Kapahulu supermarket (O‘ahu)
When a supermarket chain decided to build its newest and largest store in Honolulu’s Kapahulu community, it faced the potential for opposition from neighborhood groups and activists of various kinds. The company asked CommPac to facilitate its collaboration with the community, finding common ground on issues such as traffic, parking and construction disruption. The goal was to make it clear to city decision-makers that the community had been fully consulted and its concerns addressed.
CommPac began by engaging community members to create a clear understanding of the project, identify concerns and potential mitigation measures, and build support. A complementary media-relations effort supported the community outreach. CommPac later handled all aspects of several media and promotional events for the store, including designing, hosting and maintaining a website.
Documentation of community outreach efforts and positive media coverage demonstrated to city officials that area residents supported the company’s plans. As a result, approvals and permits were granted and construction began. The store opened to wide acclaim a year later.
Kona development (Big Island)
A series of missteps and misunderstandings led to a situation in which the developer of a Kona project came under heavy fire and critical media coverage. The criticism was triggered by a suit by a member of the area’s Native Hawaiian community regarding the handling of iwi kūpuna (human skeletal remains) on the project site. (In the days before contact with the outside world, Native Hawaiians traditionally buried their dead in hidden places, and there is enormous sensitivity about the disturbance of “ancestral bones.”)
CommPac served as a neutral, third-party communications hub between the developer and the legally recognized “lineal and cultural descendants” of nā iwi kūpuna. CommPac also worked to position the project with key audiences so as to create a more positive public perception.
CommPac’s community building work moved the parties toward mediation, which resolved the outstanding issues and allowed the project to proceed.
Timeshare units in Waikīkī (O‘ahu)
A hotel wanted to develop timeshare units in Waikīkī but needed the community’s acceptance of the controversial project to get the required permits.
After listening to nearby residents’ potentially project-stopping concerns about the project’s effect on view planes, traffic, noise and dust, CommPac devised and implemented a strategic plan that generated better community understanding of the project. A particularly effective tactic was to take community members on tours of the project site to show them how their concerns would be addressed.
With the community mollified, the Honolulu City Council voted unanimously (9-0) to let the project proceed.