Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Rockville to look at comprehensive rebranding in effort to boost struggling Town Center


Rockville's Mayor and Council voted unanimously last night to pursue a comprehensive rebranding for the city, rather than focus only on developing new branding for the struggling Rockville Town Center area. After a discussion on three possible rebranding strategies, Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton expressed concern that no decisive action would be taken last night. She said many stakeholders were watching the meeting, and were expecting officials to take some substantive action to move the Town Center effort forward.

Councilmember Beryl Feinberg suggested waiting a week until the Mayor and Council take up other spending issues for the next fiscal year. Ultimately, Councilmember Mark Pierzchala made a motion to adopt both the first and third proposals - "communitywide rebranding," to replace the aging "Rockville: Get Into It" branding campaign, and "branding and promotion of Rockville's commercial districts," including but not just limited to Rockville Town Center.

After a friendly amendment by Councilmember Monique Ashton to clarify that an integrated marketing approach would link the two proposals, Pierzchala's motion passed unanimously. Following the vote, Feinberg urged her colleagues to remember that parking is the top complaint of Town Center patrons and businesses. Namely, it's not free, while competitors like Rio Lakefront, Downtown Crown and Pike & Rose offer free parking, free parking and 2 hours of free parking, respectively. 

Ashton also called for regular updates on what progress, if any, the city is making toward meeting the goals proposed by an Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel to improve the economic health of Town Center. Several officials expressed concern about appropriating funds for a separate Town Center revival effort on last night's agenda - development of a broader economic development strategy for the Town Center area - until the market recovers from the current pandemic. Pierzchala noted, however, that the Town Center's struggles long predate the pandemic.

3 comments:

  1. T-o-m-a-t-o, or T-o-m-a-t-o-e, it's still TOMATO!

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  2. Rather than competing with other entertainment districts, why not ask Rockville residents what they would like there. Make it neighborhood friendly so people will do their shopping in town rather than go somewhere else.

    And get rid of price gouging parking fees.

    Learning

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your comment makes so much sense the politicians will never agree.

    ReplyDelete