I visited Phil Kuchma, developer of Bijou Square, Thursday afternoon. If you’ve not seen what he’s done on Fairfield Avenue, check it out. He’s cleaned up an entire city block downtown. Good stuff.
The next phase of his redevelopment–ground-floor retail and housing rentals–is two months or so away from occupancy. He already has several commercial tenants lined up including hair salon, dry cleaners and wine shop. Holy Château Lafite! A wine store downtown. (I think I might move in.) Kuchma will have 62 two-bedroom, two-bath units and 22 one-bedroom units. The monthly rental prices range from $912 to $1313 for one-bedroom units to $1369 to $1676 for two bedrooms.
When the economy crashed a few years ago this phase of the project came to a halt. Several months ago Kuchma received financing through a Connecticut Housing Financing Authority/General Electric fund that revived the project. The project also includes renovation of one of the oldest movie houses in the country.
Lots of young professionals have relocated in recent years to the downtown Citytrust building and 881 The Lofts, eschewing pricey housing costs of lower Fairfield County. Bijou Square also includes Café Roma and Two Boots as part of downtown’s emerging dining options for new residents.
Visit downtown, tell your friends. Good eats there. Hey, it’s the weekend!
Walk And Talk
Grab your flashlights and dress in light-colored clothing. Mayor Bill Finch and Acting Police Chief Joseph Gaudett are scheduled to meet at the intersection of East Main and Arctic Streets tonight at 11 as part of the “Take Back Our Neighborhood Walks.” The walk will last roughly one hour. Next Friday it’s on to the intersection of Main Street and North Avenue. As the city experiences a spike in crime the mayor and chief are betting it’s better to stay visible.
We’re in the field testing the temperature of likely Dem primary voters. How’s Mayor Bill Finch doing against State Rep. Chris Caruso, Bridgeport Bluefish co-founder Mary-Jane Foster and former Finch administration official John Gomes? We’re also testing potential primary candidates in a group as well as direction of the city and top city issues. OIB is doing a multi-faceted poll, the first phase is complete, second one still in the works. We’ll share results when both are done. May not be completed for another week or so. Taking longer that I initially anticipated because of the two phases. One year away from a Democratic primary.
Who’s Brian K. Hill?