City Banking On Steelpointe Harbor Revenue

Steelepointe Harbor site map
Aerial of Steelepointe Harbor site map.

How much moolah has the city received so far from the developer of Steelpointe Harbor to revitalize the East Side? About $1.2 million, according to City Communications Director Brett Broesder.

Mayor Bill Finch last spring signed the property transfer documents over to the RCI Group, developer of Steelpointe Harbor, that now controls 12 acres on Stratford Avenue slated for construction of the Bass Pro Shops, Starbucks and Chipotle. RCI principal Bob Christoph announced last week a fall 2015 opening for those businesses. He added concrete pouring for Bass Pro will commence this week.

“In return the city has received a $1,222,400 payment from the developer,” says Broesder.

Steelepointe Harbor, if the 10-year buildout is completed, will include nearly three million square feet of retail, office, restaurants, hotels and residential spaces including approximately 1,400 apartments and condominiums.

At roughly $100,000 an acre, the land disposition agreement between the city and RCI Group calls for payments to be made to the city based on performance measures.

“Once the Steelpointe Harbor project is complete, it is projected to bring in $18.5 million of tax revenue annually for the city,” says Broesder.

Finch, Pacacha, Simpson
Finch, left, signed the transfer documents to the developer in the spring. At right, Associate City Attorney Ron Pacacha and paralegal Shakira Simpson.

In the short term the city expects to receive in 2015 another $850,000 for waterfront parcels with $500,000 dedicated to waterfront public infrastructure improvements per agreement. Another $1.8 million is expected for the former United Illuminating parcel in 2015.

OIB has also requested from the city an estimated timeline for future tax payments associated with the development.

Last week, Finch and Christoph announced Starbucks and Chipotle as the latest additions to the redevelopment of the East Side joining mega outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops.

The state authorized the issuance of $22 million of tax increment bonds by Connecticut Innovations Incorporated, a development arm of the state, in support of the construction of a Bass Pro Shops retail facility and related improvements. The total project cost is estimated at $68.5 million–-$22 million financed from the proposed sales tax TIF and $9 million for grant-in-aid funding to finance construction and infrastructure improvements that are underway.

Starbucks and Chipotle rendering.
Starbucks and Chipotle rendering.

The development of Steelpointe Harbor has been broken out into four phases of development, according to Broesder. The first phase includes everything north of Stratford Avenue with a retail focus. The second phase includes everything west of East Main Street, a mixed development including retail, hotel, and residential. The third phase of development includes the south side of Stratford Avenue and east of East Main Street, which is also mixed use including hotel and residential space with retail on the ground floor. The fourth phase includes restaurants, additional residential property and a park.

Concurrent with these four development phases, the waterfront will be built out with marinas and public access, says Broesder.

Steelpointe Harbor
Rendering of SteelPointe Harbor.


  1. Thank you for chasing down financial info that does not seem to be requested by those sitting on the City Council.

    While you are at it, perhaps someone might begin to put together the history of what was standing there, occupying the space, and paying taxes or not to the City when the first project there was contemplated. Little by little, property was acquired (at a cost, to whom, from where) and taxes formerly paid were foregone (how much). Today as money is returned to the City at $100,000 an acre or whatever, it will be interesting to see how long it takes us to get the City back to NET ZERO. We understand the majority of taxes raised in this district will not count against City investment for many years to come. Amidst all the excitement, it is good to keep a close eye on the flow of money from taxpayers to outside parties acting in their own interests. That is a critical matter. Time will tell.

    1. JML, as to your question what was standing there prior occupying space and paying taxes, hundreds of homes. Most were occupied by blacks and Latinos who were forced to move under the threat of losing their homes by eminent domain.

      My nephew’s grandparents lived in their home for 30 years and were forced to move and were paid the value of their home then and not what the land was worth to a developer.

      1. Naturally the POWER of government was used to dislocate residents and businesses for the GREATER GOOD, or some such reason with rewards coming down the road. Was the cost or expense considered in financial terms?
        Expenses included the loss of annual taxes for the time period the property had no taxpaying owner.
        Included, the money paid to owners for their property interest.
        Included, the legal costs of fighting those who felt their values were not fairly calculated.
        Included, the cost of interest when borrowed funds were used to accumulate the parcel for such a site.
        Did the plans, large and small, cost any funds from City taxpayers?
        Now there has been the situation where the City has title to all the property and pays no taxes for those years and thus the property has been subsidized by the rest of us whose property is part of the Net Taxable Grand List at 100% of valuation.

        If we are closing in on the “sweet part of the Steele deal,” shouldn’t we assess what it has cost us to get here? And shouldn’t we acknowledge the small stream of net revenues coming to the City for decades into the future? Does anyone know what happens to the numbers if development halts for one or more reasons or if commercial success is lacking for some reason? I suspect a City that has not been successful in placing real risks with those getting rewards in past deals (e.g. Solar at Seaside) may have retained the downside in other dealings where the other party gets the rewards and is otherwise protected. Would you like to see an illustration of how the City is protected no matter the hiccup? Time will tell.

  2. It is difficult to refrain from cynicism when the summary is provided by the mayor’s minister for public enlightenment. Perhaps there is an objective assessment available.

  3. Children make wishes and pretend promises. I hope I am wrong but I just can’t see the people who have money coming to the Park City to buy coffee or going to the Bass Pro Shops.

    1. Charlie, so it is fair to assume you see Bridgeport as a welfare city with no hope and expect North End, Black Rock to pay for every social service until we leave our homes and the Government makes more section 8 housing? You are a sad resident and you are very wrong.

      1. I live in reality, not OZ. The reality is the city survives by U.S. and State handouts. You want a vibrant city, then get businesses in here that are self-sustaining and do not need bribes to open up.

        1. Charlie, a business may take a pulse of the City, including this blog. They listen to the negativity and human misery and feel if this is the climate here we will move somewhere else. Just like one negative person in a company can really destroy morale. It is a very sad situation.

          1. Steve,
            Businessmen want to advance their business, and that means making a profit as well as adding to business value by making investments that are likely to improve profits and value.

            If potential businesses look at OIB or the City radio ads for that matter, they will look through the cheerleaders as well as the naysayers if they are wise. Successful businesspersons are more wise than most which is why they survive and prosper. They often strike when things look bleakest and where with few dollars invested they can use leverage for the big return. Is that the pattern of success you note in this City? Much of what you call negativity is a human and reasonable response to observing abuse of power by an administration that fails to follow Charter, Ordinances, appearances of conflicts of interest, maintenance of check and balance, etc. That is what the sad situation is about. The morale of citizens is destroyed and that is a terrible climate “politics” has created and against which opposition is forming. Time will tell.

          2. Steve: I have run businesses before and can assure you, business looks at all aspects. Return on investment, location, competition, and to be succinct the people who decide will the climate be business friendly or extortion. With the people involved with the process now, city and state, this is not the environment to place a business.

            I will give you a scenario why to avoid the state until summer. When Obamacare goes to the SCOTUS and if the court rules against reimbursement to states without state markets, the illegals will pour into those states with, e.g. Connecticut.

  4. “Once the Steelpointe Harbor project is complete, it is projected to bring in $18.5 million of tax revenue annually for the city,” says Broesder.

    That is after the 30 years of tax abatements run out. Talk about the time value of using OPM, Other People’s Money, OURS!


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