Bethesda Metro Center
Brookfield Office Properties
As part of Bethesda, Maryland Downtown Sector Plan deliberations, Brookfield sought to gain approval for plans to transform Bethesda Metro Center into a welcoming gathering place featuring significant open space, outdoor retail promenades, improved Metro bus bays and a world-class office building. The company’s proposal drew strong, organized opposition from a well-resourced corporation whose headquarters were located close by.
Chesapeake was retained by Brookfield to develop an outreach strategy to gain support for the redevelopment plans. We chose to maintain a positive, upbeat approach throughout the campaign and did not engage with opposition messaging. Our multi-faceted campaign included direct mail, a strong digital and social media presence, media outreach and continual communications with the community through emails, event sponsorships and canvassing at the Bethesda Metro station. We produced a series of 45-second videos discussing the various aspects of the proposal to clarify areas of confusion. And when Brookfield partnered with the Bethesda Urban Partnership to commission a mural at the Metro station, Chesapeake organized a “Meet the Artist” outdoor lunch that drew hundreds of people and greatly increased our supporter base.
More than 300 support letters and a 250-signature petition were sent to local officials, resulting in strong approvals by the Planning Board and County Council.