Jeff Kohut, 2011 independent mayoral candidate, shares his take following last week’s announcement of major hedge fund Bridgewater Associates relocating to Stamford. Kohut declares it’s going to the wrong city.
An article in the August 15 online edition of the Connecticut Post details the quest of mega-hedge fund Bridgewater Associates of Westport to relocate their headquarters/operations to Stamford’s fourteen-acre Harbor Point development project in a new, $750-million, five-building, corporate campus that they plan to build to accommodate their burgeoning operations. (See link: www.ctpost.com/news/article/Hedge-fund-eyes-Stamford-boatyard-site-3790043.php)
From the Connecticut Post article:
A Westport-based hedge fund will nearly double in size, bringing as many as 1,000 new employees to a new corporate campus in a South End waterfront development, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday.
During a noon news conference at the Harbor Point development project, Malloy said Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds with 1,225 employees and $130 billion in investments worldwide, will build a $750 million headquarters there.
The article goes on to describe the many obstacles and hurdles the Bridgewater project faces in its quest to relocate to a relatively small piece of waterfront property in Stamford. It also describes the political subterfuge being used by Governor Dannel Malloy to force the Bridgewater project through obvious resistance by Stamford political and civic-interest factions, a situation that in many ways bears a striking resemblance to the saga involving former Fairfield First Selectman Kenneth Flatto in his suppression and evasion of due process in the approval process involved in the Fairfield train station project.
Quoting Malloy about the project:
“There will be some controversy about this project and it’s a decision Stamford has to make for itself,” Malloy said at the press conference. “But it’s a great opportunity for Stamford to think outside the box as far as development in the South End.”
The Post article goes on to describe the importance of the project to the state:
The deal bringing Bridgewater to Stamford will be the largest of [the projects accommodated by the] … “Next Five” [state] program of economic aid and enticements; Malloy noted that these projects represent $1.4 billion in investments by the private sector in Connecticut.
What is wrong with this picture?! Overdeveloped Stamford doesn’t want this project, and Bridgeport, the state’s largest city–an extremely impoverished city that hasn’t seen positive development/tax base growth in almost 100 years, that has a 50-acre parcel called Steel Point that could accommodate 10 Bridgewater campuses–desperately needs this project, but the governor can’t see his way to the obvious rational compromise of redirecting the project to Bridgeport’s Steel Point?!
Why isn’t Mayor Finch leading the charge to redirect Bridgewater to Bridgeport?! Is he afraid Bridgewater might displace Bass Pro?
Come on Connecticut Post, and all other persons and entities that love Bridgeport; let’s make an all-out effort to get Bridgewater and the State of Connecticut to look a few miles up the road (they can’t miss us–the sky is lit up over us by arson fires, preparing the way for redevelopment). A $750,000,000 increase in the Bridgeport grand list could sure pay for an awful lot of essential out-of-town education consultants (with questionable credentials) for our public school system transformation–and maybe even allow for a few thousand bucks to buy a few safe-corridors security cameras and a new cop car or two.
But in all seriousness; the Bridgewater project should be located in Bridgeport. The time for denying and exploiting Bridgeport for Stamford’s gain must come to an end. Governor Malloy is no longer Mayor Malloy; he is the governor for Bridgeporters as much as he is the governor for Stamfordites; it is no longer his job to screw Bridgeport–it is his job to save Bridgeport. He deliberately screwed us out of a casino and the Royal Bank of Scotland, North American HQ (et al.) as mayor of Stamford–we can’t let him continue in this mode as governor (and we can’t let the BRBC and our “Vichy” government in Bridgeport City Hall keep aiding and abetting his crimes against us, as they have).
Speak up Connecticut Post editorial board, Bridgeporters, and friends of Bridgeport; Bridgewater must be redirected to Steel Point and accommodated in this regard by the State of Connecticut and federal government. Are you listening Bridgeport state delegation/candidates? Are you listening Connecticut Congressional delegation/candidates? Congressman Himes? Senator Blumenthal?
Get us Bridgewater! And throw in a GE factory on their 80 acres on Boston Avenue! (Even if it means we’ll have to give up Bass Pro.)