“Crane Watch,” an interactive feature chronicling commercial real estate projects in major cities, is being launched on all remaining American City Business Journals websites by early next month.
Charlotte-based ACBJ partnered with Esri to create the latest iteration of “Crane Watch.” The Esri platform has a few more bells and whistles – like filtering and sorting – to allow more control for users navigating the map.
Google Docs power the data in the map, so reporters and editors only have to maintain a spreadsheet.
“‘Crane Watch’ is less of a traffic play and more about engagement for us,” said Jon Wile, vice president of content at American City Business Journals. “Evergreen content is vital to our growth as a premium publisher. ‘Crane Watch’ fits perfectly into that mix.”
“Crane Watch” was started by Nashville Business Journal reporter Adam Sichko about two years ago. By last September, it had rolled out to the Washington Business Journal, South Florida Business Journal, Triangle Business Journal and Atlanta Business Chronicle.
The Memphis Business Journal added “Crane Watch” earlier this week.
“When I was at the Nashville Business Journal, which launched Crane Watch two years ago, people would frequently tell us how much they loved it,” said Memphis Business Journal commercial real estate reporter Jacob Steimer in a story on its website. “How many times have you driven by a construction site and thought, ‘I wonder what’s going on there’? Starting this week, Crane Watch will have the answer for you displayed in a convenient way. Believe me, it will quickly become your go-to method of keeping up with local development.”
Other ACBJ papers that have put “Crane Watch” on their websites this month include Pacific Business News, Pittsburgh Business Times, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Albany Business Review, Kansas City Business Journal, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Orlando Business Journal and the Baltimore Business Journal.
Wile said that ACBJ, which operates more than 40 business newspaper and websites across the country, views “Crane Watch” as the commercial real estate bible for each of its cities.
“It’s easy to think about a few transformative projects in any city, but when you look at a city and see dozens or even a hundred projects, it puts the larger transformation into perspective,” said Wile. “A prime example of this is that Cincinnati’s core downtown undergoing a $2.3B facelift right now. We wouldn’t have been able to easily quantify that amount or report out that story without ‘Crane Watch.'”