Honey Locust Square under construction
It started several months ago with a letter from Mayor Joe Ganim, followed up by other community stakeholders urging M&T Bank to open a branch in the East End, a banking and food dessert. Things are finally brightening for the neighborhood as a bank branch will be a featured tenant at local developer Anthony Stewart’s Honest Locust Square along the Stratford area corridor. It will join a supermarket, health care facility, pharmacy and restaurant.
News release from M&T Bank:
M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB) today announced that it will open a new branch in Bridgeport’s East End neighborhood. The branch will be located on Stratford Avenue between Newfield Avenue and Central Avenue within Honey Locust Square, a new retail development led by Anthony Stewart of Bridgeport’s Ashlar Construction LLC. The branch is expected to be completed in early 2024, pending regulatory approval.
The choice of location was made with meaningful input from Bridgeport leaders and community listening sessions. It is designed to address the city’s needs, specifically its East End and East Side residents. The 1,500-square-foot space will include access to a walk-up ATM and space for both teller transactions and meetings with M&T bankers.
The branch will be designated as an M&T Multicultural Banking Center. M&T has more than 100 Multicultural Banking Centers across its footprint, designed to serve its multicultural communities’ cultural and linguistic needs. These centers also create opportunities for businesses, nonprofits, and community members to attend networking events, financial literacy classes, collaborate on community projects, and more. The East End branch will employ bankers with the cultural and linguistic skills to serve the surrounding community.
“At M&T Bank, we believe that prosperous communities are the foundation of successful businesses – when our communities ask for something, we listen,” said Frank Micalizzi, Bridgeport Regional President, M&T Bank. “This new branch is just one more component of our ongoing commitment to the City of Bridgeport. We deeply appreciate the partnerships we have built with local leaders in the city, and we are excited to open this new branch and offer greater banking access and opportunity to all Bridgeport residents.”
“Today is an exciting day for the East End of Bridgeport. I applaud M&T bank for listening to the residents and small businesses on the dire need for a bank in the East End and delivering for the community,” said Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. “Their commitment to empowering our community with convenient and reliable banking options will undoubtedly enhance the economic opportunities and financial well-being of our residents, fostering a stronger, more inclusive future for all.”
“By actively engaging with our community, M&T Bank has stepped forward as a dedicated ally in prioritizing the financial well-being of all Bridgeport residents,” Bridgeport City Council President, Aidee Nieves added. “Providing access to banking services and financial guidance will help small businesses and individuals grow and improve economic stability for the entire community.”
“M&T Bank’s dedication to hiring from within the community ensures that our talented workforce can find fulfilling employment opportunities close to home while generating a positive ripple effect throughout the local economy,” said State Rep. Andre Baker, District 124.
Bridgeport is home to M&T’s New England Regional Headquarters, and the bank is one of the largest employers in the city. The new branch is the latest in a series of commitments M&T has made to Connecticut and its residents, which has included two new branches in Waterford and Newington, the launch of M&T’s second Multicultural Small Business Lab in Bridgeport, $6.45 million in grants to over 44 nonprofits across the state, and the support of small businesses, including through M&T’s Spotlight Shop.