positive community image among local and regional residents, and spurring visitor and developer interest in the city as a whole. The MCRA and RMA identified and engaged stakeholders in the process and achieved consensus on major elements.

Outcome

  • A logo and tagline were adopted that illustrate the community pride and underlying themes that residents feel about the City of Margate.
  • A Brand Standards Manual was adopted to inspire and outline the brand and define the photographic style and primary message.
  • The new brand and message was featured on Miami’s Channel 10 News as a major headline in a story about south Florida city brands.
  • A brand launch event entitled “Celebrate Margate” was held to unveil the new logo, engage the community and build excitement about the future of Margate and was attended by thousands of residents and visitors. Additionally, a seasonal event, Margate under the Moon, was launched and draws approximately 5000 people monthly to the future downtown site giving residents and visitors a “taste” of what the future holds in the new downtown.
  • A comprehensive marketing promotional package was developed showcasing the visionary master plan and promoting the newly uncovered uniqueness of the area.
  • The comprehensive strategy included not only outreach to the development community and a business-centric social media strategy, but also a focus on visually creating a sense of place through the installation of branded light pole banners and development of business building seminars and special events.
  • The Margate CRA Annual Report won the 2016 Roy F. Kenzie Award for Best Annual Report and a 2017 Florida Redevelopment Association Best Promotion in a Redevelopment Area award for the Margate Under the Moon event.
  • RMA’s efforts firmly established Margate as a City engaged in the development of its existing and future assets. The social media campaign had a 2,142% increase in fans in a four month period, showcasing the interest in the City of Margate since the inception of the comprehensive branding campaign.

West Palm Beach Strategy Development, Business Attraction, Marketing & Communications Plan

Agency

West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency

Services Provided

Business Attraction & Marketing
Economic Development
Urban Design & Planning
Government Management

Performance Period

2005 – 2010 (Kim Briesemeister and
Sharon McCormick)

2014 – Present (RMA)

West Palm Beach Strategy Development, Business Attraction, Marketing & Communications Plan

Issue

In 2006 the Northwood area of West Palm Beach was a blighted, tired business district bordered by an industrial warehouse area, referred to simply as “Northwood Business District”. When RMA Director of Marketing, Sharon McCormick reviewed the options, it was clear that if business attraction efforts were to work a complete rebranding was needed, as well as a comprehensive strategic approach to redevelopment and marketing of the areas.

Strategy

After conducting a market assessment and analysis, it was verified that a combination of branding, marketing, events and business attraction efforts were needed, but first the “perception” of the area had to change. A strategic marketing plan was drafted that outlined a comprehensive targeted approach including: branding to address the current perception and image of the area; the condition of buildings; the existing merchandise mix and the opportunity gap analysis; parking; and increasing the customer base through campaigns, wayfinding signage and special events.

In 2014, the West Palm Beach CRA also retained RMA to develop a “vision” for the North End of West Palm Beach that encompasses three mixed-use districts (Currie Park, Northwood Village and the Broadway Corridor), as well as an Industrial District and the Pleasant City neighborhood. RMA organized and conducted a 7-day design workshop within the community that engaged hundreds of residents, business owners and stakeholders within the North End. The goal of the design workshop was to create a vision and an implementation strategy for the redevelopment of the North End that had faced years of stagnation due to shortcomings in the current zoning regulations and economic downturns. The vision adopted for the North End was incorporated into the comprehensive marketing and communications plan.

Outcome

  • Over 100 new businesses have located to Northwood Village and over $3 million in renovations have been completed on over 35 buildings, one at a time – many utilizing CRA Business Incentives.
  • Northwood Village is now a destination spot with Hangout Spots, Trendy Shops, Stylish Wares, Delicious Fare, and Unique Finds, and has been featured in Southern Living, the New York Times, Palm Beach Illustrated, and countless other local, regional and national publications.
  • An active Arts & Cultural scene in Northwood Village includes the Center for Creative Education and over 10 art galleries (when RMA team members branded the area as an arts district, it was an aspirational brand – there were no art galleries).
  • Thousands of visitors frequent the district monthly to enjoy the “Northwood Village Mural Project”, the monthly Art Walk guided tour and an Art & Wine Promenade featuring “Art Battle” with local artists painting live for the voting spectators.
  • The West Palm Beach CRA, with Sharon McCormick as Marketing Director, won the prestigious international Maxi Award for Marketing & Public Relations from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) for the branding and repositioning of Northwood Village.
  • In 2009 the CRA won the FRA Roy F. Kenzie Awards for Cultural Enhancement for the Art & Wine Promenade and for Creative Organizational Development & Funding for the unique Merchant Assistance Program. According to FRA, 2009 was the first year that any city or agency won 2 awards in any one year.
  • Northwood Village is now described by the prestigious magazine, Palm Beach Illustrated, as “Historically Hip”. It was once a run-down, discarded commercial district that is now a trendy, edgy hot spot in West Palm Beach.
  • The development community responded to the North End Vision with 20 property transactions worth over $9M in private investment in Northwood Village within one year.
  • Today, investors are implementing the North End Vision developed by the RMA team and are currently planning the Currie Corridor Development.

Oakland Park Strategic Plan, Business Attraction, Branding & Marketing

Agency

Oakland Park Community Redevelopment Agency

Services Provided

Economic and Market Research
CRA Plan Review
5-Year Strategic Action Plan
Lease Negotiations
Business Attraction/Marketing/Special Events
Incentives
Planning, Zoning & Code revisions
Project Management

Performance Period

2011 – 2015

Oakland Park Strategic Plan, Downtown Branding, Marketing & Business Attraction Plan, PR/Special Events

Issue

Prior to RMA’s engagement, the City of Oakland Park had spent over $30 million upgrading the infrastructure in and around the downtown core, however that alone was not enough to attract private developers to invest in the city. Many buildings remained blighted or vacant and the city’s tax base was on the decline. In addition, the Florida East Coast railroad tracks separated one side of the city’s “downtown” core from the other, making a traditional “Mainstreet” difficult to achieve. The city lacked an economic engine to spur growth, such as a courthouse or hospital, and there were no public assets to build upon, such as a beach. There wasn’t a clearly defined downtown city center, demographics were very low, the city had a very limited budget, and the City had no clear vision for the Downtown.

RMA was initially contacted by the City of Oakland Park to create a five-year strategic plan for the entire City with twelve locations identified as redevelopment target sites. Actions plans were drafted for each site, however RMA suggested that the City focus on the Downtown area first. The City agreed, and RMA was again retained to assist the City in acquiring grant funds through Broward County’s Redevelopment Capital Program (RCP). As part of the redevelopment strategy, a marketing component was needed, so the city instructed RMA to also create a Marketing Plan and Business Incentive package.

Strategy

The comprehensive approach to Re-Inventing this City included an economic and market research analysis, redevelopment strategic planning, a real estate development action plan, and a marketing and business attraction campaign.

Led by Sharon McCormick, the RMA team needed to identify a niche this city could use to brand itself and become a viable and desirable area for investment. This was a challenge considering Oakland Park is situated next to the very popular and well know city of Fort Lauderdale.
The RMA team quickly discovered that the City of Oakland Park had an existing cluster of culinary related businesses including caterers, upscale kitchen and appliance stores, cabinet makers, culinary kitchens, and the only shared commercial kitchen in Broward County. With these findings, RMA created a brand – “Downtown Oakland Park Culinary Arts District” and developed a strategic, results-driven plan that included launching a strong marketing and business attraction campaign.

To address the divide of MainStreet, the RMA planning team recommended to initially turn the focus to the east side of the railroad tracks enabling the cluster of restaurants and retailers to locate in one area. After promoting the culinary concept, RMA attracted the first brewery in Broward County, Funky Buddha, who wanted a large vacant warehouse space located in the downtown area for production and a tasting room. The existing zoning did not allow for brewing, so RMA assisted the city in creating a zoning category to support the new South Florida trend of brewery concepts. A full Local Activity Center (LAC) was codified to allow for flexible zoning on all properties in the downtown.

Using the new-found success of the culinary brand and the first anchor tenant of Funky Buddha Brewery, RMA then set out to realign the focus of the entire “downtown” by creating visual elements to tie the area together, including banner signage, street improvements and connection points for pedestrians, and increased special events to bring more visitors. The entire area now has seen almost 50% of the buildings undergo renovations or complete redevelopment.

Outcome

  • After the initial market investigation and analysis, RMA branded the downtown core as the “Downtown Oakland Park Culinary Arts District” and repositioned the area as a place where all things culinary could occur.
  • The Funky Buddha Brewery, the largest craft brewery in South Florida, selected the emerging Culinary Arts District as their home and opened phase one of their two-phase plan in 18,000 SF of warehouse space at Oakland Station. They later doubled in size with the phase two addition of 19,000 SF for an on-site bottling operation and restaurant concept. Today, they have expanded to 180,000 square feet and are a major employer in the district.
  • Throughout the first two years of the Culinary Arts District being established, over 8 properties valued at nearly $15 million had changed hands within the half-mile Downtown Local Activity Center (LAC).
  • A popular local restaurateur selected the space adjacent to the Funky Buddha Brewery for restaurant/retail build-out in 3800 SF, attracting additional interest to the Oakland Station warehouse property including an indoor Central Market concept proposed by RMA.
  • The Urban Farming Institute began development and operation of a first-of-its-kind Urban Farm Park, including a weekly Farmers Market component, bringing sustainability to the Downtown Oakland Park Culinary Arts District.
  • The launch of a successful monthly “Farm to Chef Showcase” event during the weekly Farmers Market, featured local restaurant chef’s performing a live cooking demonstration utilizing fresh ingredients from market vendors.
  • The Urban Art Park, at the center of the Culinary Arts District, re-purposed a blighted corner for the benefit of the community by creating additional green space and an arts & cultural outlet.
  • Broward College, along with other culinary schools, researched the Culinary Arts District as a top location for their new Food Arts & Business Center campus concept (estimated 1,000 students).
  • The well-known, successful Allied Kitchen & Bath opened a second location in 20,000 square feet in the heart of the downtown. They have plans to lease ground floor space to for up to three new restaurants.
  • Lucky’s Market opened their third south Florida location in Oakland Park in 2017