Nov 2006 13


I was just watching some show on ABC  (okay, it was Desperate Housewives but, in my defense, it was my girlfriend’s choice, I wanted to watch Flip this House) and a little new flash popped up in the corner of the screen with the headline “Downtown Crossing to Change Name”

Now, I knew they had some plans for the area but I had no idea they were going as far as changing the name.  Is this a good idea?  A lot of Bostonians don’t think so, but you have to look at it from a marketing standpoint.  Just down the street they recently completed the Archstone Boston Common luxury apartment building about half a block from the Ritz-Carlton and is on the border of Chinatown right where the T-stop is.  Personally I’d have no problem walking around in this area by myself at anypoint during the night.  I’d feel safe.  But, many of my rental clients that I take through the building can’t get past the fact that they are in Chinatown which they knew as “The Combat Zone” in recent years past.  Many of them even rave about how wonderful the building and it’s amenities are and even tell me that they know the neighborhood is safe but just can’t get past knowing they would be living where “The Combat Zone” once was. 

That’s how much of an affect brand association can have on someone.  In their mind Chinatown=Combat Zone=scary, unsafe neighborhood even when they know it’s not true anymore. 

So when they talk about renaming Downtown Crossing in part of a rebranding strategy to attract new retail and residential tenants to the neighborhood, I say let’s do it!  This, in combination with the new development projects set to take place will truly change the image of this neighborhood and allow it to grow to it’s fullest potential.  I believe this area can once again be a vibrant and exciting place to shop, work, and live in.


  1. Cappy says:

    The Crossing has all its anchor stores leaving, an association whose incompetence has ruined the once great outdoor market and addicts and gangs running wild. Everyone is leaving in droves but maybe if we call it “Heaven on Earth” or “Strawberry Cheescake” That will make a big change. Yeah right, wake up pal. Change makes change. A rose by any other name…. this one happens to stink right now.

  2. If you read my comments you will notice that I said that this will be a good “part” of the rebranding strategy along with building new residential projects you would have understood that I wasn’t saying just changing the name will change the feel of the neighborhood. I don’t think anyone is stupid enough to think that if you call a Fiat a Ferrari then it will perform like a Ferrari.

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