Perez: Housing Units Not A SHU Fit For North End

If the shoe fits, or in this case SHU fit, proponents of a private-sector housing development on behalf of Sacred Heart University argue a contained location on Park Avenue will alleviate public safety issues that plague the North End while opponents insist 179 more units will just make matters worse. Police Chief AJ Perez, one of three finalists vying for a five-year contract from Mayor Joe Ganim who’s eyeing reelection in 2019, says he fears more units would exacerbate the situation.

Sacred Heart’s center campus is located in Fairfield with an extended presence of administrative buildings, classrooms and dorms in Bridgeport including numerous housing units rented by students.

More from Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

“I’m not critical of Sacred Heart; they’re great,” Perez said. “(But) we are saddled with the parties and the kids on the weekends causing problems and getting our people in the North End aggravated.”

Florida-based ABS Capital Company LLC. wants to replace the Monticello Gardens apartments at 4100 Park Ave. with a four story, 179-unit, 600-bed development to serve Sacred Heart students.

Since the facility would not be owned by the nonprofit university, ABS would pay taxes to Bridgeport.

The project was initially proposed last December, but rejected by zoning officials for being “completely out of character with the surrounding neighborhood” and for being “a construction nightmare” and possible fire hazard.

ABS returned this summer with a new design–an attractive urban campus, like Yale University in New Haven. The company is now seeking a zoning change from residential multifamily to residential high-density in order to build.

Full story here.



  1. I’m glad that AJ Perez has come out against the new units. but what is he doing about the parties that are going on NOW?? until he – and Michelle Lyons and AmyMarie Vizzo Paniccia – start to give a damn or two, nothing will change

  2. Very interesting indeed!!! A J against- Willinger representing for, a few C C members against. What will Mario do? No comment yet from OPED? (Mario and Willinger’s shadow cohorts). Not good for the neighborhood? Not good for those including a few C C people renting out spaces to SHU already ? (Legally or otherwise- including Mario’s newest C C puppet). Some of these same folks were silent on the liquor store distance issue that’s still not totally resolved. Interesting indeed. And A J ….. sorry but you know EXACTLY what I am referring to. Lynn Haig was an easy read back then on that issue and you stayed silent on the ill effects of allowing a relaxation of the distance requirement ESPECIALLY in a city like Bridgeport. Wouldn’t it be more advantageous for a private developer to build vertical and bring more tax dollars to the city than it would be to protect those few that have their own $pecial interests? And by the way I will be the first in line to open a new liquor store within 750 feet of that kind of new development. More to come.

    1. The complex does not satisfy the requirements for the zone change – the zone change would allow for more apartments than would be allowed if it were an SHU dorm and allows for more apartments than would be allowed in an apartment zone. The zone is intended to allow for high density housing in an urban section of town – these apartments don’t accommodate working class people to be close to their jobs or mass transit – it allows a for profit developer to create overly dense housing that only benefits SHU


  3. Chuck Willinger was the attorney for United Properties when United Properties proposed building a Super Stop & Shop on the Dewhirst property – a store that now stands vacant. if SHU no longer has a need for the apartment complex after it’s built on the Monticello Gardems, will that also become a vacant eyesore on Park Ave??

    Why does SHU just buy the 134th City council district and turn it into student housing?

  4. Those apartments will be built,count on that. Willinger,Mario &Joe are in lockstep.Mr Willinger got Defillipo’s liqour store open for Mario,and like Lisa mentioned Willinger was the attorney for United Properties when Joe was letting them build anything,anywhere,as long as he got paid.
    Joe &Mario are curiously silent about this develpment right now,but rest assured,with a “wink a nod”from Joe,Willinger knows this will be built eventually.And once Lyons &Pannicia get the word from Mario &Joe that they want this built,they will both fall in line,and be for it,count on that too.And Chief Perez?,come now,he will do what city hall tells him to do.,expect him to come out and say he “has gotten assurances from Sacred Heart that they will do more to police their own properties,so he is now in favor of it also…

    1. Also,all of those residents who are saying their property is going down in value because of Sacred Heart?.Sell your houses to the university,they will certainly give you more money than you could get otherwise.People are moving out of Bpt,not in.

  5. SHU, and other pseudo-non-profit institutions (with massive, diverse real estate holdings and financial endowments) that use elitist logic in choosing to legally designate their official headquarters and geographic base of operations in affluent municipalities while pirating services and space, tax-free, from socioeconomically distressed, neighboring locales, need to be checked and taxed in regard to the latter, exploitative relationships.

    Obnoxious, elitist, pseudo-non-profit institutions that abuse socioeconomically-distressed cities, such as SHU, in regard to its relationship with Bridgeport, need to have their properties fully taxed by host municipalities, with appropriate, additional surcharges (e.g., special taxes on non-Bridgeport-resident SHU students living in housing located in Bridgeport ).

    In regard to SHU, there need to be legally challenges to their destructive expansion into Bridgeport, at a cease=an- desist level…. Indeed, the many illegally-converted rooming houses in the North End of Bridgeport, created by out of-town profiteers and carpetbaggers to exploit the partying desires of off-campus SHU pseudo-scholars, need to ferreted out and shut down, even as any new mass-housing in Bridgeport is legally disallowed…

    Bridgeport and state government need to intervene with the SHU menace… Mayor Ganim, the City Council, and our state delegation need to be held accountable for protecting the citizens of Bridgeport from SHU exploitation even as they act to create necessary legislation to tax and check SHU’s dirty, Bridgeport game-plan.

    SHU is a predatory institution and bad Bridgeport neighbor that is destroying $millions in Bridgeport tax-base as it steals $millions in Bridgeport services, annually, and gives nothing back to the community except neighborhood disruption and hazards… (Pay no attention to SHU propaganda, exploited for obvious, ulterior motives, from token, student, extra-credit, work projects executed at targeted times and locations Bridgeport…)

    The next time that a Bridgeport resident needs the BPD in an emergency on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night, and no-one shows up in a timely way, it’s a good bet that the reason for the unavailability of BPD is that most of the force was occupied addressing disruption and traffic hazards at a mass, under-age-drinking party at an illegal SHU rooming house (or SHU dorm) in the North End…

  6. Is Acting Police Chief Perez expressing formal police department opposition that has been documented and submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission?
    Or, is he just making a comment of personal opinion?
    The CT Post collected comments from various people and shared them with readers.
    Not mentioned was any indication of an organized opposition or the specific grounds for P & Z to deny a zone change.
    The city council members have for years expressed annoyment with SHU but done nothing to limit the negative impact of the University’s active role in placing more students in single family homes in the North End as a component of their off-campus housing.


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