BRIDGEPORT, CT (May 14, 2013) – Bridgeport has been awarded more than $2 million in grants by Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith for the cleanup of brownfield sites in Downtown North and the East End.
“We are committed to cleaning our brownfields and turning them into developable land that attracts new businesses, brings jobs and improves our neighborhoods. We are thankful for the Governor and Commissioner Smith for awarding the City with these grants, which will help move two very exciting projects forward,” said Mayor Bill Finch.
“This investment from the state exemplifies Governor Malloy’s and Mayor Finch’s commitment to Downtown development, neighborhood revitalization, and sustainability as these projects bring necessary housing to our increasingly vibrant downtown and urban agriculture to our East End food desert,” said David Kooris, Director, Office of Planning and Economic Development.
The City will receive a $1,014,821 grant for site assessment, remediation, and redevelopment work at the Security, EE Wheeler, and EW Harral buildings—three historic properties in the downtown village district on Main Street that are being developed by Spinnaker Real Estate Partners. Plans call for restoring about 76,000 square feet for 57 market-rate and affordable housing units, and 20,000 square feet for retail space. Located in the heart of Bridgeport’s downtown and near the central business district, the $16 million project will meet transit-oriented development criteria and LEED sustainable standards.
"We are very pleased and appreciate the support from the City of Bridgeport and the State of Connecticut in receiving this Brownfield grant," said Kim Morque, President, Spinnaker Real Estate Partners.
Bridgeport will also receive a $1 million grant for remediation and redevelopment of a 3.4-acre site in the East End to be known as the Heroes Village Urban Agriculture Center Greenhouse Project. The project calls for 80,000 square feet of state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouses that will provide about 800,000 pounds of high quality produce for commercial sale. A retail center will be built to sell subsidized food to nearby residents, helping to alleviate the urban food desert. The development will also house an extension program of UConn’s Agriculture School, which will train unemployed veterans to farm in an urban setting and to operate and manage a retail food and produce distribution center from the site.
“Heroes Village is very excited to receive this grant and is looking forward to getting started with construction and growing produce. Thank you to Mayor Finch and the City of Bridgeport for being a helpful partner to Heroes Village throughout this process,” said Antonio St. Lorenzo, CEO, Heroes Village.
Bridgeport was one of six cities awarded grants from the state. Naugatuck, Newington, North Haven, Plainville, and Trumbull will also receive funds for brownfield remediation.