Challenge: An underperforming mall in Chesapeake, Virginia fell into foreclosure in 2016 after several anchor tenants closed their operations. The 717,000 sq./ft. mall quickly became an eye-sore to the Western Branch community as the lender refused to make any substantial investments. In 2018, Virginia Beach-based Kotarides Holdings purchased the property as part of a strategic plan to revitalize the area and make it a destination for new business and residents.
Challenge: One of the largest developers in the Mid-Atlantic, HHHunt Corporation develops, builds, and manages residential real estate communities, including new homes and apartments, in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The company set ambitious growth goals across its various markets to fuel long-term expansion plans. These efforts would require a sustained and strategic marketing campaign across HHHunt’s footprint.
Challenge: A Tennessee-based multifamily developer was looking to re-enter the Greater Richmond market with the development of two new projects representing a $110 million investment. One of those projects was 2000 West Creek. Located in the West Creek submarket, the asset was the first of its kind to be built in the area and represented a major departure from the traditional multifamily communities nearby based on size, amenities offered, and floor plans.
Challenge: A national REIT decided to consolidate its senior living portfolio under one operator in order to enhance profitability. This meant that the remaining operator would need to on-board 10 new communities into its portfolio within a three-month period. Both the REIT and the operator wanted to share news about the consolidation with senior living industry publications and local news organizations where the communities were located. They also wanted to create a seamless digital transition on social media.
Challenge: A senior living operator faced a crisis over a situation at one of its communities in which a resident passed away after an altercation with another resident suffering from dementia. The situation around the matter was very sensitive. Gray Ryan Communications was brought in to assist after the family of the deceased resident sued the senior living operator and held a press conference to announce the lawsuit. Our team crafted a comprehensive plan in a short period of time designed to mitigate the fallout from the lawsuit and protect the reputation of the operator and community.
Challenge: Stony Point Shopping Center in south Richmond suffered a major set-back when its anchor grocery tenant vacated the property due to the company’s decision to leave the market. Despite having numerous other tenants including restaurants, specialty retailers, and boutique stores, sales at remaining retailers started slowing after the grocery tenant left.
Challenge: Due to a number of events, the vacancy rate of a 30-year-old, 26-story, Class A office building in Richmond, Virginia’s central business district climbed to 25 percent. As a result, the owner of the building hired a new regional commercial brokerage firm to manage the leasing process for the asset. Both the owner and the brokerage firm wanted to communicate the new relationship and highlight planned improvements to the building in order to increase the number of tenants and encourage lease renewals of existing tenants.
Challenge: The multifamily market in Northern Virginia is both highly competitive and lucrative. HHHunt Apartment Living had entered the market and experienced success with its first new community in the region. Abberly Avera would become one of its most ambitious projects and represented a total investment of over $60 million. Reaching potential residents during construction and lease up would be critical to the community’s viability.
Challenge: Dementia is one of the fastest growing diseases in the United States. Approximately 140,000 Virginians suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia and that number is expected to grow 35% by 2025. Commonwealth Senior Living wanted to highlight this statistic and to provide medical professionals, first responders, family caregivers, and interested individuals an opportunity to learn and gain a better understanding for the challenges those with dementia face. Commonwealth partnered Second Wind Dreams to offer its Virtual Dementia Program at its two dozen senior living communities.
Challenge: When Union Presbyterian Seminary sold a parcel of land adjacent to its campus to a leading national multifamily developer, a vocal group of neighbors organized to block the development. Despite the need for new, quality housing in the community, this classic NIMBY effort played out in legal courts and the court of public opinion, threatening the development’s viability and Union’s long-standing reputation.
Challenge: The Great Recession was a difficult time for home builders. Sales of new homes plummeted to historic lows. Emerald Homes, had a presence in Powhatan County, New Kent County, Prince George County, and Chesterfield County but sales had completely dried up in 2008.
Challenge: Celebrating five decades of success, Glave & Holmes Architecture was known for its traditional and classical style. Based in Virginia, the firm had evolved significantly during its history and had ambitious growth plans in both existing and new markets. The firm wanted to reintroduce itself to current and potential clients and better highlight its incredible work to support business development efforts.
Challenge: A large owner of office, retail, and industrial space in Hampton Roads, VA undertook a strategic decision to bring its leasing operations in-house in order to maximize its ability to negotiate with current and prospective tenants. Gray Ryan Communications helped the leadership of KPM create a comprehensive public relations campaign designed to highlight signature lease negotiations that the company was able to undertake with the new arrangement and to showcase that these leases demonstrated how the company was ready to make deals that benefited the end-user, local community, and the owner.
Challenge: A master-planned new home community in Ashland, Virginia, Providence began development in 2012 at a time when home sales continued to lag due to the effects of the Great Recession. The developer wanted to build excitement about Providence by replicating the small-town charm of Ashland within the community. That meant creating an environment that promoted walkability, created natural gathering spaces, encouraged neighbor interaction, and had the feel of a close-knit community.
Challenge: Draper Aden Associates, an engineering, surveying, and environmental services firm, had an impressive project list and lengthy roster of clients in Virginia, but had not gained earned media coverage in a number of years and was having trouble expanding its reach to the broader Mid-Atlantic region. The firm recognized the need to raise awareness in new markets about its powerful track record of success and growing services. Furthermore, the engineering sector was becoming increasingly competitive.
Challenge: Virginia Tech Land Development and Design Initiative’s activities have been funded almost exclusively through annual corporate sponsorship. With financial support on the decline, LDDI’s leaders recognized the need to enhance the program’s reputation among the private land development community.
Challenge: Similar to many communities around the country, the Greater Richmond region in Central Virginia was facing a growing housing crisis. Yet, awareness and urgency to act was lagging. The Partnership for Housing Affordability (PHA) recognized the need to galvanize support around this issue and provide tangible solutions. The result was the Richmond Regional Housing Framework, a report that addressed the region’s shared housing challenges and provided dozens of regional and hyper-local solutions.
Challenge: The Home Building Association of Richmond’s Parade of Homes – a month-long event that showcases the latest new home trends – is a signature program that increases awareness about local homebuilders and promotes the sales of new homes. The multi-site showcase had taken place for over 70 years and needed to stay fresh to attract buyers to homes in the Parade.
Challenge: South Norfolk was an economically distressed area in Chesapeake, VA that needed a new vision. That catalyst for change was The Village at Gateway. The developer of The Village at Gateway saw a brighter future for the historic community that included a dynamic mixed-use community with retail and office space, condos, and community amenities, such as a new public library. However, the developer needed, and lacked, support from neighbors and community leaders to make this vision a reality.
Challenge: After 55 years in business, Roanoke, Virginia-based Branch & Associates, a general contracting firm, was facing tremendous competition in three markets where it has offices: Richmond, VA; Herndon, VA (Northern Virginia/metro DC); and Charlotte, NC. In the highly competitive construction field, name recognition is essential to winning new business. Senior leaders recognized a need to reintroduce the company in these new markets in order to grow business opportunities. Branch & Associates became Branch Builds – a name that better reflected the firm’s work and could highlight their expertise.
Challenge: The accounting industry is highly competitive. The “big four” dominate the landscape using their size and reach to snap up clients and talent. Keiter, the largest, independent accounting and consulting firm in Central Virginia, was looking to differentiate itself from larger competitors by highlighting the expertise of its team members and demonstrate how the firm’s work with clients was more personal and customized. The objective was to build new business and solidify Keiter’s place in the market.
Challenge: A new independent living community in Charlottesville, Virginia was failing to meet its occupancy census and goals. The Independence offered residents over the age of 55 spacious apartment homes, terrific amenities, and a highly skilled support staff. However, the community was not attracting its target audience and was at risk of closing its doors.