Forum On Downtown Theater Redevelopment Rescheduled To April 17

theater forum

UPDATE, rescheduled from March 13 to April 17 as a result of impending storm. The city’s selected developer to revitalize the long-shuttered Downtown theaters will host a forum April 17  to explain the development process and timeline that includes restoration of the Majestic and a major housing component. It will take place 3 p.m. at Margaret Morton Government Center, 999 Broad Street. Contractors and suppliers are invited. The forum will be presented by the city’s Small & Minority Business Office.

artist rendering Poli
Artist rendering of Downtown theater proposal.

Last June Craig Livingston, managing partner of the Manhattan-based commercial real estate firm Exact Capital Group joined city officials to announce a $400 million redevelopment of the shuttered and nostalgic Poli and Majestic theaters Downtown that includes a performing arts center, entertainment and sports venue, preservation of the Savoy Hotel into 200 rooms, two 18-floor towers across the street, with retail and underground parking, that would become the tallest buildings in the central business district, and another 10 floors of housing units on Housatonic Avenue.

Livingston has projected a groundbreaking late this year for the first-phase theater restoration. The project has its skeptics. It’s anticipated that Livingston will provide an update on the financing of the project.

Exact Capital’s portfolio includes the ongoing $178 million redevelopment of Harlem’s Victoria Theater, that’s experienced its share of starts and stops. See details here.

Majestic external
The theaters back in the day.

Sylvester Poli, a renowned sculptor in New York, launched Bridgeport as a respected theatrical community circa 1920 via construction of his architectural treasures that combined for roughly 6,000 seats. The biggest Broadway stars of the era such as Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson performed in Bridgeport. The 100-room Savoy Hotel, whose sign is still a feature on the vacant building, was part of the complex.

Shuttered for more than 40 years, a solicitation for development proposals was issued in January 2017. Economic Development Director Tom Gill said advancement of Downtown North redevelopment projects spurred interest in the twin gems. For old-time Bridgeport residents they represent an era when the city was a magnet for Broadway’s theater and pageantry.

Other details, according to the developer, include:
— The Majestic Theater will be renovated and reopen with 2,200 seats for use by local and regional performing arts groups that will be deeded by the City of Bridgeport

— Rehabilitate 3 first floor retail spaces for goods and services complementary to the renovated Savoy Hotel

— Renovate and restore the former Poli Palace entrance to original historic condition that will serve as an entrance to the renovated Savoy Hotel

— Use a portion of the Poli Palace Theater as gym or healthy lifestyle venue

— Use a portion of the Poli Palace as a ballroom or entertainment venue for hosting banquets, weddings, graduations, galas, conferences, etc.

— Rehabilitate Savoy Hotel to modern hotel standards

— Construct a new residential tower ranging from studios to 3-bedroom apartments with private terraces.

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15 comments

  1. Fantastic! I will let the dream killers cast a black cloud over this project. Hopefully they will have financing and do the housing simultaneously with the theater renovations. Market rate housing is necessary and will support the venue as well as other struggeling businesses. The housing will be the incentive to get retailers to take all of the beautifullly renovated retail space currently available. Keep the ball rolling!!!! Local minority business involvement is a homerun.

  2. City Hall has been talking about rehabbing the theaters since Laura Palmer was killed on “Twin Peaks.”

    This is the sort of development we should be excited about, not an imaginary casino, not an amphitheater that is years away from shovels in the ground.

    1. she was a cocaine addict, prostitute, fetish model and she a wonderful daughter very involvd in her community and just a nice all around schizophrenic. Thanks for the Memory. 1990’s?

          1. Dial back the name calling, Steven. You don’t like it when someone calls you an asshole even though you fit the criteria. Don’t dishit out if you can’t take it.

  3. Bridgeport kid you too are an asshole as most will agree. though Lisa P. doesn’t think you are because she looooves you! ass. Maybe thats what we have in common. We are both assholes and you are also a degenerate. That everyone will attest to. Yo can say what you will. Afterall you are a star on OIB . I however have a fanclub that actually think you are the lowest form of life. Your fan club- not so sure. Dial back the name calling? you are totally vomitous to me . You cntinue with your slaps to a friendly response – You posted Laura Palmer on Twin Peaks I responded. Simple and harless and then there you go again being a pathetic loser that you are and always will be. I would have no problem with Lennie banning me from this blog because he apparently has let you cotinue and erases my posts.He loves your ass !

    1. That’s life, Stevie.

      You must not hate your brother in your heart. You must surely reprove your fellow citizen so that you do not incur sin on account of him. You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

      — Leviticus 19:17-18

      1. Though I appreciate your new found religiosity and ability to quote Leviticus. I do not believe you believe anything you quote. You were a Republican now a die hard liberal. I appreciate that part.

    1. Steven,

      Back in high school days you must have been smacked around by the varsity jocks because you were a neo maxi zoom dweebie. Now, go get your shinebox…

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