A bold new direction for Brooklyn Center

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, left, speaks at the city’s July 11 branding campaign unveiling event, while being flanked, from second left to right, by Mayor Tim Willson, city manager Curt Boganey, assistant city manager Reggie Edwards, city development director Gary Eitel, communications coordinator Angel Smith, and parks and rec director Jim Glasoe. (Sun Post staff photo by Christiaan Tarbox)

The city of Brooklyn Center revealed a new branding and identity campaign that city officials hope will give a boost to its image and fortunes for the foreseeable future.

On July 11, city administrators and department heads converged for a special ceremony that unveiled the city’s new brand identity campaign, which includes strategic planning and initiatives, plans for improving Brooklyn Center’s image and a new city logo and tagline.

“We’ve been working with an organization called VitaLinks over the last several months as part of the city council’s general direction of expanding and improving the city’s image,” said City Manager Curt Boganey. “We determined that it was time to look at our brand, look at our logo, and how do we tell our story to the community? How do we get the story about Brooklyn Center out into the broader community? The result of that is a new logo, a new tagline and an ongoing effort of communicating with the public… and sharing with people the great assets of Brooklyn Center.”

During the past year, Brooklyn Center officials chose to focus on six essential areas in its efforts to reinvigorate the city’s image: the improvement of economic stability, targeted redevelopment, enabling and encouraging community engagement, showcasing Brooklyn Center’s public image and focusing on making Brooklyn Center a safe and stable community.

“Every year, the city council has a retreat, and every year, one of the major priorities is to make sure that the image of the community is positive, and that people understand what the valuable assets of the community are,” said Boganey. “The people who live here … will tell you that they love it here: they love the people here, they love their neighborhoods, they love the parks. But oftentimes, the outside world doesn’t view Brooklyn Center the same way. So the idea behind the branding campaign and the identity campaign is to make sure that the message gets out.”

The new logo features three roadways leading to a stylized depiction of a neighborhood, which the city asserts reinforces the new tagline: “At the Center.”

“The refreshed look … is intended to emphasize the city’s central location and accessibility in the Twin Cities metro area,” according to a statement from the city. “It is also designed to capture an ongoing commitment to the community of residents and businesses within the city’s boundaries.”

Brooklyn Center will implement the new logo during a 24-month period, beginning with City Hall signage. The event also showcased a number of updates from department heads on how their respective organizations would participate in the city’s strategic priorities, such as Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, who discussed the department’s work on combatting drugs and violent crime.

“Each of these concerns have action steps that were taken to address them,” he said. “One strategy, above all else, that I’ve found to be the most effective tool in combatting all those issues is a connected neighborhood. Having neighbors talk to each other and communicate with each other, and if necessary, communicate with the police department.”

Meanwhile, acting Public Works Director Mike Marsh discussed his department’s key infrastructure investments, such as the two-phase Brooklyn Boulevard corridor reconstruction project.

“The first phase is from 49th to Bass Lake Road, and will take place in 2018,” said Marsh. “The second phase is Bass Lake Road to Interstate 94, and this will take place in 2021. This will be a reconstruction modernization project that will improve the roadway safety, enhance traffic operations, reduce access points and provide improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities.”

The new Brooklyn Center logo and tagline. (Image provided by the city of Brooklyn Center)

The event saw a number of high-profile attendees, including Sen. Chris Eaton (DFL-Brooklyn Center) and a representative from the office of Rep. Keith Ellison (DFL-MN). Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Willson was present as an unofficial emcee alongside Boganey to reveal the next chapter in Brooklyn Center’s story.

“It’s been a long process, but we’ve had really good community input from businesses, from residents,” said Willson. “We’ve got a consultant who’s managing and organizing the whole thing, and quite frankly, we’re on our second set of logos and taglines, which is a good process. The first run-through, as it were, wasn’t quite what we wanted to see, and now I think we have a good product coming out.”

The branding campaign comes at a crucial time for Brooklyn Center, one of the most demographically diverse cities in the state, as well as a hotbed of economic redevelopment opportunity. Recently, national golf entertainment chain TopGolf agreed to purchase the Brooklyn Center Regal Cinema and replace it with a three-level golf and recreation complex, the first such site in Minnesota. Willson sees the deal as a watershed moment for the city’s economic fortunes.

“We are seeing more redevelopment in the city,” said Willson. “TopGolf is coming in, and that’s a major destination point, being the first one in Minnesota. I think that’s going to be a boon for the city.”

Additionally, Brooklyn Center will host a number of community dialogue events for its “Connect at the Center” campaign: Tuesday, July 25 from 6-8 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Tuesday, Aug. 22 from 6-8 p.m.

For more information, call 763-569-3300.

Contact Christiaan Tarbox at christiaan.tarbox@ecm-inc.com.

  • AverageJoeMN

    Great, a new logo. Now how about fixing crime and blight?