Fifield Companies has innovated through nearly every challenge in large-scale real estate developments over the past 40 years. The Chicago firm is in the early stages of the community engagement process for a large-scale Planned Development (PD) in Chicago’s Near North community.
The challenge: how do you engage with a community when the entire city is practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Fifield quickly devised a program for effective stakeholder outreach to take shape at a time when direct meetings were expressly prohibited. Using online teleconference tools, they engage local stakeholders digitally, allowing for a fully interactive engagement process closely resembling an “in person” meeting.
“We pride ourselves on our ability to adapt to nearly every situation, and this is no different,” said Steven Fifield, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fifield Companies. “Using digital tools and teleconference capabilities to engage stakeholders, we ensure these important discussions occur in a safe and healthy manner, and critically, engage an open and transparent engagement process.”
Now more than ever, innovation will be necessary to lay a strong foundation for Chicago’s economic recovery as the city eventually emerges from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Development is uniquely positioned to impact multiple economic sectors, including jobs creation, financial investment, and increasing a local tax base. Community engagement is a key element of any process and requires substantial planning and communications to ensure the successful outcome of any proposal.
Fifield continues to engage in productive discussions with neighbors and has begun to formulate plans for large-scale “virtual” community meetings hosting several thousand online “attendees” in the future, should circumstances require.