Viger Building & Train station: a real estate project developed with respect

Challenge

In 2005, Viger DMC International purchased two city blocks plus the former Viger hotel and railway station in Montréal in order to develop a real estate project that would include a luxury hotel, private residences, and businesses. Because the $400 million real estate venture was located in Old Montreal, its successful completion was subject to approval by shoreline residents, who could, if they so desired, demand a referendum on the topic, thereby putting the entire project at risk.

CASACOM was tasked with developing the media campaign. Stakes were substantial, both for the client and the entire City of Montreal.

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Strategy & Activities

Over and above tackling media relations, CASACOM was closely involved throughout the strategic stages of the Viger DMC International project to enhance the client’s appreciation of media relations in carrying out the project. CASACOM advised Viger DMC International with its choice of messages to ensure the unique features of the promoter’s proposal were front and centre. It provided an opportunity for the media and Viger partners, notably the City of Montreal and its boroughs, to establish an ongoing channel of communication as a sign of openness and transparency. Finally, CASACOM installed a proactive approach to ensure the client could anticipate any potential stumbling blocks.

Various activities that marked the years (community relations, open houses, press conference, interviews) were held in a spirit of openness and dialog. Between 2006 and 2008, 20 activities were organized for the shoreline residents.

Results

With such access to the information and to the promoters, we were able to pass all regulations obligations. In fact, nobody signified its opposition to the project at City Hall. As for the media, the results were clear: the consensus was positive as shown in a favourable editorial in the daily La Presse.

Note: the original project was suspended during the 2008-2009 financial crisis.