ZIBA Design Helps Sell South Waterfront

Dec 10, 2005

The marketing firm’s approach to creating a strategy for the South Waterfront revolves around the future community of the new Portland devel

The Discovery Center at the South Waterfront gives buyers a sense of what life will be like in the developing neighborhood south of downtown Portland.

ZIBA Design to devised a storytelling marketing strategy for the South Waterfront based on consumer, creating the Discovery Center, a museum-like space designed to give buyers a sense of what life would be like in the neighborhood upon its completion.

In a Business Week Special Report, Olga Karif tells the story of ZIBA's plan to focus on the future residents of the South Waterfront rather than the future buildings in the 38-acre, mixed-use, residential neighborhood development in Portland, Oregon. 

“The project was a first for both ZIBA, a firm better known for its high-tech and consumer-electronics work, and for the developers, which had never worked with a design firm before. But selling a whole neighborhood without a prior identity was no easy task. Worse, after a decade-long building boom, Portland was facing the possibility of a cooling market.”

“The ZIBA team began by interviewing some 60 Portlanders, all of whom had expressed interest in the development, about their daily routines. What emerged was, ‘People are moving back to the city to spend more time in cultural and social interactions,’ says [Steve McCallion, a creative director at ZIBA]. ‘They have an image in their head of how they want to live, an aspiration of a lifestyle.’ McCallion's goal was to show how the River Blocks met those aspirations.”

“The 245 condos, townhouses, and penthouses in the development's first complete— the Meriwether—sold in a little over six months. The developers sold 84% of the 287 condos in the John Ross building in a mere six days.”

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