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The Challenge

Catalyst was contracted by Wilmorite in December 2018 to develop a custom website for The Blue Light — a student housing development for the Duke University market that also would operate as the first purpose-built student housing property in Durham, North Carolina. Because the development would incorporate luxury, high-end living, smart technology, and concierge services, Wilmorite requested the website reflect the same look and feel. Construction for the boutique-style apartment community began in February 2019 with a targeted opening of fall 2020.

Wilmorite has an in-house marketing department, but they don’t have experience in student housing (only in the hotel industry) and therefore needed Catalyst’s help to create a custom website that conveyed the luxury aspect of the property, while still communicating that it was student focused. The website needed to encourage people to fill out the VIP form as a way to collect leads and generate interest in The Blue Light.

The Solution

Catalyst designed a custom website using the new brand identity, color palette, and interior renderings as an inspiration point. The homepage features a unique floating layout and large property renderings; an airy color palette of navy blue, light blue, and white; as well as several lifestyle images catering to their target audience.

This theme is carried throughout the rest of the website, which includes an expansive, interactive amenities page, streamlined floor plan cards, and a hot spot location map. One unique feature of the website is a history page that tells the story behind The Blue Light name, which is a direct nod of honor to the well-known Blue Light diner that catered to Duke students and Durham residents from 1949 to 1974 in the same location as the housing development. As a notable Durham landmark, Catalyst designed the history page to feature a story timeline of old photos and descriptions detailing important events.

The Results

The custom website successfully serves as a home base for prospects interested in signing a lease, or just wanting to learn more about the first purpose-built student housing property in Durham. The website provides an opportunity for visitors to experience a sense of luxury, while also positioning The Blue Light as a successful, attractive brand. Since the website launched on July 15, 2019, current stats to date as of September 26, 2019, include the following:

  • Pages Per Session: 1.564
  • Reached 3,776 Unique Users
  • 4,423 User Sessions
  • Drove 181 Form Submission Leads