The North End’s Thorny Relationship With Development, Valentine’s Day Community Meeting To Address Public-Storage Plan

Many stakeholders and residents of the North End have a rather puritanical view of their neighborhood oasis.

Generally, passive recreation is the preferred form of interloping, except for business along the primary Main Street commercial corridor.

A proposal last year to convert Diocese of Bridgeport property into a two-year college owned by Fairfield University received stigmata treatment. The new college is now poised for the East Side.

Nearly 40 years ago, a phalanx of opposition stormed a community meeting against a proposal to host a regional hub of Little League on the parkland adjacent to the Discovery Museum on Park Avenue across from city-owned golf courses.

It was a hideous display of bigotry when the neighborhood was overwhelmingly white. God forbid people of color (they were using other terms cranking up misinformed neighbors at doors) enjoy America’s past time in one of our parks. Just think what they will do with baseball bats in the neighborhood.

The proposal struck out.

About 10 years later municipal zoners approved a dormitory high rise for Sacred Heart University that started an emerging university presence on the Bridgeport side of the Fairfield-addressed campus as well as a growing proximity of college students renting Bridgeport residential homes.

During that time zoners also approved a Stop & Shop application on the Madison Avenue property of the former Dewhurst Dairy. It was a noisy, controversial decision that caught the attention of federal investigations that launched a public corruption probe of city government.

Stop & Shop closed its doors about 10 years ago and the building has been shuttered since.

Now comes a new proposal by Hugh Scott of SimCove LLC to transform the building, purchased in 2021, into a self-storage facility.

Veteran City Council members Michelle Lyons and AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia will host on Tuesday a public forum, 6 p.m. at the North Branch public library to hear details of the plan. Scott has been invited.

Scott’s application will be heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission Feb. 27. He says the plan is to spruce up the building without expanding the footprint.

On Tuesday’s Valentine’s Day will love or loathe be in the air?



  1. Loathe will be in the air. I would be happy if Mr. Scott shows up. First, 4 Million, pathetic deal of the Century. 2 years ago, there was another proposal, perhaps the same for a Public Storage Facility. At the time Chuck Willinger was the Attorney and told him he was wasting his time. Candlelight Terrace, Ameridge, Riverview, Madison Gardens, Coachlight square just the Condos alone are repulsed at such a misuse of Prime Real estate. At the time after Talking with neighbors, It was the hope that the City Development Department could Market the property for Senior Housing like 3030 Park, Upscal/ Market rate Town Homes, Like the Embassy Town homes, Park Royale, The Embassy, Cartright towers. Private homes Trader Joes, Shoprite, Etc. Etc. Etc. . To propose a Public Storage Facility on Madison Avenue nestled in a residential neighborhood is absolutely absurd. You can make it look like the Taj Majhal but, it is what it is. I know first hand about Public Storage, I have waster over $6,000 a year at a facility in West Haven. When I rarely go to visit my stuff I am the only vehicle in the lot.

    This proposal does not serve and resident in the North End. Maybe the Empty nesters that will rent the beautiful apts. in Trumbull. Residence of the Main. To believe there is a need for Public Storage in the North end is a joke other than College students putting their “stuff There” and the idea of renting Parking spaces. Yeah, because there will never be life or vehicles in the lot. it is 2023. Time to get some serious development in the North End. The results of this upcoming vote could have some serious ramifications. This will not be my last fight and I have no voice right now to speak, But I can assure you , North Bridgeport will not accept this sad proposal. No mater how you dress it up. We have waited 10 years. We will wait longer for a proper proposal. Or the City should pay the measly 4 million dollars and let Economic Development do their job- RFP. Yes I am on Lunch for anyone concerned . Thank you for letting me rant.

      1. Psyche is the Greek goddess of the soul. She’s a friend of anyone in “recovery mode” — she’s on your side.
        Hugh Scott has over 35 years experience in the self-storage business. He started The Cove funds for institutional investors ready to use unconventional methods to achieve superior results. He has millions under management and has helped others or acted on his own behalf. It’d be wise to ask him which style he’ll use on that specific property.


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