St. Louis-based developer UIC caused a stir in Chesterfield in September when they announced their "Friend's Don't Let Friends Live in Chesterfield" slogan, with the phrase generating plenty of discussion here on Patch.
Since the buzz has now largely died down, Chesterfield Patch called up UIC Manager Brent Crittenden to see how the PR-generating move turned out for the company.Overall, he called it a success.
"Generally, people thought it was pretty funny and it got our name out there," he said, adding that he talked to several Chesterfield residents who saw the humor in his approach.
Crittenden also, however, heard from a few locals who found the idea less than amusing.
"We had two pieces of nasty mail and one angry phone call," he said.
The slogan was designed to be tongue-in-check and not necessarily motivated by a desire to slam the suburbs. UIC started building homes in the city of St. Louis in 2009, so Crittenden said the short-lived campaign was intended to encourage families and others to live in the city and develop "vibrant, urban neighborhoods."
UIC also put the notoriety it gained through its controversial slogan to good use. Crittenden said friends at the company Workplay did custom silk-screened T-shirts featuring the slogan with a portion of the profits from sales helping to build a playground in St. Louis.
The play area is located at the corner of Thurman and Blaine avenues and was finished in late September, according to Crittenden.
So, what's next for the developer? Crittenden said they are done picking on St. Louis and are now eyeing a bigger target.
"'Friends don't let friends live in Chicago,'" he said. "We have to convince people that we [St. Louis] are cool enough that they don't have to jet off to Chicago or New York."