Downtown Arlington Looks to Create an Identity

Nonprofit group hopes branding will attract customers, businesses

Downtown Arlington is trying to develop an identity.

The Downtown Arlington Redevelopment Corp. is launching an ad campaign called "Downtown Arlington -- Music, Culture, Food, Shopping" to promote the area.

"It's the first brand we've established for the downtown area, and the reason we're doing it is we've got a lot of momentum here in downtown Arlington," said Tony Rutigliano, the executive vice president of the private, nonprofit community redevelopment group. "People used to think of downtown Arlington as a place you paid your ticket, got a library book, but these days you can do much, much more."

He said the campaign would target Arlington residents first but would also extend to the rest of the Metroplex.

“For downtown Arlington it’s something that can separate us from all the other cities and municipalities that are trying to attract the same things we're trying to attract,” said Eddie White, co-owner of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.

Eight new restaurants have opened in the last two years. A few blocks away, there is growth and investment at the University of Texas at Arlington. The mixed-use College Park District opens this fall, and the College Park Center arena is less than 6 months old.

In addition to targeting potential customers, the downtown effort is targeting potential businesses.

"We've seen over the last three years that more businesses have come downtown with more opportunities -- Levitt Pavilion and those types of things," White said. "A brand just brings a recognizable tag to what the city is trying to do down here."

But the new downtown Arlington brand is not meant to replace the existing citywide branding of "Arlington, TX -- and the crowd goes wild."

Rutigliano said the two campaigns would complement each other.

"What's good for downtown Arlington is good for the entire city," he said.

The campaign officially launches Wednesday on North Texas billboards, banners, print ads and on social media. It is partially funded by downtown area businesses through a city tax assessment, as well as some hotel tax revenues.

"We're still in the early stages, but there's a lot of opportunities still out there," White said.

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