Log in Register

 

Housatonic Community College Campaign for Tomorrow’s Jobs Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo Bridgeport Public Library
Downtown Cabaret TheatreThe Barnum MuseumElle SeraInfoBridgeportOIB the book OIB Classifieds
OIB TV



Greater Bridgeport Transit

Connecticut Characters


Attorney Thomas C. Thornberry

Barnum Festival





Ganim, Ganim & Ganim, P.C.


Trattoria ’A vucchella


The Quest To Make Steelpointe Harbor Vertical–Marina, Restaurant, Waterfront Walkway On Horizon

May 16th, 2017 · 38 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, Development and Zoning, News and Events, State Politics

Steelpoint dockside rendering

Rendering of Steelpointe Harbor dockmaster.

Surrounded by elected officials and neighborhood and business leaders, developer Robert Christoph Sr. and Mayor Joe Ganim on Monday broke ground for the 35,000 square foot waterfront dockmaster’s building that will house a raw bar restaurant, retail and an engineering company on Steelpointe Harbor accompanied by a harbor walk platform, marina and docks that Christoph estimates will be operational in about one year.

Ganim, Christoph Sr.

Ganim with Robert Christoph Sr. Monday afternoon. In background, across the harbor is Bridgeport Harbor generating station that’s converting from coal to a gas-fired combined cycle power.

“This is the second engine to drive Steelpointe to a whole new dynamic,” said Christoph to a wind-whipped gathering along the harbor off Pembroke Street, a reference to the city’s waterfront and the adjacent retail operation Bass Pro Shops that serves as the anchoring tenant for the redevelopment of the East Side, with an accessible walk from Downtown. Starbucks, Chipotle and a T-Mobile are also featured tenants of the development along Stratford Avenue.

Christoph says he has an agreement with the engineering firm BL Companies doing work on the site to occupy 4,000 square feet of the building that will also serve as the headquarters for Bridgeport Landing. Christoph is a principal of the company. He expects construction to begin within 60 days. Christoph is the founder and president of the Miami Beach based RCI Group and its related companies such as Bridgeport Landing.

Ganim characterized the totality of Steelpointe Harbor as the largest waterfront development along the coast east of New York City. “This is nothing short of magnificent for our city, creating jobs, building the tax base and increasing the stature of Bridgeport.”

Ganim Steelpointe groundbreaking

From left Economic Development Director Tom Gill, New Haven State Rep. Robyn Porter, Ganim and Christoph Sr. and Christoph Jr. Photo courtesy of Frank Gerratana Jr.

State Senator Marilyn Moore, who in the past has shared a healthy dose of skepticism about redevelopment progress, said “I’m proud to see the work that’s happening. This is what the people need to see, a vision for Bridgeport.” Moore invited New Haven State Rep. Robyn Porter to attend the groundbreaking. Porter was also in the city to join Moore to express concern about the recent police-involved shooting of a Stratford teenager.

Herbert, Newton

Mickey Herbert, left, CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and City Council candidate Ernie Newton. Photo courtesy of Frank Gerratana Jr.

According to Christoph when completed, Steelpointe Harbor will be an urban mixed-use development “designed to embody the most desirable characteristics of a harbor-side neighborhood. A new public realm consisting of a network of streets, open spaces, water views and harbor side strolling. Entertainment venues such as hotels, Bass Pro Shops, and movie theaters together with a mix of residential, restaurant, retail and commercial uses creates a diverse, livable, pedestrian-friendly environment.”

Gresko, Moore

From left New Haven State House member Robyn Porter, Stratford State House member Joe Gresko, a city employee, and State Senator Marilyn Moore. Photo courtesy of Frank Gerratana Jr.

Steelpointe going vertical is a linchpin for Ganim both in showing city progress and shaping a message for a long-shot statewide run for office. For Ganim to build a broader constituency he must show a series of development successes for Connecticut’s largest city.

Ganim has formed an exploratory committee as he eyes a gubernatorial run for 2018. If that fails he has already amassed nearly $200,000 in a campaign warchest for mayoral reelection in 2019.

Redevelopment of the East Side was first proposed by Republican Mayor Lenny Paoletta in 1983. The idea languished for more than a decade until eminent domain battles, site clearance and cleanup and improvements, backed by millions in state money, prepared the location for potential development during Ganim’s first tenure as mayor. It also took many years for the city to settle on a land disposition agreement with Christoph’s company. But it wasn’t until the administration of Bill Finch that physical tenant progress was achieved with the landing of mega outdoor retailer Bass Prop Shops that opened in 2015, shortly after Ganim defeated Finch in a Democratic primary.

Officials have often lauded the economics of the redevelopment with no real specificity of what it will generate in future tax revenue. OIB on Monday asked Tom Gill, the city’s director of economic development, to share an overview of the economics with a timeline. He said he would task his office with doing that.

Share

Tags: ··········

38 Comments so far ↓

  • Bob Walsh

    OK Start the clock ticking….NOW! One year. That’s it.
    Yeah. Right.
    These clowns can’t get a single thing straight. A year from now not a thing will be done. But there will be plenty of excuses to go around.
    Maybe we will have a rowboat dock along side a kayak for a photo op.

  • Bob Walsh

    doesn’t Joey G look like a puppet standing there? Just waiting for someone to pull his strings to make him come alive.

  • DC Faber

    Didn’t Joe promise a whole bunch of progress on Steel Point prior to going to jail for corruption? It took the “evil” Finch to get it completed. Not only can Joe live up to the 1 year promise, but can he do it while keeping his beak dry?

  • Frank Gyure

    ll this sounds nice bit is it pure PR after a spate of bad news on Bridgeport. First of all,I would be more willing to give credence to this “grounfbreaking” if the chief executive,the mayor,the city-wide community leader(all of those titles are presently owned by Joseph Ganim) if Ganim was nost seeking other political office. The fact that he is looking at “other opportunities” makes me question the sincerity of his efforts. We need someone who is 100% committed to Bridgeport. There are significant doubts that Ganim is that person. Let’s take a look at the Steelepointe/Christoph project. there are areas of concern. The plan include retail. Retail has always been an old standby but we are seeing the ground shift under our feet concerning bricks and mortar retail. What percentage of Steelpoint is targeted for retail. If it it too high,that is the kiss of death. Bridgeport already tried using retail to fight ‘urban decay” which started in the 1960′s. The trumbull Shopping Park was established circa 1960 and it sapped the strength out of Downtown Bridgepror. Bridgeport created The Lafayette Shopping Plaza(and subsequent itenerations). We know how that worked. In fact,the day and age of the “MALL” has come to and end. Malls are closing,malls are no longer being built,anchor stores are closing and retail is changing. Almost every single bricks and mortar retail operation is fighting for survival. So,the retail concept of te Christoph plan needs to be carefully looked at. Everything I just said can apply to movie theatres. Thanks to technology,we have a huge selection of movies etc available to us in the comfort of our own home.Plus,we would not have to pay the exorbitant prices for the popcorn etc. The cinema industry has felt that the answer is to create “luxury” experiences for moviegoers. But,have not the Christophs already announced a cutback to the previous cinema plans. In closing,has the Bridgeport Community(and Bridgeport political/civic leaders) placed too much emphasis on Steelpointe but,as you drive through the rest of Bridgeport,what you see is a rotting dying city with housing infrastructure collapsing. Yes,there are a few neighborhoods which are holding up but,even there,cracks are showing.We need to start admitting that we are in an emergency crisis and we need to use that word. Bridgeport is in CRISIS.Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s on the FAAS FB page.

    • Frank Gyure

      grrr..I used notepad,copied and pasted,and still some misspellings. Hopefully,it’s understandable.

    • Frank Gyure

      OMG..talk about technology.That last sentence does not even belong in the posting and I have no idea how it snuck in there. That was a comment that I made on a particular FB page.

  • Frank Gyure

    Last thought…How many groundbreakings have we already had at Steelpointe? It’s almost guaranteed that we will have more.

  • Grin Ripper

    Bring back Skip’s Harbor Hut! Moore or Less!!

  • Bob Walsh

    Skip’s! Now that’s a blast from the past!

  • Bob Walsh

    What the hell is a New Haven State Rep doing in the photo?
    Joey G felt it needed more color?

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Troll, State Rep. Porter was invited by Senator Moore.

      • Bob Walsh

        I don’t give a damn. She can be in the background but she has no right being shoveling the sh*t!
        BTW, doesn’t to Gill look like an undertaker rather than a Economic Development Director?

          • Bob Walsh

            Lennie
            Did you think I was gong to roll over and play dead when you said she was a guest of Marilyn? No way. She could show up but she has reason to have shovel in hand.
            If she was an important player in Bonding or Planning & Economic Development OK. But all you said was a guest of Moore and that don’t cut it.

          • LennieGrimaldi

            Troll, I’d find it hard for you to roll even for a Tootsie. So, you think State Rep. Robyn Porter had some sorta sinister motivation for accepting Senator Moore’s invitation? Isn’t it good for urban lawmakers to support each other? Will you now condemn Moore because technically this is not her district?
            Porter chairs the Labor Committee and a bunch of folks from the trades attended the event. It’s not like Porter pushed her way into the groundbreaking opportunity. She was invited to grab a shovel. As for the completion of this project you predict it will not happen. You also predicted Bass Pro Shops would never happen and promised to eat crow if it did. How’s your swallow?

  • Jeff Kohut

    There are so many gaps in anything that might be construed as an integrated “plan” involving this development and the rest of the region/state — in the context of reliable national and economic forecasts — that one can only logically conclude that is just more financial hype and sleight of hand on the part of the city and Christoph — who’s cardiovascular health from the image in the ceremony picture might be extrapolated as being about as robust and stable as Bridgeport’s financial and political health… I would bet that Christoph is thinking in terms of flipping all of this gifted, tax-abated property in the fairly-near future to someone planning on creating a feeder-barge port/trucking terminal (there are already 3 warehouse buildings of various scales on the site…). The way that things are being done on the municipal, state/regional, and national levels at this point time, Christoph’s great-great grandchildren won’t be around to see this “vertical” snow-job host any degree of significant retail/commercial economic activity… It ain’t to happen… The Seaview Avenue will evolve according to the original intent — as a conduit for feeder-barge port truck and Stanford-bound car traffic and as an access-way for suburban commuters wishing to use the new train station for their Stamford commute… Essentially the

  • Jeff Kohut

    (pardon the unintended truncation — Continued)
    Essentially, the Steal Point/Seaview Avenue Corridor development is all about diverting truck traffic off of I-95 and feeding suburban commuter traffic to the new train station — all in order to make more Stamford-Norwalk development feasible such that it can happen without the need for massive-scale workforce-housing development in the Gold Coast… The GC gets more high-value tax base, and Bridgeport gets more traffic and municipal expense… “One Coast One Future” — we get the “Housing Hub” (per Jim Himes) (or, more accurately, the “housing chump.”

    All of this Steal Point hype is BS… The only type of real, revenue-generating development that Bridgeport can hope for is a casino (not my first choice, but the only realistic choice) and our bought-off/inept city leadership and state delegation remains fixated on feel-good/look-good bs at the expense of their constituents… They all need to the political dumpster next election cycle (with the exception of Reps Santiago and Rosario, who, in the final analysis are only Bridgeport pols that actually made a serious effort to advance Bridgeport’s interests this session…

  • Jeff Kohut

    (Edited/Corrected submission)

    There are so many gaps in anything that might be construed as an integrated “plan” involving this development and the rest of the region/state — in the context of reliable state/national economic forecasts — that one can only logically conclude that this is just more hype and sleight of hand on the part of the city and Christoph — who’s cardiovascular health from the image in the ceremony picture might be extrapolated as being about as robust and stable as Bridgeport’s financial and political health… I would bet that Christoph is thinking in terms of flipping all of this gifted, tax-abated property in the fairly-near future to someone planning on creating a feeder-barge port/trucking terminal (there are already 3 warehouse buildings of various scales on the site…). The way that things are being done on the municipal, state/regional, and national levels at this point in time, Christoph’s great-great grandchildren won’t be around to see this “vertical” snow-job actually host any degree of significant retail/commercial economic activity… It ain’t going to happen… The Seaview Avenue Corridor will evolve according to the original intent — as a conduit for feeder-barge port truck traffic and Stanford-bound car traffic (as an access-way for suburban commuters wishing to use the new train station for their Stamford commute)…

    Essentially, the Steal Point/Seaview Avenue Corridor development is all about diverting truck traffic off of I-95 and feeding suburban commuter traffic to the new train station — all in order to make more Stamford-Norwalk development feasible such that it can happen without the need for massive-scale workforce-housing development in the Gold Coast… The GC gets more high-value tax base, and Bridgeport gets more traffic and municipal expense… “One Coast One Future” — we get to be the “Housing Hub” (per Jim Himes), or, more accurately, the “housing chump.”

    All of this Steal Point hype is bs… The only type of real, revenue-generating development that Bridgeport can hope for is a casino (not my first choice, but the only realistic choice) and our bought-off/inept city leadership and state delegation remains fixated on feel-good/look-good bs at the expense of their constituents… They all need to go to the political dumpster next election cycle (with the exception of Reps Santiago and Rosario, who, in the final analysis are the only Bridgeport pols that actually made a serious effort to advance Bridgeport’s interests this session…

  • Harvey Weintraub

    LOL..They think we are idiots,every few months they spray paint some shovels gold,call the press together,and ‘announce” some “great news”..”A new Hotel is coming!”..”A new luxury theater is coming!”..”Dave&Busters is coming!”..and now this “great news”…no one even takes notice anymore…Comical at this point

  • Frank Gyure

    I know why Mickey Herbert and Ernest Newton was there for this fake groundbreaking. My big question is;Why was Marilyn Moore there at such a fake and obvious PR event. Senator Moore needs to get back to her supporters and give us information as to why she was there.

  • Mojo

    *** Can’t wait to rent a Army Vet. senior’s affordable apt. @ Steel-point hopefully in the near future! ***

  • Mojo

    ***While I’am on the subject, anyone know of any 60+ yrs? seniors affordable apts. available for rent? Two bed-rooms, decent area, clean, appliances included, off street parking and not built in the roaring twenties or during the Big One era! Been trying to contact Phil Kuchma to see if he’s got something nice and affordable for two? I don’t have little kids, pets, smoke or listen to loud music! ***

  • Steven Auerbach

    Well I am certainly sorry I missed this event and wished I had known about it. Although I think this is great news and obviously believe it will be completed on time, I think it would have been wise to start building some highrise housing there at the same time. There needs to be life after hours with lights from apts.

    Seeing cranes daily from I95 will be great at image building. This new development will become Ganim’s success and also a success for the city of Bridgeport as well as a success for the East End.

    It is nice that the bricks and mortar will drown out the naysayers .

    • flubadub

      The mechanicals (water, electric,telecommunications) still need to be installed as well as streets, sidewalks. I believe the question remains who is responsible for that cost, the developer or city.

    • Ron Mackey

      Steve, I can’t believe that you of all people was not this event. There is no one who is a bigger fan of Bridgeport. You said, “Seeing cranes daily from I95 will be great at image building,” that’s so true and that’s what then Mayor Malloy said when those cranes were standing tall in Stamford but once the subject came up about a casino in Bridgeport he complained that too much traffic would drive by Stamford on I95 on their way to Bridgeport.

      • Steven Auerbach

        Ron Mackey, the sooner we stop talking about Casino’s in Bridgeport the better we will all be. There is no contiguous acreage in this city to support the project and although it may produce many jobs , it will also be bad for gambling addiction and misuse of welfare checks.Increased prostitution and drugs.
        I remember being a college student and working at the brand new Jai Alai Fronton. It was amazing and exciting– Then it wasn’t.

        Now if the city took all of that property by kossuth and surrounding Steelepoint to creat available land that would be something but still not not good for a very poor city.

        I was not aware of the event. I always enjoy being part of the positive things in the city. I would have canceled a booking to be there.

        Malloy will be gone soon enough! Though , truth be told, I thought he was a great Mayor in Stamford for economic development!

        • flubadub

          Steve, I worked for a short while at the Jai Alai Fronton also in valet parking. People would drive up all smiles, eyes bright stepping lively ready for a night of “entertainment”. Unfortunately the vast majority coming out were losers, eyes downcast, no smile, almost shuffling to retrieve their cars. Most people went only on occasion but there were sad group who were there much too frequently chasing after that big win that seemed to always elude them.

        • Ron Mackey

          Steve. Ganim is trying to duplicate what then Malloy did on Stamford but it’s not going to work.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Ron Mackey , I will respectfully disagree and support the Mayor on all of these positive base hits.

            Eneida Martinez had a great post on Facebook. She doesn’t want to associate with negative people, not because she thinks she is better but because negative energy rubs off. This blog is a perfect example of total negativity, It can suck the life out of you.

            Before Joe Ganim had his “Time out” , this city was moving in the right direction. I am hopeful he is making up for lost time and doing double duty. I expect he will make a great impact in a short period of time. That is because I am an optimist and I believe he will make it happen.

            I have always supported every Mayor in office. We are all in this together and this post in particular is positive and good for the city and I find it amazing that every comment on this blog is negative .

          • Ron Mackey

            Steve, Ms Martinez needs to get her act together for pushing for those new parking meters downtown that Judge Carmen Lopez had to challenge the City about for all of the residents of Bridgeport, how much more negative can a elected City Council member be than passing a City Ordnance that steals money from those residents who want to spend their money downtown with the downtown businesses but they won’t shop there for fear of getting the a $40 parking ticket, thanks for nothings Martinez.

  • Ben Henson

    A new gas station with convenience store, AND a car wash!? THIS is what “magnificent” looks like? Wow.

    • Harvey Weintraub

      Ben,expect 3 “ground breakings”..one for each of those buisnesses..lol

    • Steven Auerbach

      Excellent comment! That of course will be at the Seaview Avenue Plqza- adjacent to Steelepointe! — That was a funny response though .

      • Ben Henson

        Steelpointe Harbor will be an urban mixed-use development “designed to embody the most desirable characteristics of a harbor-side neighborhood. A new public realm consisting of a network of streets, open spaces, water views and harbor side strolling. Entertainment venues such as hotels, Bass Pro Shops, and movie theaters together with a mix of residential, restaurant, retail and commercial uses creates a diverse, livable, pedestrian-friendly environment.”

        Gas station (with convenience store!), car wash and parking lots do not add up to anything just described. I understand the difference between Steelpointe and Seaview Plaza. I don’t understand why they keep trying to brand this obviously car-centered suburban development as anything remotely resembling a mixed-use urban neighborhood. This certainly isn’t that.

Leave a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.