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Have You Heard? Marketing the Message of the Spring Branch District’s ‘Transformation’

When it comes to opening a business, the saying is “location, location, location.” It should be, “Spring Branch, Spring Branch, Spring Branch.”

Presented by Dorothy Puch Lillig, Spring Branch District November 14, 2018

When it comes to opening a business, the saying is “location, location, location.” It should be, “Spring Branch, Spring Branch, Spring Branch.”

Sound familiar? You may have heard that during one of the Spring Branch Management District’s radio spots on 740 AM or 790 AM, or on 99.1 FM.

You also may have seen the billboards at I-10 and Silber proclaiming that the District is the “perfect setup for start-ups” and “ready for upscale retail.”

And, of course, “We love coffee shops a whole latte.”

The District isn’t just trying to just be “punny.” The radio spots, billboards and other marketing strategies are all part of a campaign to get the word out about the transformation of Spring Branch.

“The marketing campaign has been very well-received,” says Victor Alvarez, chairperson of the SBMD Board’s Business and Economic Development Committee.

As the District does not have the ability to offer tax or other incentives to developers or businesses wanting to move in, it has to be creative and come up with a very strong message, Alvarez said.

Years ago, Alvarez said, the District began reaching out to developers, home builders and potential residents with information on the amazing Spring Branch schools and improvements planned for the area in terms of safety, appearance and accessibility.

“Before that, Spring Branch was just another neighborhood in Houston,” Alvarez said.

The marketing seems to have worked.

Chula Reynolds, co-owner of Zócalo, formerly Hammerly Walk Apartments, at 8787 Hammerly in Spring Branch, said she believes the Spring Branch District is on a long-term positive growth trend for many years.

“The marketing of Spring Branch by the District is great. They have done a beautiful job of defining an inspiring vision for the district,” she said.

Reynolds said she and her partners became interested in multi-family real estate in Houston in 2014. “In 2016, we became very interested in finding a good project in Spring Branch. We thought it was an ideal neighborhood for us because of its location and the active redevelopment,” she said.

“Spring Branch is the same distance to downtown and other employment centers as some of the highest end parts of Houston, and yet it is much more affordable. It’s become a new central spot in Houston,” Reynolds said.

Zócalo, with a total budget of $10 million, is scheduled for completion by March 31, 2019.

It is just one example of many new projects and business ventures in the works in Spring Branch.

Did someone say the District is the “perfect setup for start-ups?” Just ask The Cannon, a currently under construction 33-acre coworking community. The Cannon provides everything a small business, startup, entrepreneur, freelancer or remote worker could possibly need to do business, socialize and live.

Located at 1336 Brittmoore Rd., The Cannon is already home to more than 75 small businesses and has a waiting list for its 120,000-square-foot new building scheduled to open in early 2019.

As the demographic continues to change in Spring Branch, with high-end single family residences being built, as well as high-end apartment projects like Zócalo, small businesses will be needed to cater to the residents and those passing through the area.

Named one of the “10 Hottest Neighborhoods in Houston in 2018 by Houstonia,” more and more families and individuals are choosing Spring Branch as their home. And with planned changes along Long Point Road, improvements to Gessner Road and proposals in the works for walking/hiking trails, the District is poised to continue to be a magnet for not only residents, but also consumers from other parts of the city.

That means a growing market for family-owned restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques, Alvarez said. Spring Branch households already spend nearly $2 billion on retail goods and services per year.

As the District continues to market its transformation, working off the SBMD board’s 15-year “blueprint for action,” the message is clear. You may have heard it on the radio or seen it on a billboard:

“If you’re opening a new business, go where you’re wanted…Spring Branch.”

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