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Madison Development: Gaining Neighborhood Support for a Controversial Re-development

Real estate developer Madison Development (MDG) had plans to re-develop two blocks of historical brick buildings that housed local retail shops and a beloved coffeehouse. The neighborhood had seen significant development in the past few years, and was strongly opposed to losing more of its local character. In order to receive the necessary city approvals, MDG needed support from the community.

A growing group of neighbors vocally opposed the project to the Mayor and City Council. Additionally, a neighborhood blog and a weekly newspaper had written extremely negative stories about the destruction of the buildings and loss of local retailers, portraying MDG as inexperienced with urban development. Allison+Partners worked closely with the community and media to assuage fears and communicate the thoughtful approach and positive aspects of the development. Each media outlet was treated to a one-on-one session with the developers and the architects to preview the plans to save and renovate the buildings.

This strategy resulted in several positive stories about the project from the local Capitol Hill blog and "The Stranger," which helped increase public support from the neighborhood and contribute to the approval of the project.