HIT Invests $35 million in Bridgeport: Groundbreaking for 157 Housing Units at Historic Factories
BRIDGEPORT, CT – A facelift has begun on Bridgeport’s most visible, dilapidated industrial site. Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim and state officials broke ground recently on the Cherry Street Lofts redevelopment project. The project includes 157 new residential apartments at the West End site along I-95. The Mayor was joined by community members, union officials, government representatives, bankers, and investors.
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is investing $35 million to renovate the historic buildings into multifamily rental units – a transformative project located adjacent to the Amtrak/Metro North rail line and I-95.
Andrew Nolen Pfeifer, Investment Officer for the HIT noted, “We are pleased that our first investment in Connecticut will provide affordable housing opportunities to working families in Bridgeport.”
The HIT is purchasing bonds issued by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) for the $54 million adaptive rehabilitation of two historic buildings into 157 apartments. Eighty percent of the units, or 126 apartments, will be affordable to residents making no more than 60% of area median income (AMI).
“The Cherry Street Lofts will act as a catalyst to restore retail in the community.” Developer, Gary Flocco of Corvus Capital Partners, LLC said. In addition to the residential units, the development will consist of a community facility, a gym, and 40,000 sq. ft. of outdoor recreational space.
The first multi-family new construction in the area in over a decade, it will be built with 100% union labor. The project is expected to create approximately 235 jobs for members of the local building and construction trades council.
Peter Carroll, President of the Fairfield County Building and Construction Trades Council said, “We appreciate HIT’s commitment to and support of union construction and recognize the benefits this work can provide to the workers and the community.”
This transaction came to fruition after several years of close coordination between HIT, CHFA, the City of Bridgeport, and the Fairfield County Building Trades, as well as the development team of Corvus Capital Partners, LLC and The Pacific Companies, the general contractor Construction Resources, Inc. (CORE), and tax credit syndicator City Real Estate Advisors (CREA).
The historic structures were originally built as a factory for the American Gramophone Company in the late 1800s. In the last 30+ years, the area became vacant and blighted. The neighborhood, which had been an industrial area, has seen recent improvements as part of the first phase of the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Plan: West Side/West End.
“The Cherry Street Lofts and its spark of new economic activity will create new affordable housing, support revitalization of the City’s West End Neighborhood and is a very visible investment in one of the gateways to Bridgeport,” said Karl Kilduff, Executive Director of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.
The site is also located within the boundaries of the newly created Bridgeport Eco-Technology Park in the city’s West and South Ends.