Officials Celebrate Steel Point Progress

From city Communications Director Brett Broesder:

Today, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, and U.S. Congressman Jim Himes announced the completion of the Transportation Investment Generation Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant funded infrastructure work at Steelpointe Harbor.

“Developers are coming back to Bridgeport because they once again trust us to do the right thing. And, the state and federal government again are investing in our future, because they trust us to do the right thing,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “Look around. After years of broken promises, Bridgeport is in the midst of a major renaissance.”

Steelpointe received over $11 million through a TIGER Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The funding, the largest federal grant Bridgeport had ever received, was instrumental for the construction and modernization of roadways around the Steel Point Peninsula to turn around an under-utilized brownfield site after decades of broken promises.

Congressman Himes said that Steelpointe had been a punch line across the state for decades. Now, he said, that’s completely changing.

Hundreds of workers are building a Bass Pro Shop, Starbucks, and Chipotle. And, hundreds and hundreds more Steelpointe Harbor workers will earn good paying, permanent jobs as more and more businesses open. And, hundreds of thousands of people will visit the waterfront development every year to shop here.

“I’m not a bass fisherman, but I’m told that it is practically a religion. People will come from 150 miles around to shop here,” Congressman Himes said. “They will have dinner here. They will see Bridgeport. They will spend their money in Bridgeport and this is how a renaissance happens.”

Senator Blumenthal applauded former-Mayor John Fabrizi’s dedication to the project, and Mayor Finch “for the vision, the courage, and the commitment to make it a reality.”

“There are a lot of people around the state who said Steelpointe will never happen. Never. Because folks have tried. Mayors have initiated all kinds of projects. They’ve talked big, and little has happened. Mayor Finch is making it happen,” said Sen. Blumenthal.

Steelpointe has four development phases. The $50 million first phase of Steelpointe Harbor, which includes Bass Pro Shops, Starbucks, Chipotle and T-Mobile is currently underway and will open this year. Construction on the Cinépolis theater and other components of the second phase will begin in 2016 with an anticipated opening in 2017.

Once complete, Steelpointe Harbor will be a 2 million-square-foot superregional waterfront destination. Spanning 82 acres, it will feature more than 750,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and entertainment, a 12-screen premium theater, two hotels, 1,100 mid-and-high rise residential units, 30,000 square feet of office and a 200-slip, full service, deep water marina.

More than 7 million people live within the project’s trade area. Steelpointe Harbor also boasts that it is the only mixed-use development in the state of Connecticut that includes Long Island in its trade area. That is achieved thanks to the presence of the Bridgeport-Long Island Ferry, a year-round ferry service operated by the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company.

The ferry, which provides 10-20 daily round-trip service runs for vehicles, passengers and freight across Long Island Sound between Bridgeport and Port Jefferson services 800,000 passengers annually. The company will soon be relocating its Connecticut terminal to a site immediately adjacent to the eastern edge of the project, which is expected to increase its ridership to more than 1.4 million passengers annually in the next few years.

Also in attendance at Friday’s event were former Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi, Amy D. Jackson-Grove, Division Administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration, State Representatives Christopher Rosario and Ezequiel Santiago, City Council President Tom McCarthy, and City Council members Lydia Martinez, Michelle Lyons, AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia, and Melanie Jackson.



  1. As I have been knocking on doors training canvassers, I have repeatedly shared with voters Bridgeport will not receive $1 in taxes for the next 20 years on Bass Pro. That Bass Pro is being sued by the National Dept. of Labor for discriminatory hiring practices. They are also one of the largest retailers of guns in the U.S. that have an exclusive arrangement with the NRA. I explain that 90% of the jobs generated with Bass Pro will be part-time minimum wage jobs with no benefits.

    I explain when the streets around Steal Pointe are paved, swept and plowed, they will not be paying a dime towards those costs. I explain they will use our police and fire services and they will not pay for them. I explain to homeowners their outrageous real estate taxes will pay for every city service Steal Pointe and its tenants receive.

    By the time I am done, voters are absolutely disgusted.

      1. So is Joe Ganim going to halt construction if he is elected? If this whole thing is so terrible, does he shut it down and start all over again? What if it’s successful–does he celebrate or stay away (like Finch does at UB)?
        Using this as a Finch negative could backfire for Ganim when he is in office. Will he downplay future develop? Most likely he will try to take credit for “taking the deal to another level” or some BS like that. Maria–if Joe supports SP in the end, would that be a betrayal of your message??? We know how you feel about betrayal–real or perceived.

  2. Using 52 waterfront acres for a 200-part-time, low-wage-job, mostly-parking-lot strip mall is just stupid.

    Bridgeport gets an $11 million Tiger grant (to shore-up the strip mall parking lot) and Stamford gets about $500 million for major train-station upgrades, Charter Communications, UBS bank, and infrastructure improvements for a $750 million Bridgewater HQ that the citizens of Stamford rejected because it would use up too much waterfront!


    $11 million for a stupid strip mall. It adds up a cheap purchase of re-election by the phony trio that “represents our interests” (really?) in Washington.

    And we are stupid enough to keep voting for these agents of Gold Coast hegemony.

    It would seem all Bridgeport will ever export to the world again is precision-manufactured STUPID. We certainly have the political “tools” here to do it.

  3. Manufacturing is dead, get over it. What is your candidate’s vision for Steelpointe Jeff? Maria? This is the vision of Bill Finch actualized. This has been the vision since the great Mayor Leonard Paoletta. The vision has not changed in 30 years. Retail, Marina, Hotels, Housing and retail. Twenty years of non-stop construction and positive P.R. 150,000 cars daily watching Steelpointe turn into a gorgeous waterfront development. Investors will start moving out toward downtown and East Main Street. Honestly, Maria and Jeff. The entire city is going to be totally excited when Finch sends artist renderings of Steelpointe that are no longer dreams but our new reality. Joe Ganim might suggest a substation and Foster may suggest a grocery store but this is now Mayor Finch’s crowning glory and absolutely nobody is going to hand this to Joe Ganim. Save the resurrection and redemption of Joe Ganim crap for a religious revival. Mayor Finch will continue to turn this city around and the naysayers will always be here for comic relief.

    1. Thirty years ago there was no internet or the computers we have now or globalization and jobs paid better so the vision not changing is not a good thing. The vision changed in Stamford but not Bridgeport. Like Kohut said, economic development isn’t in shitty low-wage jobs. But we are going to sacrifice prime land for it too, stupid.

    2. Yeah, manufacturing is dead and so is retail and strip malls. So stop riding the Finch joystick. If Finch were so visionary he would have a Fortune 500 company come in but he is Malloy’s bitch and he is happy with crumbs. Ganim doesn’t strike me as being happy with crumbs. Finch is running a bake sale on Steelpointe and then expects us to think it’s good because Blumenthal says bake sales will change Bridgeport.

  4. Steve, the vision that started with the Paoletta administration was not big-box retail. So far, there is nothing committed for the actual peninsula. Hey, maybe the city council will rename Stratford Avenue ‘Yellow Brick Road.’

    1. Tom White, I think you will hear an announcement in the very near future that will fine-tune the vision and maybe excite you. I know I am very excited. Btw, renaming Stratford Avenue, The Yellow Brick Roadway would be very clever and creative. Maybe another development in the area can be called Emerald City. Hey, you never know!

  5. Steve: Steal Point cannot develop as claimed. They have already planted stupid development on most of the peninsula, so the other stupid development–more housing and a hotel that has no purpose in a town without major attractions–have already been crowded out.

    For a place like Bridgeport, manufacturing is the highest possible use for our brownfields-defined land mass. To not pursue manufacturing is shortsighted and stupid, just like the whole idea of Steal Point in Bridgeport.

    With our city surrounded by outstanding universities with among the best technology programs in the country–especially UB–we couldn’t be more shortsighted and stupid to not pursue manufacturing opportunities.

    Do a web search of Andrew Liveris–CEO of DOW Chemical–and listen to his take on the need for, and potential of a manufacturing renaissance in the US.

    An intelligent guy such as yourself would be expected to be ahead of the curve on the potential for a manufacturing resurgence in a place like Bridgeport.

  6. Steve, I disagree with some of your spins here. I don’t buy assertions “manufacturing is dead, get over it!” Or how you can take a sound bite on this blog by a blogger who happens to support Ganim as being a Ganim stance, i.e., we cannot believe anything anyone says who lives outside of Bridgeport.
    I do agree with most everyone who disagrees with you, however.


Leave a Reply