Marilyn Sygrove has been redesigning frequent areas in co-ops and condos for almost 4 a long time. However when the board on the 80-unit Artwork Deco co-op at 350 E. 77th St. referred to as on her for a makeover of the constructing’s hallways, foyer, vestibule, entryway and awning, Sygrove was in for an epiphany.
“It was the awning that led to a bigger dialogue with the board,” she says. “They stated they needed to establish themselves, give the constructing a title. They went to the shareholders and got here up with ‘The 350.’ They took their deal with quantity and made it particular. It dawned on me that once we do redesign work for co-ops and condos, we’re really branding them.”
Because of that epiphany, Sygrove, who began Sygrove Associates Design Group in 1982, is increasing into the largely untapped world of branding older co-ops and condos – serving to them provide you with a reputation, then designing a web site that appeals to the “very best purchaser” by touting the constructing’s neighborhood, architectural particulars, frequent areas, historical past and such facilities as gyms and rooftop gardens.
“New-construction condominiums provide you with these horny, elaborate web sites,” Sygrove says. “In the meantime, the co-op subsequent door might have simply performed an incredible makeover of its frequent areas, however they don’t take it to the subsequent step – having a web site that explains to a possible purchaser what it’s wish to stay on this constructing. The boards in older buildings are realizing they should be aggressive with new development. They should ask the query: Who’re we?”
On this new enterprise, Sygrove will work at the side of the web site copywriter Betsy Kent of Be Seen and Sunny Ryoo, artistic director at Pixelove Design, which has normal manufacturers for architects, inside designers and sweetness and life-style merchandise. “We’re making an attempt to persuade these older residential buildings to get with this system,” says Ryoo, whose providers embrace designing and constructing web sites. “When there’s no web site, you don’t perceive the historical past of the constructing, the structure, the neighborhood. By means of a model id and web site, we attempt to talk what makes these buildings distinctive and particular. And we imagine this shall be useful not only for residence house owners but in addition for actual property brokers.”
Sygrove’s branding toolkit ranges from naming the constructing to designing a emblem and shade scheme, promotional supplies, presumably an awning and, after all a web site.
“The constructing’s web site could have skilled pictures,” Kent says. “It may embrace ground plans and pictures of residences which are on the market. Buildings spend large money and time to enhance their frequent areas, and but no one sees them except they go to the constructing. By making a model, boards can create a window into their constructing that they management.”
Arguably essentially the most potent aspect of any model is its title. It’s potential for consultants like Sygrove and Kent to provide you with options for constructing names, or for boards to solicit concepts from shareholders, as occurred at 350 E. 77th St. It’s additionally potential to make use of a mix of each strategies. For her half, Kent favors getting residents concerned in selecting a reputation for his or her constructing. “That approach,” she says, “the individuals who have a stake within the constructing really feel they’ve a voice. My intuition is that every board has to resolve which technique works greatest for them.”
Eric Meer, an actual property lawyer who served on the constructing design committee at The 350, says the title got here out of a questionnaire Sygrove despatched to shareholders early within the mission, looking for to divine their aesthetic preferences and asking for options for a constructing title. About half of the shareholders supplied options. “The title we selected got here up in a brainstorming session between the design committee and Marilyn’s crew,” Meer says. “Somebody simply blurted it out: ‘The 350.’ We’d by no means heard it earlier than. It rolled off the tongue nicely, and it catches consideration.”
Now the board is mulling whether or not to take the subsequent step within the branding course of and develop a web site. Meer is all for it. “I do like the concept of branding the constructing and utilizing that title because the centerpiece of the model,” he says. “It offers us a presence the place earlier than we didn’t have any.”