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MGM Donates $50,000 For East End Pop-Up Market

May 6th, 2018 · 62 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events

News release from MGM Resorts:

MGM Resorts today announced plans to donate $50,000 to support the establishment of the nonprofit East End NRZ Pop-Up Market & Café in Bridgeport, responding to a longstanding food desert in the East End in order to provide local residents access to healthy, nutritious food.

Donations of $25,000 each will be made to the Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust (BNT) and to the Greater Bridgeport Opportunities Industrialization Center, officials of MGM Resorts and the two community-based organizations said today.

Uri Clinton, Senior Vice President of MGM Resorts International will present the donations on Sunday, May 6 at 1:30 pm in front of the proposed East End NRZ Pop-up Market & Café at 1851 Stratford Avenue, Bridgeport. Bridgeport Opportunities Industrialization Center will devote the funds the organization receives toward the training and operation of the East End NRZ Pop-Up Market & Café and Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust intends to use the funds for the build-out of the East End NRZ Pop-Up Market & Café.

Deborah Caviness, President & CEO of The Greater Bridgeport Opportunities Industrialization Center (TGBOIC) said “the East NRZ and the community-at-large IS the driving force of this initiative. Their commitment to make certain their neighborhood has access to healthy food options is what brought this important initiative to fruition. It’s no surprise to me that MGM Resorts would extend their support. MGM has a demonstrated track-record of working in partnership with
inner-city communities to bring positive economic and social change and is the industry leader in supporting local businesses,” Caviness added.

BNT Executive Director Elizabeth Torres said, “I’m proud BNT can provide its construction resources and capabilities toward such a great cause in a community we serve.”

East End Councilman Ernest Newton said, “We would like to thank everyone who made the East End Market possible.”

Councilwoman Eneida Martinez said, “This is truly a community led initiative that will provide East End residents with access to quality food, fruits and vegetables.”

“Community involvement is one of the hallmarks of MGM, particularly in urban communities where we operate,” Clinton said. “We have developed close working relationships with people throughout the community as we advanced plans for MGM Bridgeport, and we became aware of this acute community need. We look forward to becoming an active member of the Bridgeport community, if provided that opportunity by the state legislature.”

TGBOIC will provide administrative oversight of the East End NRZ Pop-up Market & Café and job training services for adults and at-risk youth. The staff that will be employed at the East End Popup Market & Café will participate in TBOIC’s customer service and life skills training. TGBOIC will also provide business development training for entrepreneurs seeking to start a business in the food industry.

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62 Comments so far ↓

  • charlie

    II am sorry that MGM feels like they have to bribe the city, but more specifically it’s politician’s. If they want to ensure of their continued support, state truthfully they will hire 4,000 for the casino jobs. I can also assure you if the measure is withdrawn from this session, the next governor will rectify the jobs situation.

    • Ron Mackey

      Charlie, so let’s take the $50,000 back and how do you replaced that need for the East End?

    • DC Faber

      This isn’t a bribe, its a public relations move and one they do in areas they have casinos. The bills hasn’t passed the state senate yet, but MGM is demonstrating what they would do in the community. To the community, it is needed and demonstrates the lack of morale and compassion of the 2nd Ganim administration.

  • Donald Day

    While I’m sure the residents of the East End appreciates this gesture, this is but one small step in a journey of a thousand miles. No one should confuse this small gesture as a grocery store with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and fish that are at affordable prices. No one should view this small gesture as support for Mayor Ganim and the office of Economic and Development not doing their due diligence by giving the East End what has been given to every other section of the city, a grocery store. No one should think, feel or believe that this small gesture of $50,000 will have a big impact on the nutritional alternatives for the people of the East End like a real live grocery store. Pop-Up Market & Café or a grocery store, C’mon man, but it’s still better than anything Mayor Ganim has done, anything.

  • Donald Day

    MGM shouldn’t have to do for the East End what Mayor Ganim and the city of Bridgeport should have done years ago. MGM, I’ve been complaining about this for years and I’m glad that you’ve stepped up for the residents of the East End.

  • Steven Auerbach

    How typical and disgusting for an outsider to look a gift horse in the mouth. To be clear- MGM does not need the seal of approval from the East End. They were being generous. If some thinks they can find an investor great! It is not MGM responsibility to put a grocery store in the East End. The property is there – How about someone coming forward and investing the money. This has nothing to d with Joe Ganim, Bill Finch, John Fabrizi or as far back as when Charlie Tisdale was in charge of Economic Development. I say Thank you to MGM for the donation. I say it is much appreciated and I am grateful for those that have supported a 675 million dollar investment in the city. I am certain that the Public Schools will also be benificiaries and that again is not the responsibility of a eveloper or a corporation. They are just trying to be good corporate citizens.

    I would hope that once Steelepointe housing gets off the ground, a chain will be happy to open a Supermarket. Great location, easy access.

    I am also proud that those people that are important to the East End Community have given Thanks and Kudos. Eneida Martinez, Ernest Newton, Deborah Caviness , Elizabeth Torres and Uri Clinton. I guess it is to Ganim’s benefit that it will happen while he is the Mayor while Marketing the city daily while others are happy demeaning the city and its leadership. I am certain that those residents that vote and pay taxes in the city are grateful for MGM and all of the groups involved to improve the quality of life for East End Residents. I do not believe any prt of the city in anyone of the 10 districts have had to rely on a Major corporation to invest to help get a grocery store in their neighborhood. Other than the downtown upscale supermarket that was 7 years before it’s time. Thank you MGM

  • Coach T

    so when I was a kid, I remember a few places. Mohigan market was one. Town Fair and also Tony’s fruit stand. At Tony’s they had it all. Fresh fruits and vegetables,meats,cold cuts and can goods.Now I’m wondering where do you guys feel a grocery store can go? Wouldn’t it need to within where those stores where? Steelpoint might be a bit far .I truly believe that an ALDI would be a home run in the east end, But where will it go that will truly benefit the EAST END

  • Bob Halstead

    How is it that the East End lays claim that Strelepointe is in the East End when most of it is in the East Side?
    How do they put a person in charge who dragged the Charles Smith Foundation under via corruption?
    Marilyn who spearheaded the Food Policy Council not involved here?
    It may be only $50,000 but put in the right hands, could be more effective than $200,000 that moves through Bridgeport’s normal channels
    Go MGM!!!

  • Grin Ripper

    Food Fighr!

  • Grin Ripper

    Food Fight! Go MGM!

  • Local Eyes

    Believe it or not, when it comes to food, Bridgeport is a high-priced market. Here’s what i mean:
    Yesterday’s TV ads urged me to grab a triple melt burrito at Taco Bell for $1.
    Upon arrival, I discovered the $1 burrito costs $1.39 in Bridgeport.
    That’s a food premium. MGM is trying to offset the food premium in Bridgeport’s East end.

  • Coach T

    on east main street they have Compare…..that would be great on Stratford ave………

  • Coach T

    so let’s try and get it out there…..Is it that investors are scare to put a big chain store over in the east end because of …..CRIME, NOT enough population, the right spot?????

  • Coach T

    I am still amazed how the biggest city in the state can’t get walmart to open up a super center or a walmart neightborhood store….The dock isn’t BPT….

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Coach, WalMart desired Steel Point several years ago, but the Finch administration wanted Bass Pro as the anchor tenant.

      • Frank Gyure

        Walmart is one of the most successful retail operation in the world and only Walmart has the resources to challenge Amazon. The Finch Administration made a fatal mistake in preferring Bass Pro as the retail apocalypse continue to steamroll and knock out businesses. Watch for Sears to go under.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Frank great idea- Walmart- an original development on the Waterfront. They do sell bathing suits. Brilliant. Maybe you should apply for a job there and share some more Brilliant ideas. Yeah Mayor Finch should have put a Walmart there and maybe also a Mcdonalds. That would really be a huge drawer. It’s the French Fries you know. You become very disappointing Frank. I will let you and Bridgeport Kid have your ciute banter and Lisa can chime in with “Bingo”.

  • Donald Day

    The East End is a little over 1.5 square miles with a population just short of 8,0000 people with the median income of $41,792 according to city statistics in 2016. I’m sure that’s enough people and enough money being made to sustain a grocery store. If mayor Ganim worked as hard to put a grocery store over there as he did to secure the Black vote then it would have happened already.

  • Coach T

    so what Lennie, is steel point the only spot that walmart desired? There has to be a few other locations in this big city that they can open one up and thrive

  • Coach T

    I agree with Bass pro instead of walmart at Steel Point…..Steel Point needs to stay high end…..all that water….need condo’s restaurants…that area has to bring in the big money…..professionals living on the water….

    • Ron Mackey

      Sounds like Gentrification.

      • Steven Auerbach

        It absolutely gentrification. A dirty word in Bridgeport – Keep the slums as it is and let the slum lords reign as long as they can keep getting section 8.

        Harlem was all but destroyed until gentrification took place.

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          That’s right. Listen to Stevie: “Fuck all those poor people. We need development.Snatch up the properties by imminent domain and kick them out on the street. The churches and the American Red Cross will take care of them, won’t cost the tax payers a dime.”

    • Frank Gyure

      INHO… I would have gone with Walmart. Bass Pro is a niche retail operation and it may very well go under in the continuing roll=out of the Retail apocalypse continues. Eventually,Bass Pro/Calebra will become an internet destination only.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Bass Pro would be more appropriate to Stratford, not the East End of BPT.

      • Bob Halstead

        East Side-not East End, is where Bass Pro is

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          Oh BFD. There is plenty of real estate for a supermarket on the east side. I don’t live there but have been through many times. Here’s an idea: instead of bitching and moaning and pissing and whining there are no grocery stores over there how about circulating a petition, mounting a campaign to attract the investment in the neighborhood? Stop & Shop, Acme, Shop Rite, Big Y and other northeastern food retailers would be interested. A supermarket would employ locals too.

  • Coach T

    wow….YOU RIGHT

  • Coach T

    Ron Sir, I have a ? All these years that the east end has wanted a grocery store,why hasn’t any Black Entrepreneur stepped up for the community and build one? A serious ? here.Not trying to be a wise ass or jerk.Or even a Latino

  • Coach T

    Or even a Latino Entrepreneur

  • Frank Gyure

    Economics 101. If the “market(an area where commercial activity/dealings would be seen as possibly profitable and worth of financial investment)” would seem hospitable to commercial/financial investment.a food service retail operation would have entered the fray.

    • Frank Gyure

      10 miles to the west,A Nordstrom’s is being built in Norwalk. The economic disparity is startling,shocking. Stamford had been trying to get a Nordstrom’s for decades.

  • Donald Day

    Coach, why can’t the city give a grocery store for the East End tax incentives like it did for Bass Pro and Starbucks? East End to Black and Puerto Rican?

  • Coach T

    you tell me. I don’t know…I look at it if the city truly wanted to help to East End of Bpt, they would have had a grocery store build years ago. But to me they have alienated the east end…..Help the people in your city have a better way of life. I love the fact that they are building up the downtown area ,bringing in all the venue’s,but what does that do for the people of the east end? The priority should have always been to help the people with their needs not building luxuries for others.

  • Coach T

    no guarantees… you are right ….but the city pushed for all of it, yet are they really pushing for that grocery store? Is the city gonna ever help the public school system? One of the reason people leave Bridgeport is because the school system is so bad. They stay , they send the kids to private schools. They should be focusing on having a system that the whole state would be proud of. So that people are looking to move in not flee.

    • Frank Gyure

      CXoach T..you are right..property values in Bpt might have some value(even with the property taxation)” but many parents or would be parents are facing a question of the quality of City of Bridgeport Public School Education and many are being forced to calculate the cost of private school education for living in Bridgeport. A lot of people just will not cross that bridge.

  • Coach T

    Bob Welch, I clarified

  • Bob Halstead

    If they put a grocery store on Steele Pointe, East Enders will still have to drive their cars there.
    Take a page out of the East Main Street Commercial Corridor. They have more than one grocery store there. It is in the middle of the neighborhood. People walk there.
    What happened to Stratford Avenue? Why have they not had the success of East MAin? The City and State have not thrown money at East Main nor has there been any promotion or incentivization given it by the City. It has fixed itself up-and it is all Latino. Go figure

  • Coach T

    Bob you are right. Truth is over the years when you heard Stratford ave people shook their heads. I’m not going there. Scared…drugs….sorry but that’s the perception……the people are AFRAID OF GPOOING TO STRAFORD AVE

    • Ron Mackey

      What’s there on Stratford Ave to go to? Liguior stores, barber shops, small bars, funeral home and a few small churches. There is no pharmacy, no gas station, nothing.

  • Coach T

    Just my opinion

  • Coach T

    Lupe’s is a long time ago……gas station….now way….not enough traffic ….

  • Donald Day

    Coach, one’s perception is only their reality, not reality. I’m on Stratford Ave at least three days a week and every Friday night and have never been scared, offered drugs or robbed. I think Stratford Ave had been demonized by white people who are afraid to go and use those old stereotypes to scare themselves and others. Coach, if it’s not for you then don’t go, but until you do you really don’t have an informed opinion to offer.

  • Coach T

    that’s true, I only lived in the East End for 4 years

  • Coach T

    we had everything back then……the population is probably the same if not more,but the businesses are all gone

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