Friday, February 08, 2008

Bizarre Condo Taglines

In this sagging housing market, condo are particularly hard to move. I'm sure we all know how much the condo market has plunged in the Twin Cities. Speculation in the past few years led to the construction of quite a number of condo buildings. Not only did developers overestimate the total demand for condo units, they also overestimated the degree of luxury that condo buyers were in a position to pay for. The net result of this is a number of canceled projects, condo buildings being converted to rentals (check out Le Parisien flats by the Wedge), and returned deposits for buildings that never went up.

Condos are still available, however. I love the taglines marketers have invented to move these units. Check out Olin Crossings, for instance. Their motto is: "Where intimate & urban collide". What in the world does that mean? I get really cozy with the homeless panhandlers? The noise of traffic nearby comfortably settles in my living room? Maybe, by "collide" they mean that my bedroom is actually loaded into a catapult and shot directly into the IDS Center? I imagine that's possible.

Look, I'm not naive about this. I'm well aware of the image that the marketers are trying to create. They're doing battle with the long-held (at least, post-WWII-held) notion that "urban = bad". Somehow, they reason, if they put the word "intimate" next to "urban" they can re-brand "urban" to have positive connotations. I'm an urbanist, so it's not a hard sell for me. I'm not sure, however, if this kind of tactic really works for home buyers. It smacks of pre-housing-crash class warfare, in which all new city housing was "luxury" and the demographic of interest was empty-nest baby boomers looking for 2nd homes. In this market, how about a tagline based on value and quality?


Blogger Generalissimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Generalissimo said...

Generalissimo says: no pain, no urbane.

2:43 PM  

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