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BEVERLY HILTON - WALDORF ASTORIA

 

 

THE ISSUE

 

The Beverly Hilton retained Burnside & Associates in 2008 to manage its community outreach campaign to educate and persuade residents in Beverly Hills to support their massive renovation and construction project on a nine-acre site.  The project envisioned the removal of a five-story, 150,000 square foot parking structure, the demolition of a four-story building and the removal of an extensive stretch of office buildings and build in its place, a twelve-story Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, an eight-story Waldorf Wilshire Residences of 26 luxury residences, and the Waldorf Santa Monica Residences, an 18-story luxury building with 64 residences.

 

Given the project was sited on the busiest triangle in Los Angeles - the corner of Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards and the nexus of some 90,000 daily car traffic - opposition from anti-development activists was certain to be fierce.  Beyond organized opponents, there were neighborhood concerns about noise, dust and truck disruptions, diverted traffic patterns and lack of parking.

 

 

THE SOLUTION

 

Burnside & Associates' community outreach program was three-dimensional.  Our firm canvassed door-to-door, held community meetings, organized elegant and casual events, and mobilized hundreds of people to the Beverly Hills Planning Commission and City Council. The project was approved passed but then put to a city-wide referendum as Measure H.

 

Our contract was immediately expanded to include a sophisticated communications component to 28000 Beverly Hills voters- a website, newsletters, flyers and phone-banking with direct contact to 20,000 voters.  We also developed and executed a sophisticated Vote By Mail program, a massive Get Out The Vote operation for Election Day, and a targeted education/ persuasion campaign to Beverly Hills' large and influential Persian community.

 

The margin of victory was 129 votes, cast by the late vote by mail ballot holders -- two weeks after Election Day.

 

 

 

THE RESULT

 

Demolition and construction is underway.