Public Affairs Campaign for Permitting Approval for a State-of-the-Art Mercedes-Benz Car Dealership

Public Affairs Campaign for Permitting Approval for a State-of-the-Art Mercedes-Benz Car Dealership

The Challenge: To win approval from town meeting members for rezoning of a commercial real estate property

A luxury automobile dealer in Ohio operating Collection Auto Group (CAG), was chosen to develop a new Mercedes-Benz dealership in Massachusetts.

CAG’s overarching goals were to establish its profile within the community and work with town leaders, neighbors and other influencers to refine and secure rezoning approval for the proposal to redevelop the property into a luxury state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz dealership.

The objective of the campaign was to obtain the required two-thirds vote from town meeting members to approve the rezoning and development, generate public support to get the project approved and secure endorsements from the Burlington Board of Selectman, the planning board, the ways and means committee, and the land use committee.

Our Approach: A comprehensive real estate marketing plan to focus on the benefits of the rezoning

The campaign included more than a dozen presentations to town committees, community information sessions, telephone and door-to-door canvassing, direct mail, media outreach and the development of digital properties.

To win approval from town meeting members, SA developed a comprehensive plan to promote the immediate and long-term benefits of the rezoning using direct resident outreach, a resident-centric website and traditional media placements. SA highlighted the collaborative efforts of CAG throughout all stages of the proposal and development. From summer 2013 to January 2014, SA provided counsel and support before, during, and after each of CAG’s multiple presentations to the boards and committees in Burlington necessary to gain approval.

SA developed all presentation and informational materials during the campaign. Equipped with these materials, SA interacted regularly with members of the local media to promote CAG’s collaboration and success at each meeting and the benefits that would follow the approval of Mercedes-Benz of Burlington.  SA invited media to presentations as well as meetings with the developers, staffing each meeting to ensure great coverage.

Results: 85% of the vote, winning the rezoning approval

Based on endorsements from the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and the Ways and Means Committee, the Burlington Town Meeting approved the rezoning of the Mercedes-Benz of Burlington site to add it to the contiguous planned development district with 85% of the vote, far eclipsing the 66% needed for approval, achieving the ultimate goal of the community relations campaign.

Over the course of the campaign, SA secured coverage in hyper-local print, local business and trade publications, and online media for CAG and the Mercedes-Benz of Burlington proposal. SA’s hyper-local focus produced broad, positive media coverage that educated the public about the approval process.

Our media relations experts, working with our creative team secured multiple stories, both online and in print, for campaign events, including meetings, presentations, and approval decisions, in the Boston Globe, the Burlington Daily Times Chronicle, the Burlington Free Press, the Burlington Union and the Burlington Patch.

Schneider Associates has extensive expertise in commercial real estate marketing and PR, from permitting and zoning approval to fully integrated marketing plans for real estate development. Contact us today to learn how we can help make your real estate project a success.