Ice Rink, Apartments Proposed For Downtown

Mayor Joe Ganim on Thursday joined city leaders to announce two projects chosen in response to the Downtown North Development requests for proposals on Main Street and Congress Street. Bridgeport-based  Primrose Construction, whose principals include Eleanor Guedes, chair of the city’s Civil Service Commission, has been selected to create nearly 100 units of housing and Park City Ice-Palace LLC Development Group proposes to build a hockey and ice skating training facility.

Ganim is kicking up development announcements as he positions for reelection in 2019. The day prior Ganim also conducted a media update regarding the ongoing project to revitalize the troubled Marina Village housing complex in the South End. Thursday’s announcement requires City Council approval of a land disposition agreement.

News release from the city:

“We are excited in Bridgeport,” said Mayor Ganim This part of Downtown is the last piece yearning for development and will now have the type of investment that will recapture the vision we have for Downtown North. What once was serving as a parking lot, will serve the community even better as residential property. And the vacant lot where the Davidson building sits, will be restored into a state-of-the-art training facility. While we were struggling with investment, other cities would have knocked down their historic buildings. But what these developers have committed to doing is incorporating the history of the city into the city’s future.”

The Office of Planning & Economic Development received a 100% privately-funded proposal to develop the “Park City Ice Palace” premiere hockey and ice skating rinks to be located at 1269 Main Street. The total budget of this privately funded venture is $9.5MM to $12MM. The proposal will include seating for 750-1,250 people along with up to 200 parking spaces. In addition, the facility will boast a fitness center, juice bar, coffee shop, sandwich shop, and hockey pro shop. The plans also propose restoration of the Historic Davidson Fabrics Building (known to some as The Old Middle Street Boys Club) into a restaurant/bar and health/training facility with a private extended stay residence on the upper floor. The developers are looking forward to begin construction in spring of 2019. The Park City Ice Palace will draw families and events into the north end of downtown and will complement the Majestic/Poli Theater project.

The second development is Congress Plaza which will take over the block now utilized for parking. This 100% privately-funded proposal valued at approximately $18MM will increase Bridgeport’s residential living selections by developing 92 units of market-rate rental housing. Congress Plaza will feature 7,000 square feet of street-level retail space and approximately 80 off-street parking spaces. The Plaza architecture is designed to complement the façade of the neighboring theaters. The developer Primrose Construction will break ground and begin construction within 12 months from execution of LDA.

CT Post coverage here.



  1. *** It would very beneficial to many to change the 10% lower affordable fair income requirements for new housing apts. requirements in Ct. to 20%. So say @ an apt. complex with 100-apts; instead of only 10 apts. held, it would be 20 held for those that qualify for the lower affordable fair income program. And hopefully not just the smallest 1-bedroom apts held for the program but a fair variety of the apts. “Ernie”, this is a assignment in which your perfect for; start getting the other council members “hopefully” on board before hand & continue the up-hill battle’s while on the city council.***

  2. There should be more discussion of the Guedes Family(as in Primrose Construction) One of the principals of the Primrose aka Guedes Company is Eleanor Guedes,chair of the City of Bridgeport Civil Service Commision and we all know how well Civil Service is run in the City of Bridgeport. Members of Bridgeport Commusions should live in Bridgeport yet Eleanor Gudes has been frequently mentioned here on OIB as listing a Trumbull address. Breaking ground will be Spring 2029. Is that not the same time that the Bridgeport Mayoral Election season will start heating up with the actual election in November 2019 and with a strong possibility of an earlier Democratic Primary.

  3. BTW,was there any mention of funding/financing of the 400 million dollar Majestic Theater Restoration and Development by Exact Capital. Was there any mention of a groundbreaking which was promised for late 2018 when Exact Capital was chosen in Spring 2018.

    1. Frank,that was never going to happen,that was Joe creating a talking point for his ridiculous governor run.Who in their right mind would invest $400 million for that project??.

    1. The kids from the Hollow and the South End will really like these new ice rings because…… OH yeah that something they have been playing for years, NOT. We all know that this is for those white suburban children. The National Hockey League (NHL) is 93% white males and 7% black males hockey players. Thanks Joe.

      1. NFL around 84% minority (all non-white groubs)
        NBA around 90% minority (number is higher depending if you consider euros white guys)
        MLB around 72% minority (even though african americans only account for about 9% in MLB, latinos are a huge percentage in baseball)

          1. Read the published facts. I did not make them up There are 53 Giants 53 on the team 5 white 1 hispanc leaving 47 Blacks. Check any other team this week end and count the white players.Why dopyou think attendance is down 13 – 17%

  4. The Mayor appears to be announcing two projects, not previously introduced, that will be funded solely with private funds. That is good news certainly because the projects should therefore increase the tax paying net Grand List in the near future. What was not said, and may not be necessary, but caution is advisable when talking about City projects, is the nature of any assumption as to specific agreements or benefits from the City (other than funds) that may be part of the agreements. Are there any such???

    I have pressed, without success, for Board and Commission members, just like elected officers of the City to sign in at the Town Clerk office since January 1, 2018. The Mayor, most of the City Council and a handful of others are in compliance as of a week ago. However, Board and Commission members who are the concern of Angel DePara seem not to have gotten the word.

    If you go to the Civil Service Commission listing this morning, you will see that the position on the Commission expired nearly seven years ago. She has not been re-appointed yet. (Perhaps they are waiting until her expired service reaches 9 years as in the case of recently re-appointed Police Commission Daniel Roach?)

    Current Listing:
    Eleanor Guedes (U)
    1425 Noble Avenue
    Bridgeport, CT 06610
    Term Expires: 10/1/2011

    Does Eleanor Guedes reside at that address?? Has she resided there for the entire period that the address has been posted on the City site?? The (U) indicates that she did not claim a party affiliation in the past. But reference to a Voter database indicates that she is registered as a voter with an address in Trumbull CT and has voted in at least three of the past 5 years.

    Why is Mayor Ganim allowing this farce to continue? Why are there not four Civil Service appointments in place, instead of only three? Why are two of the three expired? What is holding Angel DePara from informing, encouraging, promoting the residence registry of all Board and Commission members, so that an affirmative declaration of current address is a part of potential City enforcement action IN LINE WITH THE CITY CHARTER? Time will tell.

      1. Ron,
        And what have your two council members said about any of this? Each of my two Council members have been aware of this issue from more than one mention of this before the Council this year.
        The good news is that each of our Council persons has registered their residence address with the Town Clerk office. Only one or two have been delayed. However, there has been no serious attempt by the administration and their political appointee who has been assigned Boards and Commissions as work assignment to bring vacancies to zero, list all boards and commissions on City site, encourage listing of residences, and post all agendas and minutes in a uniform manner.

        If you were a commercial landlord and operated in this manner, rents would go uncollected, leases or agreements would go unsigned, and you would be facing significant erosion of profits if not a financial calamity.

        Ron, why is Ganim2 not addressing the issue? Isn’t he the head of the Executive Branch? Time will tell.

        1. JML, look you bought up the issue with no background from your council members so JML, what have your two council members say about any of this? Your reply was, “my two Council members have been aware of this issue from more than one mention of this before the Council this year,” being aware is one thing but I asked you what did they say.

          1. City Charter Question: Do City Council Members have any say about unexpired Board members? I do know that appointments/reappointments are selected by the mayor and sent to the CC for approval. Does the CC have any other jurisdiction over city boards/commissions feyond the initial nomination?

          2. Ron,
            Respectfully, I ask my Council members (as well as all Council members when I speak to them at public speaking sessions) many questions. Very few offer answers or even the courtesy to discuss.
            My discussions with Christina or Pete are for the purpose of better understanding problems and issues as well as charting actions. But nothing of relevance to the broad public at this moment. But the issue I have attempted to share openly for more than one year is a Charter issue. A Trumbull resident, or so she has signed as a registered voter in that community, pretends that she resides at Noble Avenue to continue her role for more than a decade on the Bridgeport Civil Service Commission. Do any of the City Council members see a problem here?
            Different Council members have different priorities, I have learned.
            Perhaps we ought to look for members of Boards and Commissions in other communities, Angel DePara? Would there be volunteers among the readership of OIB? Bob Walsh, Local Eyes, SteveL could all become candidates for Ethics Commission, etc. Would anyone object? Isn’t that the issue? Time will tell.

        2. *** JML the 2-council persons from the 131st district are now & have been for a while city rubber stampers that second anything the city & the Ganim Admin. bring forth. Its easier to vote in favor & not need any excuses than to vote against & have to give a reason why? The 131st district is weak & misinformed on most past, present & future current events as a whole so you think their district reps. are going to make any waves? How many 131st district residents do you see speaking @ the monday nite open mic. public speaking forums? So if there’s very little back-lash or out-cry from the resident public that live in this district neighborhoods in public meetings or to their council reps. in general; then what type of real representation are you going to get in the long term? ***JUST SAYING, JUST SAYING***

  5. The time has come today (Chambers Brothers) was released fifty years ago but the concept is as relevant as these two projects.
    Let’s see if either of these new proposals conforms, accepts, condones, responds or validates the just-passed law, sometimes called Ernie’s Law.

      1. RUMOR MILL:
        Ron Mackey played cowbell on the original. He made musical history when he befriended The Chambers Brothers after he was invited to a song rehearsal the day after a show. It was his idea to insert the cowbell for a tambourine sound.

    1. Frank, any CC member can request/recommend to the Mayor, however, that’s it. However, they do have the authority to reject the Mayor’s recommendations for a good cause, forcing the Mayor to feel out his appointees before sending them to a committee to be approved or rejected at that level. Ultimately, any recommended board or commission individual must be approved by a majority of the CC.

      1. Thank you,Lisa. So,therefore,my sense is that any and all CC reps(including those in my home district,the 130th, can do nothing about expired Commission/Board appointee.Please correct me if I am wrong.

  6. A new restaurant is opening at Steelpointe Harbor, as the peninsula is now called. Boca Mediterranean Oyster Bar:

    “Located at Steelpointe Harbor, a new public realm consisting of a network of streets, open spaces, water views and harbor side strolling, Boca Mediterranean Oyster Bar will be your go-to destination for stunning water views and New England fare. Follow along on our progress as we seek to bring a fresh new flavor to this up-and-coming harbor side neighborhood.”

    Bullethead must be jumping up and down while screaming “Oh goodie!”

    1. Bring back Skips Harbor Hut! That was the place out on the wharf amid a lively arena with live Irish music and cheap beer. We were better off. At grave taxpayer expense, right Lennie?

  7. JML
    Joe Ganim is going to do NOTHING about this. NOTHING.
    Don’t you get it?
    Ron asked what are your twocouncil people going to do about it. Fair question but once again it seems you don’t have an answer.
    Instead, quite childishly you ask what are your two council people going to do. And once again a question with no answer. Please just once come up with some answers.

        1. No such thing as a bad question,a dumb question. The worst is the silent question. JML employs the Socratic Method. Wiki it if you want to know more. Socratic method. The Socratic method, also known as maieutics, method of elenchus, elenctic method, or Socratic debate, is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions.

        2. The elimination of questions is the latest step in the evolution of mankind. It’s all about speed. Already, statement-based conversation is becoming commonplace as people realize its value.

          1. Bob Walsh,
            When you were in school and a teacher asked a question that stumped the entire class, did you run to the principal, or a parent, or another teacher and complain. Or did you pursue the question in search of AN answer, not necessarily THE answer.
            For the record as an author of comments on OIB I beleive that I supply a fair amount of municipal governance information on a multitude of subjects. Read me if you wish. Ignore me as you desire. But do not disparage the point and usefulness of asking questions, and following the answers to those questions which likely result in more questions. As Special Counsel Mueller has discovered, living the questions produces much info, many indictments and guilty pleas, and discomfort in high places. Is Ganim2 disturbed to have a Charter “cheater” share the microphone with him? Is he governing actively or a drop in Mayor? Time will tell.

    1. Bob, Are you confusing Ron Mackey and John Marshall Lee? There’s a question you CAN answer. Do you need a hint on this one, Bob? That makes two questions. Ron was asking me for what is shaking in the 130th. So I asked him what is shaking in the 132d? how do you see that as childish? Why does that question have no answer?

      The answer I have kept in the forefront of OIB for the past year is the lack of credible service we receive from a Trumbull resident, with a grossly expired term, serving a department with an acting director for a decade or more and as with most answers it begs the question WHY? Another question. Yes, but perhaps thanks is due rather than a “trollish” response? Time will tell.

  8. JML, one of my council members, Denese Taylor-Moye, is in the video above, as for the other council member in my district, Jack Banta has said nothing that I’m aware of, now what are Spain and Smith saying and doing? As Bob Walsh asked you, “once again it seems you don’t have an answer.
    Instead, quite childishly you ask what are your two council people going to do. And once again a question with no answer.”

      1. Frank, I nothing against Smith and Spain, I’ve never Ms Smith and I like Pete. Concern was JML bought up the topic and is seeking answers so I asked him what has council members have said and done. There no mystery here with me.

  9. Only in Bridgeport is the winner’s table. Here’s what i mean:
    You were invited.
    You belong here.
    You’ve been given a knife, fork and spoon (password) and find yourself seated with the finest people in Bridgeport. But wait.
    Surprise! It’s bring your own dinner.If you want to fill your plate, write a great post!
    The never-ending buffet continues.

    1. Fellow OIB bloggers, this is an opportunity to express my gratefulness for the existence of the blog itself, and the opportunity to make statements, raise questions, or engage in a marketplace Socratic discussion with peers.

      Some object to too many questions. I would observe, as someone who has passed my 75th birthday that life provides you with more questions than answers and getting help from folks who have both integrity and the facts is helpful in living.
      Some object by telling us what they consider “childish”. Yet in the tale of Hans Christian Anderson, where the youth sees what adults miss and the song is about the “king parading in his altogether… naked as the day he was born”. How often have we accepted the status quo as irreversible or want someone else to make the change alone??
      And then some make comments that further divide those who are interested in the subject and “our mob” goes aimless, beating up on one another with “playground insults” or “high school dramatics”?
      A blog can reveal in an audience of those who choose to honestly identify themselves and grapple with the facts, a common unity to truth and public direction that serves most of the people most of the time. Time will tell.

  10. When you referred to Mackey and I as OIB’s guardians of colored issues was that, “comments that further divide those who are interested in the subject or “our mob” goes aimless, beating up on one another with “playground insults” or “high school dramatics”? When in fact your comment reeked of bigotry and was demeaning to every black person who read its content. Time may tell, but we’ll see if you do.

    1. Don, John Marshall Lee makes the mistake feeling comfortable saying what he did because he’s a member of the NAACP. Don and Bob Walsh got it right, JML makes a statement and asked a question about the function of the running the City and I asked JML what did his elected City Councilpersons said and JML gets offend so he in turns asked me what my council members did instead of answering the question that I had asked but I did give JML my answer concerning the council members in my district. That wasn’t good enough for JML instead his reply is to insult me first then to after Bob Walsh for comment. So now JML puts out his dog whistle seeking help from others on OIB. I’ve lost respect for John Marshall Lee now that he has reach down into the gutter for his comment. Time has already been told by JML.

    2. In the context of a discussion in the past (perhaps you can point to it) I made a reference to Ron and you as a guardian of issues on color. Do you speak on those issues or not to the OIB audience? Or have you in the past? Indeed, since you have just made a statement that something I wrote seems to be “demeaning to every black person who read its content”, isn’t that a comprehensive statement that sustains your acting as a guardian?
      The playground insults and high school dramatics comments on my part actually had other OIB writers in mind. Not either of you as I wrote. And I am proud of what membership in the NAACP has taught or informed me that I never comprehended before. Of course, time does tell.

  11. What you said was that Mackey and I are the guardians of COLORED ISSUES, not the guardian of issues on color. That’s a clear delineation from us being guardians of issues of color.

    As much as you think you know about black people and our condition you still haven’t learned the basics, that which is offensive to us as a people and what white people can’t/shouldn’t say under any circumstances. Playground comments or high school dramatics? As I’ve said it before and I’ll say again, you are replete with pomposity.

  12. It’s unfortunate that this posting has digressed into personality conflicts. Maybe all of us can stop for a minute and recognize what positive things that respondents have brought to OIB and the Bridgeport Community. For myself,I will say that I have made statements that I regret and I am trying to be better. The original title of this posting was the announcement by Mayor Ganim of another construction/development project. I would recap by saying that this project(along with the Majestic Theatre/Exact Capital project) is highly dubious. Is Mayor Joe Ganim trying to fool the People of Bridgeport. There are also ancillary questions concerning Eleanor Guedes and her qualification as chair of the BPT Civil Service Board/Commision. The fact that she is also a principal of Primrose Construction listed above is also a red flag. The fact that financing is being attributed to “100% private financing is a red flag as well. The fact that all of this is happening as we enter Bridgeport Mayoral Election is suspect as well. All of the above is what we should really be talking about.


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