HOUSTON, DECEMBER 7, 2003 - The East Downtown Management District is preparing to launch a marketing campaign to establish an identity for the district, strengthen its image, improve business opportunities and attract new economic development within the district.

            The District selected Noise, a Houston-based graphic design and branding firm, to develop marketing and branding materials, including logos and a visitor''s guide. Noise has partnered with DPK Public Relations to provide strategic media relations services for the District.

"For the first time, this branding effort will expose the development, business and residential communities to East Downtown''s tremendous potential," said Steve Pittman, spokesperson for the East Downtown Management District. "Our location, access to major transportation arteries and abundance of excellent real estate values make this district an outstanding place in which to live, work, shop, visit, build or invest.

"We want to highlight the fact that the East Downtown District is within walking distance to  a number of major new attractions  - an expanded George R. Brown Convention Center, Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center," Pittman said.

Unlike other areas close to downtown, East Downtown has a significant strategic advantage in terms of marketing as Houston''s original Chinatown neighborhood. The area remains home to numerous Asian-owned businesses and, earlier this year, "Chinatown" way-finding signs were added at eight different locations within the southeast quadrant of Houston''s central business district.

"The original Chinatown is a distinguishing characteristic that sets us apart in a very positive way," said Sean Gorman, secretary of the East Downtown Management District and chairman of its marketing committee. "We will build upon that brand equity and celebrate the heritage of the area and its cultural diversity."

The original Chinatown sits within the 60-block (81 acre) City of Houston Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number 15, bounded by Chartres, Preston, Dowling, and Interstate 45. The TIRZ was created in July 1999 to provide economic incentives for private investment in East Downtown Houston.

The East Downtown Management District was created in 1999 by the Texas Legislature to provide public services for business owners and residents east of Downtown Houston. Funded through an annual assessment of commercial property, the district is authorized to raise revenue, partner with other government agencies, and administer public projects related to roadways, utilities, public spaces, and economic development.

For more information on the East Downtown Management District, visit www.eastdowntowndistrict.org.