Freimuth Appointed Hartford Regional Development Chief

Mike Freimuth
Mike Freimuth

Mike Freimuth, who served as Bridgeport’s economic development director for many years, has a new position. He had been development chief in New
Rochelle, New York. From Governor Malloy:


(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the Capitol Region Development Authority (CRDA) announced today that the CRDA Board of Directors has voted to appoint Michael W. Freimuth of Fairfield to head the agency.

“Hartford’s legacy as a busy center of commerce and entertainment is history worth repeating, and CRDA will be at the forefront of that effort,” said Governor Malloy. “With Mike at the helm, we have the leadership in place to revitalize our Capitol region. His extensive background in economic development will be a strong asset to the organization.”

Freimuth, 57, is the Commissioner of the Department of Development in New Rochelle, New York, where he directs a multi-division economic development organization that oversees housing, planning and zoning, and transportation. As Commissioner, he manages large-scale urban waterfront redevelopment projects and transit-oriented development. Prior to becoming Commissioner, Freimuth headed the Office of Economic Development in Stamford, where he negotiated major commercial and residential projects and was responsible for business retention and recruitment. He also directed the Office of Planning and Economic Development in Bridgeport, where he created the Bridgeport Port Authority, managed the development of a $100 million sports and entertainment complex, and undertook other major development initiatives.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience to CRDA and we welcome his expertise and talent,” said Suzanne Hopgood, Board Chair of CRDA. “We are aggressively working to re-establish the Capital City and surrounding locales as great places to live and work–to that end CRDA is pursuing housing initiatives, venue development, tourism, and other projects that will highlight all that the area has to offer. Mike’s past economic development work and his ties to the Hartford business community will be critical to reaching our goals.”

“I am honored to join the Board and staff of CRDA,” said Freimuth. “Under the leadership of Governor Malloy and Commissioner Catherine Smith, Connecticut has really re-engaged in their economic development efforts. Re-imagining the potential of the Hartford, East Hartford, and surrounding communities is the first step to building beautiful, lively spaces that attract businesses and their workers. I look forward to working with CRDA, state and local officials, and business leaders to make this vision a reality.”

Established by the legislature last June, CRDA is engaged in a multi-pronged effort to attract business and bolster economic growth in the Capital area. CRDA is moving the management of major regional assets–Rentschler Field, the Convention Center, and Adriaen’s Landing–under one umbrella, and through coordinating marketing and venue development, will attract new investment, housing, and business to the region. The organization launched a nationwide search for the executive director in July 2012.

Freimuth has a Masters in Public Administration and Public Finance from George Washington University and lives with his wife and children in Fairfield, Connecticut. He is expected to begin October 1.



      1. At least my candidates are trying to change things here in Bridgeport; yours are part of the problem. You must have a city job because you are starting to sound like a Finch toady. Good for you, anna.

    1. Andrew C Fardy: Every comment you make is so negative and critical. Is there anyone alive who can meet your standards enough to garner a positive statement from you? You never have a compliment or a kind word for anyone or anything.

      1. There are more than a few but they are not political ass kissers. People just don’t want to hear the truth. Let me tell you of my dealings with this guy.
        I was the FD arson investigator and was investigating an arson murder of an employee of Lacey Manufacturing. I spoke to the owner of the company about this employee and while talking he stated he is looking to leave Bridgeport. I asked him why and he stated across the street there are a number of burnt-out abandoned buildings he has tried to get the city to do something about, all to no avail. He said that site hurts his business when he invited potential customers and old customers to his factory.
        I called Mike Freimuth up and told him about the conversation and that Lacey manufacturing is looking to move. His answer to me was screw them let them go. So did I lose respect for him then? Yes I did.
        Unlike a lot of people I was privy to a lot of information on a lot of people who put on one personality when in the public eye and another personality when they think no one is watching. Sorry if the truth upsets you and anna.

  1. Freimuth is a smart guy who knows how to play the political game. He cut his teeth in the Bronx under the tutelage of the late and former Bronx BP, Donald Manes.

    He was a decent city planner under Salsala. Always well liked and never ruffled any feathers including Joe Ganim’s. When he left Bridgeport the first time to go with the Bank Mart he headed up the South Gate project that went belly up with the bank and the banking crisis of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Ironically, Bank Mart’s South Gate project was the Sprague/Jenkins site the Trumpster bought for $300k in back taxes during the casino craze. This is where the Arena and Ballpark now sit. Freimuth was also a party to an MOU that was broken by Ganim for further development of the old Pequonnock Apartment and Underwood site.

    Here’s the rub. Freimuth couldn’t get shit done in Bridgeport. Was this his fault? NO! It just proves when you have locations like Stamford or New Rochelle you finish in front and in Bridgeport you wipe up the rear. Even Donald Neversley could have delivered the goods in those towns.

  2. I find it hard to believe Mike Freimuth would tell an irson Investigator for the BFD regarding Lacey Manufacturing “screw them, let them go.” Mike is well respected and very knowledgeable, he worked 12- and 14-hour days doing the best he could with what he had to work with. The loser comment is definitely not warranted. I served on the Redevelopment Commission for 11 years and never heard Mike speak in those terms. In addition, during my term on the commission we assembled numerous properties that were blighted across the street from Lacey Manufacturing so they could expand their business. I’ll stand by Mike Freimuth any day.

    1. You can take it to the bank Mike Freimuth uttered those words when I called him with the comments from the owner of Lacey Manufacturing. You may have eventually put together the properties involved but at the time the owner of Lacey expressed his thoughts on moving he was frustrated by the lack of action by the city. Demolishing these buildings that were fire damaged was a no brainer.


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