Martin Cadillac was a fixture in Westside of Los Angeles for more than 40 years. Situated at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive, the iconic five acre site was home to a third-generation family business that was well known and well-liked by the local community. When the Martin family announced their plan to demolish the property and redevelop it with nearly a million square feet of new development, the announcement was not met warmly by local community members or City Hall.
That’s when The Afriat Consulting Group was brought in to help manage the complicated and nuanced political and community dynamics of the project. Located directly across the street from a future Expo Line station, the project, which included residential, office and retail uses, was the epitome of a well-planned transit oriented project, however, when locals looked at the project they saw construction, traffic and the loss of a well-regarded local business.
The Afriat Consulting Group helped the project team recalibrate their political and community strategy upon being retained. The orientation of that strategy shifted from talking about why the project was great to why it was great for the community and the future of Los Angeles. ACG worked closely with numerous community groups, including the local Neighborhood Council, and garnered significant support for the project.
The local Councilmember, despite broad community and stakeholder support, was still nervous about the project as it went through the entitlement and hearing process. It would be the largest project approved in the Council District since he took office, and likely the largest project he would ever have direct influence over. Working closely with the Councilmember and his staff, along with officials in the Planning Department, The Afriat Consulting Group devised and implemented a strategy that would allow the local Councilmember to feel comfortable supporting the project. When it was before the full City Council for its critical and last vote, the local Councilmember offered a 10 minute, passionate and heartfelt speech in support of the project, which was then approved by the full City Council and is now under construction.