The time is now to bring your business to downtown Danbury.
CityCenter Danbury digital marketing plan urges businesses to ‘join us’
Author: By Chris Bosak. Published 12:00 am, Sunday, July 10, 2016
Mayor Mark Boughton
City of Danbury
Photo: H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media
The campaign was created by Born TM, a Danbury-based marketing firm. The video was shot and produced by RmediA, a media production company located in downtown Danbury.
That is the message CityCenter Danbury is trying to convey with its new digital marketing campaign that was unveiled Thursday evening at a Downtown Mixer at One Kennedy Flats.
“This campaign is to proactively go out and approach businesses to let them know downtown Danbury is the place to be,” P.J. Prunty, executive director of CityCenter Danbury, said. “It’s the first time we’ve embarked on a specific campaign like this. We want to get businesses to plant their flag in downtown.”
Additional videos featuring other businesses will be shot in the future as the campaign continues, Prunty said.
The campaign will also include a social media component through CityCenter’s Facebook page. Prunty said about 100 posters have been printed, as well, and will be hung in various places throughout the city.
Prunty said the campaign will specifically target lower Fairfield County and Westchester County, N.Y. Prunty said the idea is to try to lure companies from those areas to downtown Danbury where the rents, city services, cost of living and taxes are lower.
“If you’re ready to open a business, you’re going to get a great bargain in downtown Danbury,” Prunty said.
The campaign consists of two 15-second videos and several still photos that will appear on various websites. The video shows various personalities and businesses touting Danbury’s downtown area, saying phrases such as “We are downtown Danbury” and “Join us.” Among those featured in the video are Mayor Mark Boughton, the Danbury Titans hockey team, the Palace Danbury, Connecticut Institute for Community and Western Connecticut State University.
The full 40-second video, which will be cut down to the two 15-seconds spots, was shown to more than 100 people who attended the event Thursday.
“I’m thrilled with the quality of the campaign they put together,” Prunty said. “We worked with a lot of professionals who did a great job.”
Boughton added: “It’s excellent. It really captures the heart of Danbury.”
Alicia Ghio of RmediA said she and her husband Renato Ghio did the work for the video gratis for CityCenter.
“We moved our company to downtown Danbury four years ago and we regret not doing it sooner,” Ghio said. “It rekindled for us a pride in our own town. For this project, we just wanted to be able to contribute.”
Tom Devine, chairman of CityCenter, said at the event Thursday his organization has a great “synergy with city hall, the mayor and downtown property owners.” Young entrepreneurs looking for space to open a business are missing out if they don’t consider downtown Danbury.
“It’s extremely practical. Rents start at $8 to $15 a square foot. Other places are 30, 35, 40 dollars per square foot,” he said. “That’s a lot of overhead to make up if you’re paying the higher rent.”
A brochure that will be sent to business owners considering downtown Danbury has also been produced and includes information such as the demographics and attractions of the area, as well as distance to surrounding towns. It also highlights benefits such as tax incentives, supportive zoning regulations and low rental rates.
Executive Director- CityCenter Danbury
Photo: H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media
Prunty said the target businesses include retailers as well as other businesses who will bring their employees with them.
“We want more people working in downtown Danbury,” he said.
Prunty stressed that the downtown area is already moving in the right direction with development projects such as Kennedy Flats, Connecticut Institute for Community and the relocation of Naugatuck Valley Community College, which will triple its space by renovating the Pershing building that has been vacant for about 40 years. Kennedy Flats is a $70 million residential development that will have 374 units when completed.
“We’re trying to capitalize on the significant capital investment already going on in downtown Danbury,” Prunty said. “Kennedy Flats is a massive investment. We’re trying to convey that now is the time to strike while the iron is hot. We’re focusing on business recruitment. That’s what’s going to keep moving the ball forward.”
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th, attended Yale Law School in the 1980s. She marvels at the differences between New Haven then and now, following many revitalization projects. She hopes for the same thing for Danbury.
“It’s very clear that there is a tremendous opportunity to revitalize downtown,” Esty said. “We have younger people and older folks who want to move here and be able to walk to restaurants and the various ethnic clubs. We see that energy in the summer, but it should and can be experienced year-round. The business community should be on board with this and taxpayers should be on board, too. Now is a good time to revitalize downtown.”
Boughton said Thursday that a proposed bond for Danbury would include funding for repairing sidewalks in downtown and repaving Ives Street with a cobblestone effect.
CityCenter Danbury was formed in 1988 and is the organization charged with revitalizing the city’s downtown area. It promotes downtown Danbury and sponsors various events. It is funded largely by taxes paid by a special taxing district of downtown merchants.