February 17, 2016
By Stephanie West
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 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.
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 first multifamily 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.”
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.