Bridgewater Taps French/West/Vaughan
TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ — In what may be a first nationally and a sign of the economic times, a suburban neighborhood outside Tampa, Fla. has retained a well-known public relations firm to enhance its strengths and finish the comeback homeowners initiated more than a year ago.
The Bridgewater Community Association, comprised of 760 homes in growing Wesley Chapel, Fla., has hired the Tampa office of French/West/Vaughan, one of the nation’s largest independent public relations, public affairs and brand communications agencies, to boost sales of owner-occupied homes. The agency will provide strategic public relations counsel for the association, positioning Bridgewater as a community leading the way out of the soft housing market by taking proactive measures to improve real estate value. The campaign will highlight community events and programs, the neighborhood’s ample park and recreation space and its proximity to schools and shopping, among other things.
Besides housing, Wesley Chapel has seen strong commercial growth, with new schools, businesses, shopping centers and a regional mall, one of the nation’s largest, on its way.
Bridgewater has already successfully distanced itself from other communities. Unlike a number of nearby neighborhoods that are vacant or partially built, Bridgewater is completely built out and is run by an active community association that maintains neighborhood parks and plans community events.
Bridgewater, which was developed by Lennar Corp., was one of the last developments in Florida finished prior to the residential real estate market slowdown and was profiled by the Wall Street Journal in September 2007. As homes in the area saw their value decline, Bridgewater attracted some renters because of absentee homeowners. But the majority of Bridgewater remains true to its vision: a family-oriented, owner-occupied neighborhood.
“We are poised to make a bit of marketing history in helping Bridgewater strengthen its grassroots efforts to complete the turnaround it successfully began more than a year ago,” said Jack Glasure, executive vice president and principal, FWV. “I’m confident that the board members’ dedication coupled with our professional support will shape a strong future for the neighborhood. The community has all the elements of a great place to live.”
Association President Mark Spector sees the hiring of French/West/Vaughan as a smart strategic move. “They are bringing a fresh perspective and a solid track record of success to the table that we expect will help continue our significant progress,” Spector says. “We have already come from near bankruptcy a year ago to our current state of good financial health, and our properties look better than they have in years thanks to dedicated neighbors,” he said.
French/West/Vaughan (FWV) is the Southeast’s largest independent public relations, public affairs and brand communications agency. FWV was named a 2006 finalist for PR Week magazine’s “Midsize PR Agency of the Year” award, and was named the Holmes Report’s 2004 National Consumer Agency of the Year. National and international clients represented by the agency include the Global Water Foundation, the Coca-Cola Co., Wrangler, the Justin Boot Co., Canada Post, the International Gemological Institute, Divi Resorts, OTB Records and Nfinity Shoes. Regional public relations clients include BayWalk, Stiles Realty, 13 Ugly Men Foundation and Melitta Coffee, among many others. The agency is headquartered in Raleigh and has offices in New York City and Tampa. The agency founded its creative arm, FWV Distilled, in 2007 and provides award-winning advertising, graphic design and media planning and placement services for a wide range of clients. For more information, please visit www.fwv-us.com.