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City of Boston

City of Boston

The City of Boston asked us to spend three years helping it re-envision Downtown Crossing, with the goal of attracting retailers, restaurateurs and residents to one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods.

Situation

Downtown Crossing is the hub of Boston, where T lines filter in and out and more than 230,000 people walk its streets each day, from those seeking the green of the Common to the green-chasers of the Financial District, the tourists of Faneuil Hall to the aristocrats of Beacon Hill. It had been known for decades as Boston’s shopping district, where entire families would scour the racks at stores such as Filene’s Basement. But with the rise of the suburban shopping mall, that downtown activity had all but ground to a halt, and many of those hundreds of thousands of pedestrians found themselves simply passing through.

To some, hiring a marketing firm to take on the role traditionally held by urban planners may seem unconventional, but our expertise in branding helped uncover the essential truths inherent in the neighborhood, ultimately leading to a cohesive articulation of what the new vision for Downtown Crossing really should be.

Solution

After unveiling that vision at a press conference alongside Mayor Thomas Menino, we set to work on giving the city’s key stakeholders the tools they would need to help make the vision a reality and attract the right mix of retailers to the area — those who would ultimately become the catalysts for change in a reinvigorated Downtown Crossing.

Results

Downtown Crossing successfully implemented a business improvement district — a first of its kind in Boston — and has attracted more than $2.4 billion in capital investments.

2.4 Billion in Capital Investments
Increased Retail Tenants
Increased Restaurant Tenants