The Challenge

Developer David Zucker, founder and Principal in Zocalo Community Development, hired The Stasko Agency to introduce the concept of LEED building in Denver and raise awareness about sustainable development. Zucker believed the mainstream media could serve as an important tool in educating the public about the benefits of developing LEED certified projects and green building. At the time, not many people were familiar with the concept of sustainable development. In addition, Zucker was marketing these first “green” products during the economic downturn, which created its own set of challenges for Zocalo.

The Solution

  • Securing Media Placements – Our initial efforts focused on gaining exposure for Zocalo’s first LEED-certified community, RiverClay Condominiums, in Denver’s up-and-coming Jefferson Park neighborhood.  We developed a media campaign and conducted hard-hat tours to explain the LEED certification process and the energy-saving advantages for residents living in projects built with those specifications. The goal was to establish RiverClay as a better choice for buyers at a time when there many real estate options available.
  • Thought Leadership – The Stasko Agency worked hard to position David and key members of Zocalo’s leadership team as experts on sustainable development and LEED building in Denver. We developed bylined articles for him to run in local real estate trade journals and well as in industry publications nationally. We also nominated the company for sustainability and design awards to raise Zocalo’s profile and increase its credibility in development circles.
  • Event Planning – We marketed the grand opening of RiverClay the same way we would a restaurant opening, to attract key audiences (members of the media, real estate brokers) and generate buzz for the development and attract potential buyers.
  • Community Outreach – Our biggest contribution to Zocalo Community Development was to share our rolodex of real estate brokers, community group leaders, local residents, business owners and Denver city officials. These proved to be valuable connections for Zocalo in their marketing of RiverClay and other projects.

The Results

  • Articles about RiverClay and Zocalo’s expertise in sustainable building appeared in the Rocky Mountain News, the Denver Post, Denver Business Journal, Colorado Real Estate Journal, UNITS Magazine, 5280 Magazine and Denver Life magazine.
  • Completed in 2008, RiverClay sold out in early 2009 despite a tough real estate market and diminished demand for condominium projects.
  • The project was awarded the 2008 University of Denver’s Burns School of Real Estate’s Project of the Year and won recognition from the Environmental Defense Fund for providing one of the 15 best “Green Business Ideas” of 2008.

Zocalo was so satisfied with The Stasko Agency’s efforts that the company retained us to launch several other LEED-certified multi-family developments, including Solera, 2020 Lawrence, Cadence and Coda.