HartfordTycoon

PROPOSED: Steel Point Harbor

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JUST about everybody likes a riddle, so here goes: What city, known in part for spectacular green spaces designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, was named by CNNMoney.com in November as one of the 20 housing markets nationwide that are likely to post the biggest home-price gains by 2011?

NY Times Bridgeport Article

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I personally think Bridgeport has a ton of potential strictly from a geographic standpoint. I've never actually visited, so I don't have personal experience. I would like to at least visit for myself one of these days though.

Here is a link to the development's website and rendering.

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Steel Point Harbor

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If Bridgeport continues to add residents as the article says, then I can see it remaining the largest city for a long time.

Edited by drc72

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First, I'll believe it when I see it, if there is one city that is managed worse than Hartford, it's Bridgeport. Second, they did make a great move having the Urban Land Institute go in and design some ideas for the city. I got my hands on one of their magazines a few years ago, and I read it cover to cover. Greta mag, if the organization is anything like their publication, Bridgeport may have a bright future. Like Tycoon said, Bridgeport has a million assets that it hasn't used to date, if it starts to use them, look out. But, I'll believe it when I see it....

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bridgeport started to make a pretty major turnaround before joe ganim got too tied up with his buddies. after that and the trial and conviction, things went back to the way they were. there's a ton of potential for businesses to go there rather than stamford and for the city to really build on the arts and cultural happenings, which are somewhat decent there. i used to work in bridgeport and dated a girl who lived there. the more urban neighborhoods have a lot of potential, as does downtown, that just isn't being met. with 3 colleges nearby, you'd think there'd be more influence, but it just isn't seen. sacred heart, though half in bridgeport, doesn't want anything to do with the city and has signs on the highway that send you the longer way through fairfield rather than through bridgeport.

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There is a lot of development going on, most of it aimed at young professionals priced out of the Fairfield county market. Many have discovered the neighborhoods that border Fairfield like Black Rock and Brooklawn but the most exciting changes are happening downtown and on the southside. The Southside is a unique area because it is an urban environment with easy access to transit(train, ferry, and bus station) yet it is on the water next to the beautiful Seaside Park(designed by Franklin Law Olmsted). There are many problems to overcome. There is a lot of blight that needs to be cleaned up. The Marina Village housing project is in that area. And you need to pass under I-95 to travel from downtown to the Southside. They are thinking about creating a bus that runs directly from the train station to Seaside Park linking up the arena, Community College, University of Bridgeport, and housing. And the University of Bridgeport is there with a large, international student body and I think they have some type of shuttle bus for their students. In that area developers are converting the old Warnaco factory into lofts, some of the buildings are finished and sold out already.

www.loftsonlafayette.com

It also looks like they are going to turn the old Remington shaver factory into a condo development as well. That site is next to the park and would have views of the Sound.

In downtown they are renovating the city trust building, Bijou Square, and the arcade hotel. The new bus station is being constructed, I noticed they are building a walkway from the train platform to the bus station. I am waiting to hear news about the proposed high speed ferry to Stamford and lower Manhattan.

The NY Times article mentions that the city just needs one more parcel for the Steel Point project. I

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Westport property management recently released their plans for the old Remington plant site on the South End. It is impressive. They want to build over 1200 units of housing. They plan to build five towers and fill in the rest of the space with townhouses. The site is next to the water, residents would have great views of the sound. It is also next to Seaside Park and UB. Fabrizi is out, he isn't going to run again so we have to wait and see what knucklehead they get to replace him. Hopefully the city won't do anything to screw up this project.

And I also read recently that they are coming along with the Bijou Square project downtown. Two Boots Roadhouse is going to open there next month. I did a quick search online and I found some bands are already booked to play there. When I originally heard that they were trying to get Two Boots from New York to open up in Bport I thought that is a great idea but in the end it won't happen. I am very happy to be wrong. The Hartman brothers, the owners, have deep ties to the art scene in NYC. They also own Mo Pitkens House of Satisfaction which is a cabaret/restaurant. They book all kinds of bands from indie rock to salsa to burlesque, so this can potentially be a big plus for the entertainment scene downtown. Keep an eye on this place, it is going to change a lot of people's perception of downtown. It is next to Murphy's Law which is already the bar to pregame for hockey/baseball games. Further west on Fairfield Avenue there are a few college bars so I

Edited by doz180

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Turbana, the fourth largest importer of bananas in the nation, will be leaving Bridgeport next year. They claim increased costs are forcing them to move out of Connecticut(probably to Philly but they haven't said officially). They use a refrigerated warehouse and increasing electricity costs are really going to hurt them. It is also believed that they plan on using larger ships which would make operating in the sound more difficult. The dredging of the harbour won't be completed for five more years.

Some more good blue collar jobs down the drain.

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Turbana, the fourth largest importer of bananas in the nation, will be leaving Bridgeport next year. They claim increased costs are forcing them to move out of Connecticut(probably to Philly but they haven't said officially). They use a refrigerated warehouse and increasing electricity costs are really going to hurt them. It is also believed that they plan on using larger ships which would make operating in the sound more difficult. The dredging of the harbour won't be completed for five more years.

Some more good blue collar jobs down the drain.

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The new bus station will have:

Several months after the station opens, it will also be equipped with a state-of-the-art technology that allows for real-time tracking of all the buses. The status of all the vehicles will be followed, in order to cut down waiting time for passengers. People who arrive early can use the Wi-Fi system to run their laptops.

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www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/realestate/commercial/01bridge.html?ref=business

Another article in the New York Times about development in Bridgeport. They mention that the Pequonnock site is going to be developed by the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund. That is the 11 acre site next to Harbor Yard Arena south of downtown. They are planning a mix of residential, retail, a movie theater, and a hotel.

They also mention how there are still boarded up buildings on the downtown section of Main Street. Especially the area before you pass route 8, once you pass route 8 going towards St. Vins it gets a lot better. A reminder that Bport has a long way to go.

I found this to be interesting:

Residents of neighborhoods with the largest minority populations spend an estimated $122 billion a year on retail purchases, according to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a nonprofit organization founded by Michael E. Porter, a Harvard Business School professor. But the group estimates that an additional $40 billion could be spent in these neighborhoods if there were more stores and restaurants.

The limited competition means that inner-city investment is actually less risky than suburban development, said K. Robert Turner, who established the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund in 1999 with Earvin Johnson, who was known as Magic when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The developer of a shopping center in a retail-saturated suburb is speculating that people will want to shop there, Mr. Turner said. By contrast,

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www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/realestate/commercial/01bridge.html?ref=business

Another article in the New York Times about development in Bridgeport. They mention that the Pequonnock site is going to be developed by the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund. That is the 11 acre site next to Harbor Yard Arena south of downtown. They are planning a mix of residential, retail, a movie theater, and a hotel.

They also mention how there are still boarded up buildings on the downtown section of Main Street. Especially the area before you pass route 8, once you pass route 8 going towards St. Vins it gets a lot better. A reminder that Bport has a long way to go.

I found this to be interesting:

Residents of neighborhoods with the largest minority populations spend an estimated $122 billion a year on retail purchases, according to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a nonprofit organization founded by Michael E. Porter, a Harvard Business School professor. But the group estimates that an additional $40 billion could be spent in these neighborhoods if there were more stores and restaurants.

The limited competition means that inner-city investment is actually less risky than suburban development, said K. Robert Turner, who established the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund in 1999 with Earvin Johnson, who was known as Magic when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The developer of a shopping center in a retail-saturated suburb is speculating that people will want to shop there, Mr. Turner said. By contrast, “we are fulfilling existing demand,” he said. “We’re not trying to create a market.” Among the fund’s principal investors are the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and the New York City Employees’ Retirement System.

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I've been trying to explain this to many people for a long time. It's the truth. Go to many other inner cities outside of CT and New England and compare the level of retail investment to what we have in CT's inner cities. In Atlanta for instance, they have pretty much everything in the Hood that they have anywhere else. From what I've seen there in communities poorer than Hartford, we are underserved in the city. It's almost like the developers in our area are blind to how much business they are missing out on by simply overlooking urban areas with high concentrations of minorities. The sad part is that it's currently a lose-lose situation that could easily be a win-win for the communities in question and the developers/corporations. Oh well, maybe they'll wake up soon.

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The problem with cities like Hartford and Bridgeport is that big box stores like to stay on the outside of them. At least New Haven has Ikea, but what else is there. You take a look at other cities though like White Plains or Boston or Providence to some extent or Worcester ... they have big box retail but it's mostly in the downtown nicer areas. In Bridgeport or Hartford, they're largely non-existant (or if they do, in the safer outskirts of the city ... like Route 111 just south of the Trumbull line in Bridgeport.)

Many companies do realize, they don't want to deal with high crime problems. And with cities like Bridgeport or Hartford where the populace honestly feel like there's little to no hope and never will be no matter what you do (unless it's a night and day instant change), there's seemingly no pride there ... and that for some odd reason gives people free pass to trash the place and make things worse "in order to survive"

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very good point. you don't have to go as far as atlanta to see this. in fact, it's been my experience here in providence that the most walkable neighborhoods are the lower income neighborhoods. the neighborhoods that people tend to consider "bad" and "scary". philly is the same way. and if people think bridgeport is bad... they should watch philly news for a day.

i'm sometimes amazed by certain parts of various cities (certain neighborhoods in providence included) that have a huge dense population, but almost no businesses. i think businesses and developers are afraid of crime that is generally exaggerated by people who don't have a whole lot of direct experience with the area. what they should realize is that though the neighborhood might look "rough" and dirty, if the residents see that people actually want to serve them, they'll have more pride and help clean it up and do more community policing.

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The problem with cities like Hartford and Bridgeport is that big box stores like to stay on the outside of them. At least New Haven has Ikea, but what else is there. You take a look at other cities though like White Plains or Boston or Providence to some extent or Worcester ... they have big box retail but it's mostly in the downtown nicer areas. In Bridgeport or Hartford, they're largely non-existant (or if they do, in the safer outskirts of the city ... like Route 111 just south of the Trumbull line in Bridgeport.)

Many companies do realize, they don't want to deal with high crime problems. And with cities like Bridgeport or Hartford where the populace honestly feel like there's little to no hope and never will be no matter what you do (unless it's a night and day instant change), there's seemingly no pride there ... and that for some odd reason gives people free pass to trash the place and make things worse "in order to survive"

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General Electric purchased $25 million in taxable bonds that will provide low-cost financing for an unnamed project downtown. The city is collecting proposals.

Fabrizi mentioned downtown north which is an area that really needs some help. Hopefully they are going to do something with the section of boarded up buildings close to Route 8 on Main Street.

Urban Green Builders has applied to build an 18-story apartment tower and renovate two historic buildings on Main and Golden Hill Street a few blocks from the train station. If the project happens it will be the tallest building in Bport. This is the same company currently working on the Citytrust and Arcade buildings.

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I found this snippet in the HBJ today.

Bridgeport takes another step for major waterfront development

Bridgeport has agreed to transfer a 50-acre waterfront site to a developer for a 1.2 billion dollar project that would include thousands of houses, a hotel, marina, shops, restaurants and night clubs. Mayor John M. Fabrizi calls the long-awaited Steel Point plan the greatest economic development project in the history of the city of Bridgeport.

The project is on the city's East Side.

A number of legal and procedural hurdles remain, including the creation of a special zoning district, the issuance of 195 million dollars in bonds, and City Council approval.

Officials say the development would take almost a decade to complete, create 20,000 construction jobs, 10,000 permanent jobs and 30 million dollars in annual tax revenue.

http://hartfordbusiness.com/news2943.html

Edited by Chessplayer

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That will be huge for Bridgeport. Let's hope it gets built, get some city revitalization going.

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This will be great for Bport. Wish it was Front Street though....

The project is a collaboration between three firms, including Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, of Beverly Hills, Calif., in which Johnson is a partner. During the news conference, which drew close to 200 people, Johnson said the initiative fit perfectly with the agenda of Canyon-Johnson to develop properties in underserved urban communities. "We are blessed at Canyon-Johnson to be able to come to your great city to work with you to create something that will be here many, many years

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Bridgeport has really turned around for the better.

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I just read that. It's amazing how people don't see the benefits of the development. This will do so much to raise Bport's profile if it goes through. Every development is not, nor can it be for everyone. This project aims to attract the type of residents Bport needs more of, period. I'd rather have something special there in the city as something for residents to possibly aspire to as opposed to building something that's affordable but cookie cutter in design and implementation. Work hard and you might be able to live there one day.

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