old school meets new school: a 20th century learning landmark evolves into 21st century student dwellings
Columns is a distinctive student apartment community located within walking distance from Bowling Green, Kentucky’s Western Kentucky University campus and the booming Bowling Green City Center area. Formerly a local public high school, the housing complex features fully renovated 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments with a unique feel of the former high school campus, now thoroughly retrofitted into retro chic.
Bowling Green, Kentucky, is one of the south-central U.S.’s most energized, emerging cities. With the revitalization of Downtown Bowing Green, the City Center, (also a pepper group client) and the growth of WKU, this once-quiet community currently is enjoying a tremendous growth cycle. Andover Management Group seized the opportunity to be a part of that growth when purchasing the old Bowling Green High School in 2011. The developers had seen success in other markets with developing apartment complexes uniquely designed for college students ̶ offering the amenities, facilities and floor plans specific to college students’ needs. The challenge was how to brand the development in a way that set it apart from the ‘chains’ currently in the area and to represent the innovative and forward-thinking approach that was the badge of the developers. Once branded, the property needed a robust marketing communications plan targeted to current students, in-coming students and other members of the general public considered ‘influencers’.
We created several unique brand-naming conventions which led us to a simple and modern moniker that references the most recognizable embodiment of the building itself…Columns, a name that leverages the iconic architectural elements of the old Bowling Green High School’s main building exterior. This name resounds with other building names throughout the campus that have become part of the college’s everyday vernacular, i.e. the Arena. Once branded, we launched Columns with a full-on media blitz including a teaser campaign, followed by a Chamber of Commerce event and series of tours prior to opening. Upon the Spring 2012 leasing office opening we have implemented an aggressive and innovative paid and social media campaign strategy that will not only speak to the student, and student-to-be population, but to the ‘trend meisters’ as well.
In a word, outstanding. Columns is nearing capacity for the Fall 2012 semester and additional development phases are planned for 2013 and beyond to further enhance this unique dwelling environment.