The Rouse Company (Rouse), a leading, publicly-traded shopping center developer was competitively selected to redevelop the City of Coral Gables’ equipment yard. Rouse proposed a mixed-use development comprised of retail, office space, housing and a 4.5 acre park, all in keeping with the character and architecture of Coral Gables. However, the project faced opposition almost from the start and citizens collected signatures in an effort to push for a citywide referendum on the use of public lands.

MRD was retained by The Rouse Company to provide public relations services in support of the project.


Win approval to build the project.

Strategic Approach

Coral Gables residents pride themselves on the character and charm of its surroundings. Thus, quality of life issues index high among its residents. To that end, the public relations campaign highlighted the top-quality attributes of the project and the track record of excellence exemplified by The Rouse Company in all of its developments.

Tactical Implementation

The campaign consisted of media outreach, crisis management, community relations, partnership development, brand identity, influencer relations, Hispanic communication and special events.


The City won the referendum, allowing the City Commission to approve the project. Village of Merrick Park was built and opened in 2002. The opening received multiple media impressions from the consumer, financial, trade, lifestyle, real estate and entertainment media.