BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim and the developers of Crescent Crossings, a mixed housing development on the East Side, on Thursday announced a financial agreement that will pave the way for phase two of the much-anticipated project.
In lieu of a 35-year tax abatement the developers had sought under previous Mayor Bill Finch’s administration, the city will invest $1.25 million in capital funds in 2016 with another $700,000 next year. The City Council must approve the plan.
The abatement plan would have cost the city about $8 million in lost tax revenue, Ganim said. Instead, the $33 million second phase of the construction will bring the city an estimated $250,000 to $300,000 and 150 jobs.
“We’re putting real dollars into this,” said Ganim.
As the city held a press conference on the new deal, workers continued to build Phase I, with 93 units that should be ready for occupancy by July or August, said Todd McClutchy, a partner in JHM Financial Group, the development firm.
The second phase will have another 84 units, he said, and will be ready in about 16 months.
The Waterview Avenue development sits on the site of the former Father Panik Village, a city housing project opened in 1939 and demolished in 1993, after years of deterioration and mounting crime and violence.
The new development will include space for some residents of Marina Village, an older South End enclave now being demolished by JHM Financial Group. It will also include affordable and market-rate housing.
In addition to city capital funds and their own private investment, the Crescent Crossings developers are receiving significant state and federal funds, including federal/state low income tax credits for developing affordable housing units.
The new housing is close to the hospital, I-95 and a planned East Side train station. The fact that it will be visible from I-95 and passing trains was not lost on those gathered.
“Now they have a visible sign of the progress (in Bridgeport),” Economic Development Director David Kooris said of passing commuters.
When all four phases are complete, Crescent Crossings will go a long way to making the East Side a more walkable and desirable place to live and work, Ganim said.
“Crescent Crossings will be a beautiful housing community and I want to thank the McClutchy family for working with the city to come to terms on an agreement that works for the city and its taxpayers and will be very profitable for these developers,” he said.
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