Local Developers Roll Out New Gentrification Destigmatization Campaign

Hoping to piggyback on the success of the City of Tacoma’s Traffic Box Art Wrap Project, a consortium of local real estate developers are launching a campaign to destigmatize the image of gentrification in Tacoma. “After years of market research in Tacoma, we’ve determined that people have a generally negative perception of gentrification,” said Ruth Glass, the group’s lead researcher. “And by extension, new condos seem to invoke a lot of negativity. We’re trying to change that.”

The Gentrification Destigmatization Campaign aims to make people more comfortable with the idea of gentrification by subtly introducing condos by way of traffic control box wraps. The first trial boxes are going up in neighborhoods whose life-long residents have not yet enjoyed the benefits of higher property values and boutique members-only bakeries.

When asked about the overwhelming similarity between all of the box wrap designs, Hypothesis Real Estate agent Robert Caro explained, “Gray is so hot right now. Too much color can be really off-putting to new home buyers. You can get away with a couple blocks of brown here and there or maybe a yellow door, but that’s it.”

Asking passersby about their opinions on the newly decorated boxes, the reactions were resoundingly positive. “For so long, I had all this anxiety about the future with higher rents, raising property taxes, and just feeling like a stranger in my own community.” said Eastside resident Harper Swansong, “But now that I see how cute these little condos are, I kinda want one now. Backyards and reliable parking are kinda overrated anyway.”

Central District business owner, Matthew Hoyt, said, “I’ve lived in this neighborhood for years. And recently, seeing all these condos popping up like weeds all over the city, they just seemed threatening somehow; like physical manifestations of gentrification. I figured it was just a matter of time before they took over my neighborhood too. I don’t know what I was so afraid of, though. Condos aren’t going to hurt me. And come to think of it, this neighborhood could really use more boutique clothing stores and crafty cocktail bars.

Not everyone’s opinions were swayed, however. “I think it’s bullshit,” said local naysayer, Owen Randalls.

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