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Shipyard Promise Bottoms Out

December 13th, 2013 · 8 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events

East End shipyard

East End shipyard.

When he served as city development director and then head of the Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation Don Eversley viewed a shipyard project as a key momentum builder to the city’s waterfront agenda. J. Goodison Company, a Rhode Island-based marine and industrial maintenance and repair contractor, had been selected last year by the Bridgeport Port Authority to breathe new life into the city’s East End shipyard following the departure of prior tenant Derecktor Shipyards that filed bankruptcy. Eversley recruited Goodison for a Bridgeport presence. Eversley is gone and now so is Goodison.

Goodison and the city were unable to settle on a long-term lease deal. City development officials, according to an article by Jennifer Bissell of the Fairfield County Business Journal, believe they can do better.

A year ago it had seemed the hustle and bustle of Bridgeport’s shipyard was about to return. A new shipyard operator was settling in, more than 100 new jobs were on the horizon and the local marine industry was anticipating an economic boom.

J. Goodison, a marine maintenance and repair company, had big plans for the shipyard. It had been vacant for months after luxury boat manufacturer Derecktor Shipyard declared bankruptcy and stopped paying rent.

“We’re being flooded with phone calls from fishermen, ferry boat companies in Connecticut and New York, hub and barge operators,” CEO Jack Goodison told the Business Journal November 2012. “You put it all together–the deepwater access, proximity to New York, size of the property–it’s a recipe for success.”

Fast forward a year, J. Goodison and much of the yard’s equipment is gone. After investing roughly $300,000 in the property, Goodison said he and officials from the city and port authority were unable to reach a long-term lease agreement.

Full story here.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Bob Walsh

    Man the lifeboats!
    Abandon the Port Authority!!!
    What a sad, sad joke …

  • Mojo

    *** Another economic development pipedream whose premises of a long-term break in property taxes and what the Port Authority’s future plans were ended “up in smoke!” And just because the utility companies are actively working at a slow pace at Steelpointe Landing does not mean there are other sure plans for continued development at the site! It will certainly be a political dangling carrot come Mayoral election time, no? ***

  • Chosen 1

    Where’s Steve Optimistic now?
    Until there is a non-machine Mayor in place with a background in business and not lifelong politics, this city will continue to decay while the politicians rob the coffers.
    How many of the insiders are grabbing paychecks from other Hartford or Washington sources yet still pull down their city bucks?
    Bridgeport Harbor could be a major port between Canada, Boston and points south yet it just rots while the politicians’ wallets get fat.
    Ganim was the biggest thief and did his time but trust is long out the window.
    Fabrizi had the vision and the love for the city but fell on his own sword and found out he isn’t bullet proof and is now a Trumbull Republican.
    Finch is the nicest of people but has allowed everyone in his circle to get fat and happy while the city crumbles and rots and he is clueless as to what his peanut gallery is actually doing.
    I keep thinking 2015 isn’t that far away and a mayor with vision and a business background not career thief/politician can bring us forward if one is available and steps up to the plate, one who can relate to the people of Bridgeport, but that’s probably a pipedream like a thriving Bridgeport Harbor is.

  • Bob Walsh

    Lennie,
    I don’t want you to think I am expecting any more work out of you … oh, wait a minute, that is exactly what I am expecting. Something a little more than cut and paste from the CT Post.
    Did you reach out to Goodison and try to get more info? Could be right there below the surface or could have been in this article but was cut out by the editors.
    Goodison sunk $300K into the property only to walk away. Doesn’t pass the old smell test.

  • MAGOO

    There was not enough money for the boys to make!!! This is yet another of the long list of deals where Eversley was sleeping while at the table. No word from the Director of OPED or the Birdman Finch? This City is in one sad state.

  • Bob Walsh

    Maybe Tate George has expressed interest in this parcel, too. Or maybe Magic Johnson. Maybe the city is confused and they think this is where the Port Jefferson Ferry will be docking. Or maybe the city wants to leave this available for its fleet of water taxis. Or maybe the city wants to keep this available for all the new retailers we read about at Steal Point.
    The possibilities are endless. The probability not so.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Bob Walsh,
    I have donned my Personal Flotation Device (at your warning above) and already have my snow shovel at the ready to wield at appropriate times. I will make sure none of the snow I shovel will go back into the street, naturally, because I wish to avoid fines.

    Would you take a look at the comments I have written in a separate article and let OIB readers know whether these errors, inaccuracies and incomplete info was part of your CC experience? As you look at City financial reporting, is it adequate to provide oversight? Inadequate to even assume such info is correct? Clearly meant to frustrate meaningful understanding of our Bridgeport financial situation?
    By the way, when you were on the Council, what information did you receive and from where regarding the City balance sheet? Time will tell.

  • Mojo

    *** THE CITY’S PRESENT ADMIN IS GAMBLING ON A STEEL POINT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SHOT IN THE ARM TO GET THEM THROUGH THE NEXT MAYORAL ELECTION; SO NOW IS THE TIME FOR OPPOSING POLITICAL PARTIES TO START PICKING AND FUND RAISING FOR THEIR CANDIDATES OF CHOICE, NO? *** LET’S NOT FORGET THE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, UPCOMING DTC SEATS’ LOCAL ELECTIONS THIS 2014 WINTER IF VOTERS ARE LOOKING FOR MORE POLITICAL CHANGE FROM THE BOTTOM UP! ***

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