Since 1983, Saint has specialized in mobilizing support for commercial real estate projects, overcoming community opposition & protecting market share.
We are the experts in Land Use Politics: The Saint Consulting Group specializes in winning zoning and land-use battles. Since 1983, as the climate for development has become increasingly fraught with opposition, we have assembled a staff of successful political strategists, media executives, and attorneys, who understand what drives decision-making in government, communities and the real estate marketplace.
All Land Use is Political
One of America’s most astute politicians once pined that “all politics is local.” In this new century, he would probably add “all land use is political.”
Throughout the United States and Europe, citizens are organizing to oppose all forms of new development projects — from shopping malls and office buildings to affordable housing and even churches. The “new jobs and new taxes” that developers traditionally promise no longer have the resonance they once enjoyed. Development is no longer synonymous with progress, nor is growth necessarily perceived as good.
Competition is Fierce
At the same time, many organizations now recognize the value of protecting their interests from highly aggressive competition. Businesses have discovered that it is more cost-effective to use zoning regulations to stop new market entrants than to compete with them after they’ve opened.
No Politician Will Risk His or Her Career For You
In all cases, local elected officials clearly understand that there is no political upside in approving projects that their constituents overwhelmingly oppose. Back room deals and promises made between developers and local officials fall apart when an elected official is faced with a room full of angry constituents or a vigorously curious reporter.
To be successful in this environment, a skillfully crafted and executed land-use campaign must generate widespread grassroots support and appropriate levels of targeted political pressure at critical points in order to win.
While there is a traditional belief among developers that there are advantages to using well-connected local law or public relations firms, this belief overlooks the reality that widespread grassroots support has become key to winning zoning and land-use battles. In this current climate, people with no local interests to protect can operate more professionally and get the job done more quickly.
Proven Record of Success
We have been in business since 1983. With more than 2,000 engagements completed across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, we have won more than 90 percent of the battles we’ve been called upon to fight.
We welcome your questions and comments about what you are experiencing in your industry and territory, and what we can do to help.
Their field organizers are highly effective and efficient as they
reach out to engage concerned citizens in the local decision
making process. The result is a more informed resolution
that benefits the community.Jim Lanard, Managing Director, Deepwater Wind
The Saint Consulting Group leadership team are experts in Land Use Politics.
Extremely well-versed in mobilizing support, overcoming community opposition and protecting market share, this team has an over 90% win rate for clients in commercial real estate permitting and market share defense.
P. Michael Saint | Chairman
Michael Saint is founder and chairman of The Saint Consulting Group, the world’s largest and most experienced firm in the new management consulting discipline of land use politics. He is co-author of the book, NIMBY Wars – The Politics of Land Use, published in 2009. He also penned the forward on “So What? Measuring and Assessing Strategic Communication in Land Use Politics”, written by Owen Eagan, published in 2013.
After a career in journalism, politics and public relations, Mike founded The Saint Consulting Group in 1983 in Massachusetts. Today, it serves clients from five offices in the United States and international affiliates in Toronto, Vancouver, London and Berlin.
A graduate of Holy Cross College with a degree in political science, Mike earned his master’s in business administration from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. He has done additional study at the University of Chicago Business School and at the Harvard Business School.
Mike is past president of the Nashville Opera Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Management Consulting Firms in New York and currently serves on the ULI Nashville District Council Governance Committee. He previously served as a trustee on the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Consulting and Management Inc. and as a board member of the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Mike has been a guest lecturer at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, the Cornell Baker Program in Real Estate Distinguished Speaker Series, the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University and Hult International Business School in Cambridge. He is the author or co-author of articles published in Land Development magazine, Urban Land magazine, Shopping Center Business, the Stone, Sand and Gravel Review, REBusiness Online and Design Intelligence magazine and ADITBrasil Planned Communities.
He has addressed the International Council of Shopping Centers Conference on Open-Air Centers and its ReCON Global Retail Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas, the Commercial Retail Council of the Urban Land Institute, the Missouri Limestone Producers Association, the Government Affairs Committee of the National Sand, Stone and Gravel Association, the Ontario Sand, Stone & Gravel Association and the Pennsylvania Gaming Congress and Racing Forum, ADIT Brazil COMPLAN 2014 and other international, national and regional business organizations.
Patrick Fox | President & CEO
Patrick Fox has been with Saint Consulting since 1998, serving as project manager, division manager and vice president before becoming company president.
Patrick has managed or consulted on hundreds of land use projects across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, adapting state-of-the-art grassroots political campaign techniques to win controversial land use battles. He is co-author of the book,NIMBY Wars – The Politics of Land Use.
Patrick developed the Saint Index, the world’s only international survey that quantifies and analyzes opposition to development, which has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Development Magazine, Business 2.0, Electric Perspectives, Health Facilities Management, Rock Products and many other media.
Patrick earned an MBA from Northeastern University and has completed additional programs at Harvard, MIT and Harvard Business School. His experience includes work on more than 100 political campaigns, management of a U.S. Congressional office and a government relations consulting firm. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers.
He has addressed the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Conference on Open-Air Centers, Eckert Seamans’ Panel on International Business, The Canadian Gaming Association, the AFL-CIO, ICSC Centerbuild and the annual WasteCon conference, among others, and served on the Urban Land Institute Advisory Panel for Springfield, Massachusetts.
Patrick, his wife and two daughters reside in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Paul Salvucci | Chief Financial Officer
Paul Salvucci joined The Saint Consulting Group as CFO in 2008 and manages the financial, tax, audit, risk and related compliance activities for the company.
Most recently, Paul served as CFO and managing partner for the Wilmark Group, a professional staffing firm specializing in the scientific and technology disciplines. His other work experience included CFO at TAC Worldwide, controller for the Worldwide Services organization at Computervision/Prime Computer, and auditor at PriceWaterhouse.
Paul’s work experience has involved multinational expansion, including the start-up of operations in Western European countries while at Computervision and TAC Worldwide.
Paul is an MBA graduate of Babson College and earned his CPA designation while working at PriceWaterhouse in Boston. He is a member of the Boston Treasurer’s Club, Financial Executive Institute, Boston Chapter, and past board member and treasurer of the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA.
Paul enjoys Cape Cod history and activities. He and his family reside in Needham, Massachusetts.
Courtney Graziano | Senior Vice President & Director of Saint Digital
Courtney Graziano joined Saint Consulting in 2013. Her specialties include creative communications, web-design, social media and multi-channel marketing campaigns. In addition, she has developed digital strategies for several multi-billion dollar projects using cutting edge techniques the leverage the integration of web and mobile platforms.
Prior to joining Saint, Courtney worked as a web developer for a local marketing firm, producing websites and digital campaigns for shopping and retail centers in the Mountain West. Having spent eight years in fundraising for regional and national non-profits, Courtney has a deep understanding of marketing tactics that have helped raise over $3 million from small-dollar donors. Courtney was the field director for Middle Tennessee during the 2006 Harold Ford Jr. for Senate campaign and was the only field staffer to reach her vote goal.
Courtney received her undergraduate degree in American Studies and Political Science from Vanderbilt University and her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. She serves on the leadership team for the Vanderbilt Alumni Association in Colorado.
Courtney lives outside of Denver, Colorado with her husband, young son, and dog.