Watch: At Business Community Speech, Ganim Touts New Buzz In Bridgeport

Fronting center stage at the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in front of more than 300 community stakeholders, Mayor Joe Ganim on Wednesday resumed his annual address to the business community that was Covid-delayed for two years.

The presentation opened with a video, see above, highlighting city resilience during the pandemic and transition to stronger economic footing.

Ganim delivers address to business community.

Highlights from Ganim’s address provided by mayor’s office:


— The city’s obligation to put funds provided by the American Rescue Plan to work:< o 400 local businesses awarded grants totaling over $5 million.
o Investments in resources to address food insecurity, second chance opportunities, learning deficits caused by the pandemic, and homelessness.
o In partnership with the Board of Education over $30 million dollars allocated to non-profits helping our vulnerable residents and young people:
o Programs like Caribe Youth Leaders, Color A Positive Thought, and Wakeman Boys and Girls Club–meaningful opportunities, enrichment outside of the classroom.

Ganim wrapped this portion of the address related to recovery by stating, “As we look to put the pandemic into the rearview mirror, I am proud to say that Bridgeport is on the Move, the state of our city is Strong, and Bridgeport is stronger and more vibrant than ever before.”

· With arts, music and entertainment venues throughout the city, Bridgeport has become the Music Mecca and entertainment Capital of Connecticut.
· The amphitheater has attracted over 200,000 people this year alone.
· Bridgeport will host Sound on Sound to draw 30 thousand people.
· Bridgeport Landing Development to develop 400 waterfront units and a new hotel.
· Bridgeport’s waterfront is now home to these businesses on Bridgeport Harbor:
o Bridgeport Boatworks, operating a marine servicing facility.
o Hornblower Group, an international manufacturer of ferries and cruise ships.
o North Sails, the largest sail manufacturer in the world at Steelpointe.

— Stratford Avenue features Honey Locust Square anchored with a new library.
o Under construction is a 35,000 sq. ft. retail plaza, featuring a grocery store, Health Care facility, jazz club, bakery, and police substation.

Ganim then featured housing, “Bridgeport has seen a higher-than-average growth in population compared to the rest of the state. I am pleased to report that there is a substantial amount of investment happening throughout the city to address this housing need.”

— Primrose Construction, to build 100 residential units with retail and parking.
— East-pointe Development and Spinnaker at Canfield Park with 300 residential units.
— Cherry Street Lofts continues to expand on the West End.
— Jason Newfield added substantial housing units downtown.
— JHM mixed income developments in the South End, formerly Marina Village. The site, now Windward Commons, is a reinvention of public housing to improve quality of life.
— PLUS, the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club being constructed on the North End, a $19 million investment that will open as a 44 thousand sq. ft. center for youth next year.

“As we talk about this transformation from our industrial past to a vibrant urban center it’s important to consider what comes next,” continued Ganim.

— The City is working with PSEG to rid the property of the former coal plant and reclaim 30 acres on the waterfront for future development in Bridgeport Harbor.
— The other major development to have a significant regional impact is Sikorsky Airport.
o The State of CT will acquire Sikorsky for $10 million, and the city will no longer have to invest local money into the facility.
o The State plans to make investments in a passenger terminal, runway, and infrastructure to bring commercial service back to Sikorsky Airport to attract businesses and provide flights to destinations throughout the country.

“As we take the long view, these are the kinds of projects on the horizon that my administration is working on that will be the next round of game-changers.” Ganim continued his address, “We have also been focused on addressing “quality of life” issues that most affect our communities.”

— Construction of a new Bassick High School adjacent to UB campus brings a unique partnership for transitioning students into higher learning.
— Bridgeport Public Schools experienced commitment to universal pre-K and an increased number of students going onto college.
— The Board of Education now undergoing a process to hire a new Superintendent.
— The City is near the end of the process with the IACP to select a Chief of Police.
— The City planning $10 million for the largest road paving program in history.
— The City continues to maintain balanced budgets and holding the line on taxes.
— Substantially reduced the mil rate.
— Commitments to fiscal stability, earned the City of Bridgeport its first ever A+ bond rating which will help us save millions of dollars for capital projects over the next 20 years.

Ganim closed, “I have never felt so optimistic about the City’s future. There’s a new buzz in Bridgeport. Bridgeport is on the move!”



  1. The State of City video running 4 minutes plus is pretty. Who produced it? How funded? Any public money? Why not identify the speakers by name, and title? Other than BLD/ Christoph they have more to do, I suspect, with “the buzz” or “the beat” which are supposedly changing? Why are there no facts superimposed for benefit of a public subsisting on a weakened diet of facts, including previous announcement of $3.5 Million road paving and now $10 Million (largest road paving in history) but no listing on City website of streets to be worked on before asphalt ceases for winter months? Did the Mayor note that the BOE process for locating interim and longer term leadership seems to have begun in SPECIAL manner, and public was not informed in timely fashion, nor invited to witness? And the Mayor focused on housing developments including the “reinvention” of public housing, but what are the before and after resident numbers for each such project that depend on HUD subsidies for those least able to pay? And where are the public boards that listen to citizens with problems including FAIR HOUSING AND FAIR RENT? They have died while in plain sight on the City website for more than 15 years with no agendas or minutes posted and inadequate appointed citizens to function. How does that serve “the buzz” and “the beat”?
    In contrast, the CT Post printed a letter from a former member of the Police Commission, who chaired the group in 2006, with multiple facts about our current “policing plan” and the need for serious review to help us overcome multiple current issues. The overtime budget issues are worse than he was able to detail in his letter. Who will look into this with public comment? Time will tell.

  2. Ganim presented a list of laundry list of lies and embarrassments — and the business community was supposed digest it unregurgitated?! I don’t think so…

    The abandonment of our failed school system by its controversially-selected superintendent by the Ganim II Administration… The search for a police chief after the failed, scandalous tenure of a controversial choice of the Ganim II Administration… The Ganim II failure and “fire sale” of an extremely-valuable municipal-airport asset..

    Failure upon failure. Lie upon lie. Illusion on a backdrop of deception… This is the true state of the City of Bridgeport led by a visionless opportunist…

  3. As someone who was present, there were a lot of eye rolls at tables. A lot of head shakes and head scratching as the mayor spoke. There were also many awkward clapping moments led by city staffers and the business community jumping in. To the mayor’s credit, he plowed through and honestly he could not perform any better. It’s the BRBC’s event which as continued to shrink in membership and influence, so they have their own issues and can’t cast judgement on city hall.

    I gave the Mayor a B for this performance. He simply had no other way to approach it. He glossed over failures, touted the high number of visitors to the city, avoided the elephant in the room: allowing the change of use of the Holiday Inn, the lack of economic impact of those visitors into downtown, and the fact that ground didn’t break at Steelpointe this spring as expressed with City Council decided to give the abatement deal. He even managed to praise Anthony Stewart while they try to paint him as incompetent behind his back. (Yet all he did was attempt the same tactic “white” developers have done in BPT for years, see if any state funding can help offset expenses before he has to “borrow” with interest)


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