Image courtesy of Flaherty & Collins Properties

Bridgeport may have won another battle in its long war to attract market-rate development back to its streets when Indianapolis firm Flaherty & Collins Properties announced it had secured construction financing for a large luxury development in the city’s Steelepointe Harbor district.

Flaherty & Collins is partnering with master developer RCI Group on the $200 million, 6.5-acre project, the company said in an announcement posted on its website. It did not name the construction lender.

“This is a truly unique and exciting project and partnership for us,” Ryan Cronk, principal at Flaherty & Collins Properties, said in a statement. “Between the City of Bridgeport and RCI, we’re really building off something transformative at Steelepointe Harbor, where the project is already set-up for success through all the hard work and solid foundation in place. This for-rent project is just what this burgeoning area needs.”

The 420-unit building will contain 10,000 square feet of commercial space. Amenities include a waterfront pool and deck with outdoor kitchens, Flaherty & Collins said, along with an outdoor pickleball court, a secure parking garage built into the apartment complex, a dedicated dog park, pet spa, fitness center with a spin studio, sauna and jacuzzi.

Renderings released by Flaherty & Collins also show a public waterfront promenade.

The Steelepointe area, a stone’s throw from the city’s Metro North train station and once the site of a giant steel mill, has been slowly cleaned up and redeveloped over the last decade. A Bass Pro Shops outlet and a small retail plaza featuring the city’s first Starbucks store were built to much fanfare in 2015, and a 10,000-square-foot waterfront restaurant opened in May 2020 along with a 220-slip marina. However other progress has been slow to materialize.

Under an agreement between the city and developer the RCI Group, property taxes normally generated by the huge site have gone into building out a street grid and utilities. However, RCI Group has been responsible for the $6 million environmental cleanup, with a $990,000 assist from the state of Connecticut earlier this year.

Prior to the pandemic, the city’s downtown saw a spurt of development approvals, with long-sought multifamily rehabilitations of two abandoned office buildings completed near the RFP parcels, and a ground-up multifamily development beginning construction nearby. In addition, the city’s downtown Holiday Inn was purchased for conversion into extended-stay suites last year.