San Diego's Douglas Wilson Cos. rocks the coast with a Manhattan-inspired ad campaign. By BUILDER Magazine Staff

Some call it Manhattan envy--the term for cities that want urban centers modeled after New York's legendary city life and mixed-use vibrancy. To import that Gotham mood to San Diego's waterfront, Douglas Wilson Cos. launched Parkloft. A colorful attention-grabbing campaign was created to market the lofts' East Village location in downtown San Diego.

The "SoHo Invades the East Village" campaign was designed to address several challenges facing the developers: First, it aimed to create a unique sense of style and urban attitude to differentiate itself among a score of new multifamily competitors. Second, it needed to create urgency and excitement for a building that would not be available for move-in for a year. And three, it had to keep buyers interested in the new San Diego ballpark neighborhood at a time when construction on the park was on hold for eight months.

"The buyer profile was solid and clear, but our campaign had to be aggressive and distinct," says marketing director Peggy O'Connell of the tone she took to sell the 120-unit, loft-style mid-rise. The company spent $11,600 per month on media buys, and upon launch, generated 115 traffic units per week during the first month. "The calls came in immediately."

Parkloft sold 30 homes in its first 30 days with an average of six sales per month following.

Campaign Details

Program: Color ad campaign; Project: Parkloft, East Village, San Diego; Builder/Developer: The Douglas Wilson Cos., San Diego; Price: $300,000s to $1 million-plus; Size: 900 square feet to 3,000 square feet; Ad agency: Greenhaus, San Diego; Media budget: $11,600 per month