Ganim Negotiates Deal With Developer For East Side Housing Plan Previously Rejected By City Council

On the 2015 campaign trail, Joe Ganim criticized a Finch administration tax deal involving an East Side development that was also rejected by the City Council. Ganim on Thursday announced his own financial arrangement with the developer that he asserts is a better deal for the city. It will go before the City Council for approval.

When the City Council blowtorched Finch’s proposed 35-year tax abatement last year, one vote that Finch had expected in favor was East Side councilor Alfredo Castillo. Finch, in a fit of frustration after the vote, grabbed him by the back of the neck when the council meeting ended. Ganim and Castillo had a playful exchange Thursday afternoon reminiscing about that sticking-his-neck-out moment.

Castillo, Ganim
City Councilman Alfred Castillo with Ganim at development announcement.

More details on this from city Communications Director Av Harris:

Mayor Joe Ganim today announced a significant financial agreement that if approved by the Bridgeport City Council will clear the path for the second phase of the Crescent Crossings mixed housing development on the city’s east side. Mayor Ganim made the announcement together at the construction site with Todd McClutchy of JHM Financial Group, the developer of the project and was joined by several Bridgeport city councilors, members of the state legislative delegation, and Bridgeport Housing Authority Executive Director George Byers and members of the Housing Authority’s board of directors. As part of the agreement, the city will invest $1,250,000 in capital funds this year and $700,000 next year in improvements to the Crescent Crossings project, and the developers will forego their previously sought 35-year tax abatement that would have cost the city $8,000,000 in lost revenue over the life of the abatement. Instead, the $33,000,000 second phase of the construction at Crescent Crossings will bring the city an estimated $250,000-$300,000 (a year) in new revenue for the city.

“This agreement gives the east side of Bridgeport huge momentum for economic and housing development going forward and this is a great day for the city,” said Mayor Ganim. “Crescent Crossings will be a beautiful housing community and I want to thank the McClutchy family for working with the city to come to terms on an agreement that works for the city and its taxpayers and will be very profitable for these developers. This mixed use housing community is exactly the kind of residential development we want to see going forward and combined with the new train station on the east side it will be a very livable, walkable, desirable place to live!”

Developer Todd McClutchy said, “This is the second phase of a mixed-income housing development that will transform a once abandoned site into a vibrant, productive neighborhood that will enhance the City of Bridgeport while offering quality affordable housing to the entire community. We, along with our development partner, The Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport, would like to thank all of those who have worked hard over the past year to bring this exciting development about, including the Connecticut Department of Housing, Connecticut Housing Finance Authority and The City of Bridgeport, especially Mayor Ganim and his staff who have worked together with us over the last several weeks to finalize our plans.

In addition to city capital funds and their own private investment, the Crescent Crossings developers are also receiving significant state and federal funds including federal/state low income tax credits for developing affordable housing units. Two thirds of the 84 new units of housing in phase 2 of Crescent Crossings will be affordable housing, including approximately 25 former residents of public housing projects. As part of the agreement, Crescent Crossings must abide by the Bridgeport minority hiring ordinance and use project labor agreements for the hiring of workers. Phase one of Crescent Crossings for 93 units of mixed housing is under construction and should be complete by late summer 2016, with phase 2 set to break ground pending approval of the financial package by the Bridgeport city council. Planning for phase 3 of construction will begin later this year.



  1. Hey Jeff Kohut,
    Your man Mr. Ganim is listening to you. No housing for low-wage jobs!!!
    I guess he got your message wrong. He thought you were saying Mo’ housing for low-wage jobs!!!
    No wonder we will need that second train station to Stamford.

    1. I know for sure our City Council people in Black Rock (130th) will vote for this in a heartbeat. I think this deal sucks!
      177 units will pay less in property taxes than any Condo or Town house in Bridgeport’s history.
      Each unit will pay $2062 per year in property taxes under the new Ganim plan.
      This deal is a total liability for all the taxpayers in Bridgeport, city services alone will eat away much of that $2062. If you’re a member of the City Council, it’s your time TO HOLD THE LINE ON OUR TAXES!
      Table this project until you have tax numbers that are justifiable!

  2. I want to put an addition on my house. I will need approximately 4250K. This addition will increase my valuation and the amount of taxes I will pay will go up. My son will use the new train station to get to his construction job in NY. The following year I will need $125k for an in-ground pool. Let’s just give everyone what they ask for and let the taxpayers pay. I don’t believe this deal for one minute. It’s all bullshit.

  3. Every meeting our crooked Mayor has with a Developer should be live broadcast and recorded in plain public sight. How much do you all think he made off this handshake? Only time will tell.

  4. I DO NOT see see the private investment in terms of DOLLARS contributed by the McClutchy group. WHY is that missing? Generally speaking, I have been in favor of “helping” this project move forward without the city losing money in the long term. Based on Ganim’s dealings early on in his administration, I DO NOT TRUST HIM.

  5. This deal will not materialize. It is stupid, and in the present state/national economic environment, in the context of presidential and congressional elections, will be deep-sixed when aired publicly after the campaign season goes into full swing in Connecticut.

  6. Quentin: Are there any federal monies involved at any level, in any way, in this project? Any HUD $? Is the EPA involved in any way? On the train-station side, the federal DOT? The answer to your question will be available to you when you answer these questions. (I should have also mentioned the GA elections coming up this fall.)

  7. The article in the CT Post said one of the people Ganim credited for getting the deal done was Ed Adams. Ganim is either desperate to justify the hiring of Adams or else Adams threatened to arrest the McClutchy family for racketeering.

  8. We need to get over the notion subsidized housing is, in and of itself, economic development. It’s not.

    There were sound policy reasons for supporting the construction of a reasonable amount of subsidized housing but economic development is not one of them.

  9. Not bad, Ganim.
    My only observation is the project seems too one-dimensional with a lack of city planning perspective, no apparent mixed use or things like pocket parks, etc. too driven by public subsidy and perhaps a lost opportunity for better quality development. Then again, maybe I’m mistaken. I only know what I’m being fed here.

  10. Several legitimate points were made here by regular OIB readers. This project is government-subsidized housing. No matter what progressive sounding terms are used, it is not economic development. Will it actually pay property taxes or will payment be in the form of tax credits? Will these units be used to fulfill the requirement for replacement housing for public housing units that were eliminated such as Marina Village and FPV? What kind of ‘analysis’ will the city council conduct? What information will be provided?

  11. First, let me give a Happy Birthday shout-out, belated to Johanna Durgin, former city employee and DTC worker.

    Great job, Joe Ganim. I guess I was the only one on the blogosphere who knew Joe, would ultimately support the plan. If Ganim has improved the deal I say Bravo!!! I am at Barnum School right now and these apartments are looking gorgeous. There is concern at the school and neighborhood about who will ultimately be renting there and will it be a positive or negative. I say it will be a positive. I know it will further support the effort to rejuvenate the East side. This project will enhance the need for another train station for the state’s largest city in the wealthiest county in an area that will be seeing significant economic development over the next few years. It is imperative Ganim surround himself with positive people who will support these efforts. Bill Finch was responsible for getting the project started as well as Bass Pro, but Ganim is a sharp man and he will also enjoy many ground-breakings that have yet to be announced aside from the Cineplex and Hotel.

    I am hopeful and optimistic and if I were the Mayor, I would have supported this project also. Housing always spurs economic development and when downtown gets 1200 new units of housing, the downtown business climate will improve.


  12. “Ganim on Thursday announced his own financial arrangement with the developer that he asserts is a better deal for the city.”

    I do not have a communications director as the Mayor does, nor do I have others reporting on this specific activity, as OIB is doing. That aside, if this administration is going to show how PUBLIC INTEGRITY works (and at the same time show taxpayers how carefully money is allocated from CAPITAL sources as well as from OPERATING BUDGETS), perhaps there needs to be a “FORMER” and “CURRENT” snapshot of the funding, initial and subsequent, for the project. Certainly something like that has been done, even if only on the back of an envelope? And since we are in a new administration, let’s show in detail the math. And also the other City interests in this project in terms of supplying local jobs, meeting court-ordered or indicated unit replacement activity, etc.

    But why is the City using Capital funds that taxpayers borrow today and pay for, principal and interest, over the next 20 years as an “investment” in a private, for-profit project? Details, please? What do we own as pledged taxpayers, that will grow or balance the loan repay over time? Anybody? Time will tell.

    1. Tom, let’s not confuse a housing project with mixed-income housing. Some of these units will be for Marina relocation, others will be market-rate rentals. They are beautiful. Next door are two beautifully appointed schools, Waltersville and Barnum. I go to them often. I believe the East Side is about to get busy with lots of development and increasing the population will help local merchants and the train station. I might also add the homes built for Father Panic residents are well maintained after all these years. They were built crappy, but the people who live there take care of them. I am hopeful. Also, the area has the largest Victorian housing stock in the state. I am hopeful of some gentrification and people coming in to refurbish the homes and improve the community. Plus, I know Chris Rosario and other elected officials have plans for the East Main Street corridor. Yes, I am very hopeful and optimistic.

  13. Let’s take the $2,000,000 we are giving this carpetbagger and put it towards the deficit. He really does not need the $2 million. Who are they kidding, what person making good money is going to stay in a predominately section 8 building?

    1. Then there’s always the possibility of “creaming.” Skimming the good residents from housing citywide, leaving it bereft. That’s what happened when they built Coop City in the Bronx. Creaming drained most of the best residents from the rest of the Borough.

  14. It’s not law yet but it seems Bridgeport has traded a back-loaded tax abatement for a front-loaded investment of over $2 million. That’s not negotiation, that’s capitulation! Here’s the worst part: bonded money is the most expensive there is.
    I wonder what David Kooris thinks of this.

    1. Money raised through bonding has an expense, in addition to the actual dollars spent. The added expense is called interest. Today we may see interest is historically relatively inexpensive but it is still an expense.

      When the City borrows money it is generally done with bonds that are repaid over a 20-year period. (One exception was the 30-year term of the Pension Obligation Bond, that term we are only halfway through.) So borrowing needs to be restricted because of the actual expense and we should be sure we the taxpayers are getting something of equal or better value for our investment.

      In this case an investment of $2 Million would increase liabilities by that same amount, but what value will you place on the asset side? Will we own anything to increase City values? And $2 Million (at 3% interest) will cause the annual budget to increase as a debt repayment obligation almost $200,000 annually, thus making future operating budgets more expensive, long after we have forgotten why we originally borrowed the money. (The same objection for buying police cars with a five-year lifetime but payments over 20 years.)

      I know David Kooris found it disconcerting to discover Finch-Sherwood-Nunn et al. had moved over $900,000 of Capital funding from Office of Planning and Economic Development in November 2015 to pay off a debt for the Port Authority. Was that legal? Transfer of funds from Capital to Operating? Spending Operating funds of City taxpayers to settle obligation of a quasi-governmental group housed in City Hall? Is this being researched at this time? Anybody have more info? What has or will the CC say when they wake up to the importance of this? They are the watchdogs of transfers? Their turf has been disrespected and not a growl or bark has been heard. Time will tell.

  15. Rumor Mill: there was an audio file that accompanied the photo at top. In it City Councilman Alfred Castillo was heard to say “smiling is the best way to alleviate the pressure when Mayor Ganim is squeezing your neck and that’s I think this is a good deal for Bridgeport.”


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