‘Vitality And Momentum’ For East Side Development

Steelpointe Harbor
Rendering of Steelpointe Harbor.

In a commentary that first appeared in the Connecticut Post the principals of the Miami-based RCI Group Robert Christoph Sr. and Robert Christoph Jr. highlight redevelopment progress on the East Side.

The Steelpointe Harbor has always been focused on creating employment and economic opportunities while at the same time invigorating and developing Bridgeport’s waterfront. After years of hard work and significant capital outlays, this development has finally achieved vitality and momentum.

This momentum has been most recently evidenced by the exciting announcement that took place last week: the Cinepolis USA, a 50,000-square-foot luxury cinema complex, is coming to the Bridgeport waterfront.

It will be joining Bass Pro Shops, Starbucks, Chipotle, T-Mobile, and other top-notch companies that have yet to be announced, further creating jobs and in fact, further invigorating the waterfront.

This is especially great news for the development because it’s been a long and sometimes bumpy ride.

After being selected as lead developer in 2001–having developed waterfront properties in Miami Beach, Key West, Boston, and other waterfronts on the Eastern Seaboard–we were excited to move forward with developing this beautiful piece of property on the Long Island Sound.

Unfortunately, we hit some roadblocks early on.

Political scandals in both Bridgeport and at the state level in Connecticut, combined with an economic recession across the country, delayed our ability to move forward with the project in the early years.

However, in 2003, John Fabrizi helped jumpstart the project by getting a hold of the city’s finances, and regaining confidence from the state.

This was necessary to unlock public funds for aiding development of the site, and in turn enhancing our ability to entice private investment.

Recently, with a stronger economy, and with Mayor Finch’s administration at the helm, the project has taken on further momentum.

The project has been assisted significantly by Mayor Finch’s administration, especially in securing federal and state funding.

Mayor Finch’s real estate development background gave him the understanding that this project needed to be done in phases and could not be completed all at once. As a result, he and his administration assisted in pursuing this as a phased approach as part of the development criteria for Steelpointe Harbor.

Once complete, it will be a 2 million-square-foot regional waterfront urban destination.

Spanning 82 acres, Steelpointe Harbor 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.

It will also be the first time the peninsula will have public access for Bridgeport residents in 100 years.

We’re designing a destination that will entice kids and families from across the city and state to come enjoy and spend time on the property.

Today, due to the strong support of local, state, and federal officials–as well as the community as a whole–Steelpointe Harbor is becoming a premier place to invest in the Northeast region.

We believe Bridgeport truly is getting better every day–in part due to our Steelpointe Harbor waterfront development–and that there are even better days ahead.

We’re proud to be a part of the city of Bridgeport and its comeback story.

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22 comments

  1. A listing of properties that were to become owned by the City and a site for SPIID recently provided by Office of Planning and Economic Development have represented the land to be 69 or 70 acres. The article above has raised that area to 82 acres. What is the reason for the revision of the land area of this project? Will dock areas ultimately developed count as acreage, have the boundaries of the initial district expanded, or is there an error somewhere? Time will tell.

  2. Liftoff Velocity–that’s what’s occurring at SteelPointe Harbor under the current administration. Toss in a free water taxi to Pleasure Beach and all of a sudden people start seeing different types of improvement–even while others see bitterness and despair.

  3. This was the topic of conversation at the Galaxy Diner this morning. Great editorial. Nice that both Mayor Finch and Mayor Fabrizi were acknowledged as well as their administrations. Nice that for the next 20 years there will be cranes and construction jobs on this site.

  4. LE, Steve, Jim Fox, and Grin Ripper,
    Nice posts above, but does anyone know how the project gained 12 or 13 acres, or is it that acreage doesn’t matter in daydreams?
    And Lennie, I know you have a grasp of neighborhoods in the City but I had assumed SPIID is looked at as Downtown Waterfront or something akin to that, and that it abuts the East End? But not that it is considered East Side? Please assist me and others in our City geography. Time will tell.

  5. It’s amazing the architectural renderings haven’t changed one iota while every other aspect of the planned development has.
    This is simply a new and different voice singing the same Finch praises adding nothing to the lyrics.
    More BS.

  6. Here’s the difference between Bill Finch and Joe Ganim. Joe would have made sure our tax investment at Steelpointe was phased in with the completion of each project! Joe would have never waited 20 years for a return on our money.

      1. Bob Walsh // Apr 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm
        How about where is the check RCI Marine is supposed to give the city for the property??? The caption says Finch signs transfer documents but it does not say what if anything RCI paid. And based on what is being said I think the answer is NOTHING!!!

        Follow the Money // Apr 26, 2014 at 9:33 am
        Walsh is right. Show us the money! What property taxes are going to be collected on the raw land or this going to be another raw deal?

        Based on $5 million sales price for 50 acres we should be receiving about 1.2 million for this parcel.

  7. But I am sure this will at some point result in excessive royalties being paid again to RCI Marine at the expense of the Bridgeport taxpayers.

  8. Didn’t Joe Ganim pretty much give the property to Conroy for a $500,000 payment to his Gubernatorial campaign? And didn’t the city pay a fortune in legal fees to Conroy? Isn’t that pretty much what Ganim did?

  9. At least we learned why the project has been delayed and taken so long jut to get to where we are today. “Mayor Finch’s real estate development background gave him the understanding that this project needed.”
    They were dependent on Bill Finch’s “real estate development background.”
    I don’t know what is funnier; that statement or their ignorance as to how deep a hole they just dug when Finch fails in his reelection efforts.

  10. It is obvious this release was authored by the ministry of public enlightenment. Check the phrases, “getting better every day.”

    Finch has a real estate development background? When? His time at BEDCO? Laughable.

  11. Mayor Finch is playing a heavy hand in developing real estate in several locations throughout Bridgeport. He’s a momentum player and he’s just getting started.

      1. That’s Mister Local Eyes to you. Black Rock is a village of winners. When you’re ready to join their ranks, use these pages to justify your arrival.

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