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Ganim, Ganim & Ganim, P.C.


Ganim Selects Developer To Revitalize Closed Downtown Theaters

June 15th, 2017 · 31 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events

Palace theatre

A look inside of one of the closed theaters.

Manhattan-based Exact Capitol has been chosen by Mayor Joe Ganim to revitalize the city’s shuttered Downtown twin gems. According to the company website “Exact Capital is a diversified real estate development firm built on more than three decades of experience (and) principally engaged in the acquisition, finance, development, and management of mixed use residential and commercial real estate.”
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More from Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

Mayor Joe Ganim is on the cusp of delivering a big campaign promise–with the help of a Madison Avenue real estate developer.

The Ganim administration has chosen Exact Capital, whose portfolio has been focused mainly on New York City, to rehabilitate the long-shuttered Majestic and Poli Palace theaters and the adjacent Savoy Hotel.

Ganim revealed the selection of Exact Capital on Wednesday in a brief interview. The mayor said the firm’s detailed, $300-$350 million development proposal, would be in the hands of the City Council by week’s end for review and approval, and therefore available to the public.

Full story here.

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31 Comments so far ↓

  • Local Eyes

    Turning scabs into skin-that’s what winners do. Congratulations, Bridgeport!

  • Frank Gyure

    The “firms detailed 300-350 million development proposal” should be in the hands of the public for public preview and public comment BEFORE it goes to City Council review and approval. The people of Bridgeport should be presented with the plans first so that we can notify our CC council reps of our thoughts and opinions.

  • DC Faber

    They seem like a good company, but what was the bid process? Where there no local companies that could accomplish the same goal? Will the GC ask such basic questions?

    • Ben Henson

      It appears that the City has found a way around the proper purchasing procedure and magically went from a Request for Expressions of Developer Interest to this selection. Easy peasy, no publci bid selection process necessary!

  • Frank Gyure

    Congratulations that Bridgeport has found a developer for the Downtown theaters(Majestic/Poli). However,as much information must be presented to the people/Public of Bridgeport BEFORE it goes to the City Council. Ideally,we should have press conference scheduled far enough in advance that people will hear about it and make plans to attend. The Mayoy and other city officials should present. Most importantly,representatives of the development company should be present and have as much information as possible including architectural plans,mock up presentation of interior and exterior plans.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Frank- This development has been anticipated for 40 years and many administrations. There is no input necessary and does not impact a neighborhood. A 350 million dollar project at the entry of downtown is going to change the image forever.

    There are few people over the age of 50 that will not praise Ganim.pEOPLE FROM THE ENTIRE STATE THAT REMEMBER THEIR CHILDHOOD IN BRIDGEPORT WILL BE FOLLOWING THIS.

    This project is not a base hit for Ganim, it is a home run. This project will move other developments along at a quicker pace.
    The only downside would be if this developer is dependent on state funding. Historic tax credits and abatements within reason would be acceptable. Downtown parking garages must be incorporated into this project. Kudos to all involved and hopefully this will come into fruition. I believe it will!!!!

    • Frank Gyure

      Steve,respectfully,I completely disagree with you that no input is needed. No input was “needed” or sought for our Hi-tech meters and look at that mess. How much of Bridgeport money is going into this? Even if one cent is contributed from Bridgeport taxpayers,we deserve the initial information and plans so that we know where our money is going. The fact that the announcement from the mayor’s office that he want this approved by the City Council WITHIN 30 DAYS is hugely worrisome. So,Bridgeport wants to spend 300-350 million dollars and it must be signed off in 30 days. This is simply wrong. I’ve already contacted my CC reps. This is not something that we need or want to rush into.

      • Steven Auerbach

        No offense Frank- no imput was needed for the meters or becoming part of the 21 st century- The problem was allowing a grace period. NO IMPUT WQAS NECESSARY for the theaters. Uou know Frank- you know where imput was needed? When Maria Pereirra and the board allowed Aresta Johnson to add a Principal appointment to BASSICK without imput from the teachers. I am most surprised Maria and the BOE had no problem with that!!! The Theaters- exciting. Why don’t you ho;d a meeting and see the public outrage of the rehabilitation of these landmarks. I am thankful that you are respectful in your comment but in the end, there are some things that do not need the imput of taxpayers. This is one of them.

    • Frank Gyure

      The only downside would be if this developer is dependent on state funding. Historic tax credits and abatements within reason would be acceptable. Downtown parking garages must be incorporated into this project……..Steve,these are important questions that you yourself raised in your posting. Should not these questions be answered before it goes to the City Council and before any contract/commitments are legally made between the City and the Developer. What’s the rush?

      • Ron Mackey

        Frank, as you pointed out that parking will be a critical need, it must be safe and affordable.

        • Frank Gyure

          Just to set the record straight..the above quote/mention/question about parking was originally asked by Steve Auerbach. I should have used quotation marks and given more direct reference.

      • Steven Auerbach

        Of course Frank and with a 350 million dollar project you can be assured they have been addressed.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Steven my friend, this city has a long history of developers being promised tax abatements by the mayor, then extreme pressure put on council members to approve the deal ( in near past history one was given 60 year tax abatement). Hardy call that addressing the total picture and package. Yes, exciting news, absolutely wonderful news – something to celebrate in theory. I agree with Franks point, if taxpayers are underwriting this development with taxpayer dollars,,they also have some skin in the game and deserve to be heard in a public forum.

        • John Marshall Lee

          Steve,
          Please stop all references to financial issues in your cheer-leading essays. You have informed us that municipal finances are not an area of competence, other than that you pay your own property taxes. Thank you for that!!

          As to “350 million dollar project you can be assured they have been addressed” as you wrote, the Pension Plan A Bond Obligation that Joe Ganim supported in 2000 was also a nice round number of $350 Million. The plan was to borrow the money, invest the funds, and meet the earnings assumptions (meanwhile avoiding volatile market results) and be able to meet City promises to Plan A police and fire retirees.
          ##We pay $30 Million each year to meet the bond obligations first and that means $350 Million has cost the City $900 Million by the time we get to 2029.
          ##There are hundreds of retirees alive and receiving nearly $29 Million per year at this time.
          ##How long can you pay retirement incomes at that level when the actual fund is closer to $60 Million today than $75 Million.
          ##How much additional is the City paying to stabilize the actuarial costs of Plan A that were never discussed in the year 2000 as a possible downside?
          ##What elected City official is capable of discussing such a matter publicly and having questions addressed about how any plan or concept is good for the community at large?

          Perhaps it is time for the man in the kitchen to appear with an apron and ladle to discuss how to improve the gravy? Time will tell.

      • Steven Auerbach

        No rush Frank- we have waited 60 years. Whats another 60?

        • Frank Gyure

          Steve,yes,we have waited 60 years. Cannot The People of Bridgeport be given 60-90 days to get the information. Will the contract be released to the public before the City Council as it should be for public inspection. Let’s see the plans for parking and everything else before anything is signed off. You are assuming that parling is part of the plan but most of us know that old line. What happens when you assume. Ypu make an ass out of you and me. Let’s not forget the years of problems with Steelpointe developers.Let’s remember a huge problem with a more recent developer that caused that developer to be kicked off the project in Downtown North.
          http://www.ctpost.com/business/article/New-team-heading-up-renovation-of-downtown-11121851.php

  • Bob Walsh

    Steve,
    No need for public vetting of the privatization of the operation of the WPCA either. They company was reputable, worked around the country, had a solid reputation.
    How did that one turn out???

  • Bob Walsh

    Steve
    In about 10 minutes this is what I have found out.
    1) Headlines read in August 2011, in the second of next year ground breaking on the Harlem Victoria Theater in Harlem.
    2) Break ground on the Victoria Theater to be late this year (2/21/13).
    3) For all intents and purposes it is June of 2017 and work has not yet begun on the project. Gleaned from their website.
    4) There is at least one lawsuit between Harlem Hospitality
    LLC and Exact Capital Corp. entered May 6, 2015. It involves many of the same individuals who were associated with Exact Capital. Can’t say for sure what this involves and if it is them or not but it definitely deserves full vetting until any contracts are signed.
    5) Exact Capital LLC is a political contributor to Andrew Cuomo. $50,000 in January of this year.
    6) Exact Capital LLC has at least two lobbyists working on the Planning Dept and City Council with the city of New York.
    As I said this much was gleaned in 10 minutes on the internet. I sure hope the boys down in City Hall spend more than 10 minutes digging thru this stuff.

  • Bob Walsh

    Hey Stevie,
    Ya gotta love this open
    “Fletcher Thompson once again faces eviction from Bridgeport headquarters”
    Yea, maybe they plan on moving to the theaters.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Something tells me 5 yrs from now those theaters will still be there,boarded up,and rotting away..

  • Bob Halstead

    The City has a long history of awarding developers rights tying up properties for decades and they remain vacant and deteriorating. I certainly have no faith in this project.
    I find it curious the Post has dropped its investigative reporting in reporting Ganim is keeping a campaign promise. Get a clue

    And as a Council member I let Joe into the theaters during his campaign and now he has thrown me out. I also had the budget earmarked for fire and intrusion alarms along with securing and cleaning. It does not bode well for City staff and for the theaters that this very important work has not been done. When is the big fire scheduled, boys? Not funny…

  • Steven Auerbach

    Wow, I am pleased that I have opened an interesting dialogue.

    Bob Walsh, that was excellent information. The 50,000 contribution to Andrew Cuomo. I am pleased with that as I am a fan!. Otherwise you have addressed very important issues. I hope they will be addressed and answered . I am hopeful. this project is excellent for the city and most definitely a homerun for the Mayor. I can understand you wanting it to fail. At some point people will be able to promote their own political choices without holding the city back.
    I have to trust the council will do their due diligence. I am certain my council members will. They always do.

    • Harvey Weintraub

      I have to trust the council will do their due diligence. I am certain my council members will. They always do.

      WHAT??..Steve,how can you say this??..off the top of my head,what about the parking meters??,the council did absolutely nothing before approving those things..

    • Frank Gyure

      Umm..Ummm… Steve Auerbach… I am going to tussle with you over who started this discussion over the quality of how the Government(aka The People) of Bridgeport should review and process this contract. :)

  • Andrew C Fardy

    These buildings are going to bury the city in debt. Do you think the school system could use some of this free floating cash. Based on my previous knowledge there are a lot of people making money on this deal.
    So we put this plan in action , how many performances do we have in a year. How do we make up for the taxes lost when parking goes across the street.
    We have the shows and we have Ganim Bonding for the new pensions for cops and firefighters. Let me tell you the money is out there and the same people from Ganim 1 are making money under Ganim 2.

  • Stringfellow

    I have commented on these theaters before and brought up the subject of parking. The church next to the police department has events at night that have a considerable turnouts.

    The restaurant across the street has shown signs that something is going on there. Perhaps the owners have though that the theater would bring in new business. They are going to have to address a parking issue too.

    The parking lot next to the restaurant looks like it belongs to the church. The Shenan Center has had some big events too car have been parked on both sides of Main Street up to Congress Street.

    Recently a small curved wall has gone up in the lot on the corner across from the storage building.

    Does anyone know if this is going to be another park?

    The curvature of the wall suggests a name is going to go on it.

    Either way the parking issue has to be addressed considering the patrons want a save place for their cars and a safer walk to and from the venue when the weather is bad.

    In time we shall have the answers to these questions.

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