Downtown Holiday Inn Poised For Market-Rate Apartment Conversion

John Guedes, founder of Bridgeport-based Primrose development firm.

Construction was announced under Mayor Lenny Paoletta, opening as a Hilton brand under Mayor Tom Bucci in 1986, Bill and Hillary Clinton visited for a major fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Curry in 1994, and now it appears a sale is imminent to transform Bridgeport’s lone hotel, the Holiday Inn, into market-rate apartments under new owner John Guedes, a Downtown property owner and significant Shelton developer.

The hotel transitioned to a Holiday Inn under the ownership of the Trefz family. Some rooms will be set aside for extended-stay hotel suite guests but the majority converted into roughly 100 apartments tailored to millennial commuters, fully furnished, utilities included, according to Guedes.

No Downtown hotel, now what?

Developers of Steelpointe Harbor plan a hotel in the next phase of construction scheduled to break ground in the spring so depending on Guedes’ timeline the state’s largest city will forego an overnight destination for some time.

More from Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

Constructed in 1986 and purchased by the Trefz family in the mid-1990s, the hotel as of 2020 was assessed at $5.9 million and appraised at $8.5 million, according to municipal records. It is one of the few large gathering sites in Connecticut’s largest city and over the years has hosted numerous campaign functions, gubernatorial and mayoral speeches, business meetings and other civic and political events.

A Trefz spokesperson did not respond to multiple phone messages and emails from Hearst these past couple of weeks about the Holiday Inn’s future. However the company’s attorney, Raymond Rizio, in a statement Monday called the pending deal with Guedes an “attractive” one in part because of the developer’s willingness to maintain some of the hotel operations like the catering and event services.

Guedes said the facility had been losing money and that he began considering adding the property to his portfolio last April.

“There was a lot that went into this–the research (and) what we would need to do. Basically we’re investing $6.5 million to do the conversion,” Guedes said, adding, “The building is very well kept.”

Full story here.

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20 comments

  1. I get the understanding of the hotel is losing money and there’s no market for it. What kind of apartment are they going to be? How many? You would think they have to combine two rooms for each apartment. There has to be some sort of kitchen and living area. like a standard studio apartment. If so, it will cut down on the available Appartement and costly.

    But the project seems to be off.

    They are keeping the other operations on the first floor but converting the rooms into furnished apartments.
    The marketing as the furnished apartment is what threw it off. It almost sounds like they are converting the rooms into thin apartments with transformer furniture for space like they do in heavily dense populated cities where space is limited with some type of tight mine kitchen accessories against the bathroom wall.

    Basically changing the market strategy for daily occupant rental to a monthly occupancy rental It’s a strategy for a losing building with limited investment, I guess.

    If that’s the case, do both at the same time, convert one floor to see if there is a market
    for those young professionals millennials to take the train to New York (City). The millennials don’t like to pay bills.

    Why give up the market revenue stream in daily rentals until full occupancy of that millennial market.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daL7TkzyW7k&list=PL1WZky7MVeY_6H2ieeVKitXGd3npyPo-g&index=11

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  2. well it says the hotel hasn’t been doing well. The last time i was in there , the first thing that crossed my mine was ok clean but dated. I like the ideal of converting it to apartments . I believe it still has the gym. Possibly make that bigger ., but where are they going to park? Across the street garage? will have to pay a monthly parking fee?

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    1. Yeah if the hotel is not doing well, which they have taken a hit with the pandemic. But a furnished apartment is never of higher quality, especially in a poor urban city, utility/ other amenities I get,

      What is the market rate going to for this apartment with used furniture with every new occupant?

      Aren’t they building a new market-rate apartment building right down the road? I know those market rates are going to vary.

      I don’t think parking will be an issue, people who don’t have/want their own furniture likely don’t have a car. This is going to be a glorified Inn within years. Maybe there is a long-term plan to run it down to tear it down. Like you said it is outdated. You are literally talking about a bed set, couch, and a few other items as the marketing selling point. Apartments I get with utilities and amenities, but furnished apartments, something is off.

      People talk about affordable housing downtown this is what affordable market-rate housing is made of. A failing outdated hotel building converted to furnished apartments.

      Time will tell.

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  3. This is excellent news- Sorry for the naysayers. First, it is a real positive that Primrose is the potential owner. It protects his investment with the new Apartments going up down the th street. Market rate is necessary. The potential clients- The workforce in Stamford. The upside, Housing Housing Housing it the key component to make the downtown thrive. Life!! People to patronize the local eateries and recreational hot spots like the Stress Factory and Amphitheater. A real plus for the new Hotel on Steelepointe. No competition yet!! Expanding the Southend with housing and creating new neighborhoods and jobs. Great for Councilmen Jorge Cruz and his new partner Tyler Mack as well as the Eastend , Ernie Newton and is new Partner Wanda Simmons. Steelepointe.The South End and the Eastend have the ability to transform the City of Bridgeport.
    The entire city will benefit and of course not bad activity to have during the next election cycle.

    I can remember all of the years working in Stamford during the 80’s and 90’s. The downtown was just like Bridgeport . In a blink of an eye construction started and has been going strong ever since. Bridgeport has it all- The future is the new blood moving into the city and I am most grateful for that.

    I’d like to see a new Police Dept built and the current site made into nice hiighrise housing overlooking the Downtown . I am grateful for the visionaries who see the potential of Bridgeport. I wish John Gueddes and The Trefz family continued success. Maybe someone will take advantage of Prime North End Real Estate – The Former Stop and Shop. How this has been vacant for so long is unbelievable.

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    1. Stevie A. here’s the real reason those developers are rushing to Build now, to avoid the mandatory affordable housing plan by June 1st!

      Public Act 17-170 established a requirement that Connecticut municipalities adopt Affordable Housing Plans. PA 21-29 established an initial deadline of June 1, 2022 for municipalities to have adopted their first Affordable Housing Plans (an every five years thereafter). It also explicitly allows Affordable Housing Plans to be updated concurrently with Plans of Conservation and Development.

      PA 21-29 established an initial deadline of June 1, 2022 for municipalities to have adopted their first Affordable Housing Plans (and every five years thereafter) as required by CGS Section 8-30j. It also explicitly allowed Affordable Housing Plans to be updated concurrently with the Plan of Conservation & Development (for one of the two five-year periods within the 10-year POCD cycle).

      In 2020, the Connecticut Department of Housing announced the availability of grant funding on a first-come, first-served basis to support municipalities preparing Affordable Housing Plans. A second round of funding was announced in 2021 with an application deadline of August 31. Visit DOH’s site for full information.

      In partnership with the CT Department of Housing, Regional Plan Association prepare a guidebook for municipalities preparing Affordable Housing Plans.

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    2. Here we go again with Little Stevie A making his midnight drive bye on OIB. Little Stevie is under Mario and Joe
      control that he can’t post on OIB during work hours.

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      1. You are just pathetic.. Do you imagine you actually have a following that enjoys your Mario comments? Do people actually tell you they enjoy your negative comments? You are like a cancer. i think most people that actually read this blog would agree. Being a positive cheerleader for this city is something I am very proud of.. I wish there were more people like me on this blog.. The good news- those moving into the city actually love it here. I love it here and when I leave this city I will love coming back to visit. I have always embraced every corner of this city . People like you are living in the past – you can’t think outside the box and you shit on everything good happening in the city- You don’t like it move!!!

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  4. P.S, Shalom, I don’t expect you to answer my question, but you can put your pom-poms away, save them for an election cycle. 🙂

    People are opining on the report of the Port’s only, dated, hotel in the heart of downtown. There’s only so much you can do failed building like that other than raising it.

    I am sure replacing the Port’s outdated police building would be nice but maybe we should focus and start with rebuilding a stronger, better police force for its residents. Have you been following and reading the reports about it? Maybe we can satisfy both of your visionary outlooks for the Port and build that new police station on that old Stop and Shop site. You have been spot on with that pom-poms of yours.

    Peace out. 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGflUbPQfW8

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    1. Robert the answer is —— Primrose construction has skin in the game up the street with 91 market rate housing units under construction. Having the Hotel and investing in upgrades helps his properties maintain their value– it also gives other investors and developers a desire to join in. I will not Comment on the current state of affairs of the Police Dept. other than to say Most are amazing respectful and truly care. How lucky I am to have met many of them. As for the physical building- Well I have believed for some 10 years that the building needs to be raised because it is old and dreary – obsolete and needs major updating and Paint will not cut it. The site would be excellent in helping the city transition into the 21st century with upscale/Market rate housing expanding the downtown and creating yet another neighborhood. A new Police Facility would b great for Morale – help attract a new force and be a nice incentive to attract a new Police Chief. A new State of the art facility would also help bring many of the Police units under one roof. This i s my opinion – agree or not . As for Stop and Shop– Well needless to say I’d welcome the Police Department on that site.. I would prefer another supermarket– Interesting Retail or nice Condominium Town homes . What I can guarantee never happening there is a Public Storage no matter how they dressed it up. and try to sell it.

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        1. Salomo, Primrose is not the only company that got skin in the game downtown.

          I agree

          ” A10 years that the building needs to be raised because it is old and dreary – obsolete and needs major updating and Paint will not cut it. The site would be excellent in helping the city transition into the 21st century with upscale/Market rate housing expanding the downtown and creating yet another neighborhood”

          Twhich goes to my and others points about the decaying dated building and the renovations as a furnished apartment.

          So why did you feel the need to apologize for the naysaying”

          I also agree

          A new Police Facility would b great for Morale – help attract a new force and be a nice incentive to attract a new Police Chief. A new State of the art facility would also help bring many of the Police units under one roof” for those officers who are amazing and respectful and truly care for the city.

          I want to say sorry for the naysayer about Pubic Storage in the North End of city

          I would go on but Lennie has editorially rights. 🙂

          P.S mazel tov on the city job. 🙂

          http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/rev-lee-protests-tribute-reversal-mayors-office-cites-misunderstanding-thanks-her-for-service/

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