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3 Guiding Principles Form Vision for St. Joseph’s

The award-winning St. Joseph’s campus in Oakland succeeded through three guiding principles, used to create a clear vision for the properties in this diverse campus, on which was built a highly effective brand platform:

  • Connection: Connecting a community of people at various stages of their lives
  • Vitality: Enhancing a community and being viewed as a source of positive growth
  • Symbolic value: Creating a shining example of a revitalized area acknowledged by residents of the community and non-resident neighbors.

How does a development establish the vision on which brand is built?  Through meetings, interviews, and historical research.  By gathering as much of the history of the community and the connection people have with it, authentic, resonant vision and brand are built.  Specifically in the case of St. Joseph’s, we worked hard at empowering a diverse community to shape its environment in a way that helped define the project’s core purpose.

St. Joseph’s, originally founded by the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1913 to care for the elderly, is now a vibrant and sustainably designed, mixed-use residential campus in Oakland’s Fruitvale community. A once-thriving orchard town, Fruitvale attracted African-American workers after World War II. Today, it is a cultural landmark for the city’s Latino population.

St. Joseph’s includes senior housing in a historic building (designated a historic landmark in 1984), a new family apartment building and ground-level commercial space, uplifting a neighborhood that has long endured economic and safety challenges. Residents and neighbors see it as a symbol of pride. For more information about St. Joseph’s, visit

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