AN AMENITY-RICH COMMUNITY is the norm for WCI Communities, but it was new to the New England market and to the target demographic when Traditions at Southbury was designed. The 154-home enclave in Southbury, Conn., is described as the “quintessential charming New England community” by Mitchell Hochberg, president of WCI Communities Northeastern U.S. division. In a market where most lots are an acre or more, the lots in Traditions at Southbury are about a quarter-acre and are clustered to help save trees and create a wooded, private setting.
“One of the challenges early on was that we needed to convey the message of lifestyle, which was not something common to the area, both visually and from the marketing collateral,” says Gabe Pasquale, vice president and chief marketing officer.
Architecturally, the goal was to create an updated version of the classic New England village. The meeting house, which is the community's version of a clubhouse, is designed to look like a barn. A large village green has a gazebo with a bandstand, and the sales office resembles a country store with a big front porch, a coffee bar, and a steady stream of freshly baked cookies.
The two major components of the marketing were the community brochure and the ad campaign. Designed with the look and feel of Norman Rockwell images in the Saturday Evening Post, they depicted four seasons of old-time activities, with images of modern families doing the same things on facing pages. The logo and signage incorporated bright Americana colors on a white background and the tagline, “Happily ever after begins here.”
“We were hugely successful,” Hochberg says. “The competition has spent a lot of time studying it and trying to mirror it.”
Builder: WCI Communities Northeastern U.S. division, Valhalla, N.Y.
Architect: William Devereaux, McLean, Va.
Landscape architect: Dave Hawk, Charlestown, Mass.
Interior design: Lita Dirks and Co., Englewood, Colo.
Ad agency: The Point Group, Dallas
Signage: Twin Vision, Howell, N.J.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: New Haven, CT.