Permitting and Brand Awareness Campaign for $1.5 Billion University Station

The Opportunity

BG was hired to manage an intense, comprehensive approval process in Westwood, MA, and build public support for a $1.5 billion project with a footprint of 4.5 million sf, one of the largest mixed-use projects in New England. BG needed local, regional and state permit approvals during a three year-span for this massive development in a bedroom community that had not experienced commercial development of this magnitude.

The Strategy

To overcome formidable and substantial pushback from existing neighborhood opposition groups concerned about the environment, impact on schools, and traffic, BG conducted more than 100 public forums and information sessions to gain community input and mitigate negativity. BG established a monthly newsletter with hundreds of thousands opt-in subscribers, launched a project website, and built a temporary athletic field on site to host the New England Patriots and New England Revolution which introduced the community to the site.

The Result

Through BG’s community outreach, project messaging campaign, and networking with town officials and voters, BG overcame unprecedented opposition and won articles at nearly two dozen Town Meetings related to the permitting process. After securing Planning Board approval in just 12 months BG helped garner state approval for the issuance of the Final Environmental Impact Report Certificate.