By A.C. Hall
The Benbrook EDC held their election of officers before diving into their agenda at their meeting last week. Kent Williams was voted as EDC President, while Dwayne Hitt was voted as the Vice President. Members voted Janet Collard as Secretary.
With the officers in place, several discussions were held, one concerning the recent loss of multiple grocery stores in Benbrook. Some board members had expressed concern over the closing of Albertsons and more recently Brookshire’s, and EDC Executive Director Ron Rainey addressed their concerns.
“Staff is working with the real estate community in trying to recruit some businesses to replace those,” Rainey said.
In response to the EDC’s concerns, Rainey has engaged a grocery store analysis as they try to find new tenants for the spots left vacant by Albertsons and Brookshire’s.
“Those are some pretty large footprints to try and fill,” Rainey said.
According to Rainey, the company doing the analysis has asked to broaden the scope and look at other types of retailers who would utilize the large buildings that the two grocery stores occupied.
City staff also met with the property managers who reside over the Brookshire’s building, and said that those managers have efforts underway to try to fill that location.
Rainey reminded the EDC that these types of things take time, and while he didn’t have any solid answers for them yet he assured them work was being done on the issue.
Benbrook Public Involvement Director Cathy Morris presented the next order of business to the EDC as she discussed the sails logo for the City. She stated that the Benbrook sails logo was created by the Benbrook EDC in 1999. During a recent comprehensive branding study, the company Hahn, Texas discovered some issues with the old logo.
“The study reveals that use of the logo has been inconsistent across city departments as well as within the community,” Morris said. “Over time, several modified versions of the sails theme have been used in a variety of ways throughout the community.
Hahn asserts that these different versions, some using different colors, fonts, placement and design elements, tend to dilute the brand, create a fragmented community impression, and do little to portray a unified message.”
This is one of several factors that led the Benbrook City Council to adopt a modified version of the sails logo this past June, along with the new tagline “Our Pride. Your Joy.” According to Morris, several steps need to be taken towards getting the new logo fully into place. These steps include the EDC transferring the original logo over to the City, as well as the need to terminate license agreements on the old logo.
“Community partners are encouraged to continue the use of the sails theme as expressed in the new logo, as this helps further promote a consistent community impression,” Morris said.
She suggested a 12-month period be set up to give anyone using the old logo time to switch over to the new one.
EDC member David Hafer asked what would happen if a business currently using the old logo continued its use past the 12-month period.
“I’m not really sure how that plays out,” Morris said. “I would hope the twelve months would be sufficient time to allow people to budget for new signs if they want to continue to use the new logo.”
As for any sort of penalties for this kind of situation, Morris said no decisions have been made on that matter.
“We haven’t really sort of walked through any punitive action if people aren’t compliant with that; we just haven’t gotten there yet. I would not anticipate that to happen, but of course it could,” Morris said. “The idea is not to punish folks; it’s to encourage them to adopt the new logo.”
Morris went on to say that they were not looking to create any unnecessary financial hardship for anyone.
No action was taken regarding the logo. The EDC will consider taking action on this matter at their next meeting.
In other business, the board voted unanimously to approve an agreement with LComm Marketing. This is to assist in business and customer communication during the upcoming 377 construction in an effort to keep retailers and customers aware of everything going on with the 377 work.
LComm Marketing will receive a monthly retainer of $4,125 for the two year project, which works out to $99,000 over the two years. The agreement also leaves open the possibility for further costs for creative development projects LComm does over the course of the agreement.