Milhaus: Branding Marcato (Kansas City, MO).

Real estate development company Milhaus is based in Indianapolis, but creates property development projects throughout the US. As part of pursuing a new development project in Kansas City, Missouri, Matchbook acted as partners in branding the property. Near the historic Power and Light district of Kansas City, this project needed to take in the area’s powerful stories and become a space that engaged with that history to help bring the area forward with the rest of this thriving city. Our name and branding aesthetic were created in accordance with research into the area.


Milhaus currently operates in 10 states across the US, with a consistently growing portfolio of properties. However, their vision drives them beyond generic or vapid designs. Dedicated to honoring each community they build within, Milhaus pays unique homage to their area with every new project. With properties that become a real, authentic part of a city through their attention to detail and respect paid to each new area, Milhaus is dedicated to providing an authentic sense of home and engagement in each resident.


As we began the process of working with Milhaus on this new property, we immediately began work to uncover the property site and area’s unique history as well as identify target audiences most likely to call the space home.

Troost Avenue is an area within Kansas City that’s seen its fair share of history and industry, through good times and bad. Troost was originally a seat of political power within the city, and was home to Walt Disney Studios from 1920 to 1922. A prominent jazz district for decades, the area has always been a spot where music flourished. The area’s history wasn’t always harmonious and rosy, however. In the 1950s the site became an area of racial divide, with damage done during the fight for civil rights precluding major development and progress until the early 2000s. The site serves as a beacon of growth as the future of Troost continues to glow brighter.

Milhaus - Marcato


We identified residents who embrace change and diversity while seeking to improve a growing area as the target audiences for this site, building on the powerful history of the community. The name, Marcato, is derived from a musical term; a note played more forcefully to differentiate it from the surrounding notes by emphasis. Calling back to the area’s musical past and championing a resident base excited to stand apart, Marcato is a new and powerful addition to the community. Referencing the rich history of performers in the area, Matchbook developed a custom experience where residents could add their signature to a wall printed with the phrase “Before they were famous.” Building their brand aesthetic, logo, collateral and guidelines, we kept this emphasis on the unique in mind to generate a striking visual that engages target audiences and leaves them exciting to call this growing neighborhood home.

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