‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Live in Chesterfield’—New Slogan of St. Louis Developer

UIC, a building developer, is targeting Chesterfield as part of a marketing campaign to encourage people to live in the urban areas of St. Louis.

“Friends Don’t Let Friends Live in Chesterfield” is the slogan some residents may begin seeing in bumper stickers and coasters throughout the area. The phrase is part of a marketing campaign of UIC, a building developer and design company based in the city of St. Louis.

“Hey, Chesterfield is a comfortable place with an affluent population, great sales tax base, and high quality schools. It is St. Louis’s flagship suburb, so we thought they could take a little good natured ribbing,” according to a statement in one of UIC’s websites.

The campaign, they say, is not really about Chesterfield, but about encouraging people to live in the city of St. Louis and develop “vibrant, urban neighborhoods.”

“It is about a vision of our beloved central City (St. Louis) growing into a marquee diverse urban environment, with an emphasis on green planning and design,” read a statement on their website. “The City of St. Louis offers exceptional walkable historic neighborhoods, exciting night life, unique shopping options, a strong downtown, and a growing base of educational opportunities for families.”

Bruce Geiger, Chesterfield's Mayor, said he was not aware of the campaign. 

"I may have to call and ask them about that," he said. 

A spokesperson for UIC was not immediately available for comment Monday. Chesterfield Patch will work on expanding this story.

In the meantime, share your opinions on the developer’s marketing campaign in the comments section of this story. Should friends let friends live in Chesterfield?

Dennis Poepsel August 14, 2012 at 06:43 PM
http://onsl.org/ ..... FOR EXAMPLE!!!
JNOnSTL August 14, 2012 at 06:55 PM
You list both "traffic" and "lack of parking" as complaints of the City. So you want the City to be car-friendly enough that there's room to park, but not so much that other people want to bring their cars too?
Joseph Decepida August 14, 2012 at 06:59 PM
As a lifelong resident of the City of St. Louis, I apologize to Chesterfield. I am not affiliated with UIC but I do find their slogan irresponsible and divisive. The comments in this thread are evidence of that. There is a wealth of choice regarding which community a household may choose to live. No individual should be attacked for that choice.
Matt Mourning August 14, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Oh, so is one's choice of residence now a protected class, Joe? Yes, the slogan is divisive, but you have to remember, this isn't the Mayor's idea--it's a private business's, one that's trying to promote city living. The slogan is effective at drawing the contrasts between life in the city and suburbs, without even saying much. Of course there are many legitimate reasons to live in the suburbs, but that doesn't mean that a developer promoting city living should have to bow down to the sensitivities of those people. In many ways, this argument reminds of me of those people that claim that "reverse racism" has surpassed white-on-black racism. City dwellers are in the minority, especially in the St. Louis region, so a little fun at the expense of the predominant lifestyle CHOICE in our region doesn't register as a controversy in my book.
Joseph Decepida August 14, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I make no assertions that anyone should have legal protection from harassment because of where they choose to live. I do think out of common decency, that folks would refrain from harassing each other because of where they call home. The slogan is not effective at drawing contrasts when it assails one's home community by name because whatever argument you are trying to make about city living vs. suburban living is overrun by the anger someone feels after having the community they grew up in openly derided in an attempt to sell homes. If this reminds you of reverse-racism, I suggest that you're making a far and unreasonable intellectual stretch.
Tracy Speller August 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Everyone out there needs to remember that we are all ONE community. The City of Chesterfield would never debase the City of St. Louis in this way. Chesterfield would never say, "Don't live in the City, they have the highest crime rate in the country." If the City fails, so do the suburbs. Well-intentioned or not - this is not tongue-in-cheek or funny in any way.
Stacey Morse August 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I prefer to support both living environments and hope that we can work to create neighborhoods and destinations which possess all of the amenities that benefit us as a region - this should not be an "us against them" campaign. A more productive and positive approach would be to support the people who are making "ST. LOUIS" a place that provides lifestyle options for everyone, promotes all that is unique and creates opportunities for us to be part of what we collectively bring to the region as a whole - urban, suburban and everything in between. My two cents and I can only imagine the backlash if the county had put together a similar campaign about the city....
Jesda Gulati August 15, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Fear has nothing to do with the crime rate, aging infrastructure, and inadequate public services. If you have kids to raise and live in the city, you'll want to put them in a private school in west of south county. I have the privilege of driving to the city for entertainment, staying the night there if I want to, and returning home where it's peaceful, quiet, and serene. I like the excitement of St Louis City, but I don't have to live among it.
JNOnSTL August 15, 2012 at 02:17 AM
The campaign acknowledges their ribbing with what I believe is an honest evaluation of Chesterfield: a stable community that offers some features the City is striving for. Should the campaign have chosen a suburb that's (arguably) been in decline or struggling in recent years, say Florissant, Normandy or Hazelwood, then I think offense could be taken. This is about investing/staying in the City, so I think a preferable syntax may have been: Friends don't let friends MOVE to Chesterfield.
Tom Riddle August 15, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I want to live in St. Louis City any second before Chesterfield. Maybe it's because I like culture, activities, character, history, and real art. Chesterfield and all other areas out in the Counties would have never existed without the signifigance of St. Louis. You can either be part of St. Louis by supporting it and enbracing it as the regional center it is, or shoot it down and live your life in fear of a boogeyman that only exists because you continue to feed it.
Jesda Gulati August 15, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Circular reasoning. People move away because the quality of life declined. The quality of life declines because people move away. Let's say those of us in the county moved to the city. Run-down, uninhabitable row houses would be torn down and replaced by large homes with green fenced lawns, then people who have lived in the city for years would complain about the lack of character and the influx of cookie-cutter suburbanites. A comfortable, less congested suburban life is, apparently, what more affluent people in the metro area want. It doesn't matter what the geographical location is.
Sarah Bekemeyer August 15, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Your post makes it seem like the City of St. Louis created this slogan but a private company, UIC did. I completely agree with you that city and county should be one community.
AMM August 15, 2012 at 12:08 PM
The suburbs exist because of the creation of cars. When it comes to spending your money you have a choice to do so as you wish. Some choose to not "up" their chances of having crime occur by moving into an area with higher crime rates. They also have the ability to drive into the city and enjoy the different cultural experiences brought up multiple times on different posts. I don't think either place is bad, but people choose to spend their money how they wish and clearly at this point more people wish to live in the county. Give people a reason to spend thier money on homes in the city and that might change. I would say reading a slogan isnt the difference people are looking for!
Robin Tidwell August 15, 2012 at 12:41 PM
My family has been in Chesterfield since the mid-1800s. Chesterfield is plastic these days. Cookie-cutter homes, McMansions, strip malls and malls and outlet malls, chains restaurants, etc., etc. I wouldn't pick STL either.
ellen August 15, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I want to 1st preface this tirade that I love the city. I went to high school there for 4 years at a school on the corner of Lindell and Newstead. But................. I think whoever hired UIC and whoever let this slogan pass for approval should be fired. How many did they go through before they picked Chesterfield as the desired city to have your friends say... "Oh my lord you DO NOT want to live there there.The city is sooo much better". I am sure the residents of Webster, Kirkwood, Ladue, Florissisant, Ferguson, Ellisville (forgive me for not listing all) would be highly offended as well it was their city listed in this slogan. Is this the best the UIC could come up with???????? What a lack of imagination. My slogan is CITIES WHO LIKE CITIES DO NOT USE UIC TO MARKET THEM. This Chesterfield resident is offended and you can take your STUPID slogan and stuff it.
Jesda Gulati August 15, 2012 at 03:36 PM
To be fair, Chesterfield was a near-empty agricultural area back then. -No- restaurants, few homes, and dirt roads. There's still remnants of Gumbo/Hog Hollow/Old Chesterfield here and there. It's interesting to see the place where 40 used to terminate before it became a high-capacity interstate. There's always Defiance and Augusta not too far away for those who prefer small town living.
Robin Tidwell August 15, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Jesda, it's not so much the loss of the farms and "dirt roads" as you said, but the development thus far has also obliterated any charm and, for the most part, tastefulness. It's brash and modern and well, plastic.
Greg Johnson August 15, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Misunderstanding... UIC isn't a marketing firm. It's a real estate developer. The City didn't hire them. It's not the City's slogan. It's the developer's own slogan to sell the houses they are building in areas of south city. And I can say that they are some very nice houses in some very cool neighborhoods.
ellen August 15, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Thank you Joe. My point exactly. Your comment has pointed out exactly what this slogan has done. The city and the county are 2 very different places. Each with their own charm and history. Each should be repected. No one city should have been singled out for this marketing campaign
Stephen Rutherford August 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Sorry I already live in Chesterfield. I love the city and my brothers both live in the city, but I have four kids aged 12, 9, 8, and 7. I can't afford private school and I'm not Catholic so I looked for the best public schools for my kids. If there were an affordable way to get quality education then the city would be a nice alternative. We also host exchange students through YFU and the city schools are not as enthusiastic about supporting exchange students as our high schools in Chesterfield.
Brad A. Waldrop August 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Dang. All I can say is it's on the younger generations to produce a progressive, positive downtown STL. DT STL is important and represents a small sample of problems duplicated in other city neighborhoods (schools, mixed-uses cooperating, crime, politics, etc). But DT is unique, it has our world-recognized monument, our Visitors & Convention Center,, our sports, etc., it can be what people remember. The older, comfy gens are just that to some extent, comfy, extremely tolerant. Besides, they're counting their retirement (if they can in this economy), they're not taking risks as much. If you really love STL you have to take the good and the bad, love our diversity, mentor a child, take a risk on living somewhere that needs you...but only a risk you enjoy, not one that makes you miserable. I'm confident one day soon, at least in downtown, we'll be even more confident about STL. Chesterfield is a great place. No offense, but DT STL can be it's own great place, for a variety of reasons. Hopefully the trend can spread throughout the city.
Dana Tippit August 15, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Sense of humor? City and County living are totally opposite which is why the slogan offends County people everywhere. The chances of County people moving into the City, giving up good schools, low crime, nice parks, open green space, cooperating communities with exceptional amenities, easy parking, etc. for a new home development within urban decay with additional taxes and poor community services, not to mention unaccredited struggling schools in slim to none. Therefore, the campaign can only work to reach the City people who can only mock what they don’t have. They see the County as conservative bedroom communities in cookie-cutter subdivisions with manicured lawns with parents who attend PTO meetings and cheer at soccer games as dreary. Their City lives are full of character and diversity. Good luck. City people unite. Take care of your City and improve your community. Create a place where all people would want to live!
ellen August 15, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Greg, With respect I stand corrected. I am sure this real estate developer is building nice houses in cool neighborhoods in south city. I guess my point is I do not think any city should have been singled out and have their name associated with this campaign slogan. I really think they could have come up with something better. As a Chesterfield resident I wish they would have. I'm just sayin.
Kalen Ponche August 16, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I grew up in the suburbs and couldn't wait to move to a big city - which I did for a few months when I lived in London. As an adult, I decided to move to mid-St. Louis County based on a far more practical reason, my husband had already purchased a house there when we got married!
Chris Hulse August 16, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Carlos Restrepo (Editor) August 16, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Hello all, in case you didn't see it, here is a follow up story with the developer's comments. He says he and his team thought Chesterfield would be more middle-of-the-road and have more of a sense of humor. What do you think? http://chesterfield.patch.com/articles/local-developer-defends-friends-don-t-let-friends-live-in-chesterfield-slogan#photo-11005394
dvasdsfaasdfasdf August 26, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Who are the undesirables? Blacks? Suburbs = segregation
dvasdsfaasdfasdf August 26, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Dan is right on
referencegirl September 02, 2012 at 04:00 PM
If you are a "20 something," how many years is "several" years? There is a lot of history here that has nothing to do with crime rates.
referencegirl September 02, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Honestly, to think that people are better based on where they live or went to high school is a very stupid St. Louis tradition based in snobbery - snobbery that actually originated in the city. Back in 1877 the city was much larger and affluent then the county. The city wanted to detach itself from the rural county, whom they felt brought them down economically and socially since the county needed a lot of tax support to establish roads and other public services and was populated by rural (read - unsophisticated) farmers. The county fought the detachment but the city won. 100 years later and post white flight the county surpassed the city in population and economy. Then, all of sudden, the city wanted to rejoin with the county to benefit from their economy. And yet, there continues to be this attitude that county dwellers are not as sophisticated but now, since they do seem to have more money overall, they are assumed to be snobs. So, when I see elitist attitude still coming from city dwellers I really... well... I think it is stupid, let's just leave it at that. You can pretend there is not more crime in the city all you want, the crime maps from the city and county police department tell a different story. The city and county have been talking for years about reuniting. I hope someday both sides get over themselves, reunite, and work together to make all of St. Louis the best it can be. This campaign is insensitive to our history and perpetuates unnecessary animosity.


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