Developers announced plans for a food market in the Arcade Mall building and a brew-pub in the City Trust property Tuesday, the latest evidence of what some say is a revival of downtown.
Below is the news release sent out by the principals:
Bridgeport, CT (June 27, 2011) – On behalf of Ginsburg Development Companies, LLC and Urban Green Builders, GDC Properties, LLC has secured two key anchor leases in downtown Bridgeport within the dramatic City Trust and historically unique Arcade Mall buildings. “Although projects have important financing and land-use approvals to accomplish in the next six months, the news is exciting to break and important for the ever changing environment we are creating in downtown,” said Eric Anderson, one of the project’s principals. Both the historic “1920’s-era” City Trust Building and “1880’s-era” Arcade Mall building have been meticulously restored into urban apartment homes and interesting retail spaces by Ginsburg Development Companies’ Martin Ginsburg and Urban Green’s Anderson over the last six years. The success of the project has created a progressive urban environment in the heart of Fairfield County along with a desire for more urban apartments and exciting new food service options in the heart of downtown.
The buildings’ newest potential inhabitants include Fairfield County food-service entrepreneurs Christian Burns, who will debut the second location for Cask Republic (New Haven), an American-style brew-pub and restaurant, and Clyde Ripka, who will debut the fifth version of Bulls Head Market (Norwalk/Stamford) who is planning to offer downtown Bridgeport’s residents and visiting patrons an exciting mix of locally sourced produce, every day dry-goods, and affordable prepared gourmet foods popular in his other locations.
“Specifically, both leases have critical financing and zoning milestones to reach in the next six months before they can become an reality but we are hopeful that the positive momentum of the last few months will carry forward into the fall when we can commence construction on these important projects” said Martin Ginsburg. “The success of our residential apartments and other retail spaces gives us confidence that we are on the right track in creating an exciting environment to live and explore within the downtown area….these exciting opportunities enhance that experience even further”.
Bulls Head Market & Cafe will bring a 7,000 square foot full-service grocery market and café to the Arcade, located at 1001 Main Street. Launched by Clyde Ripka, Bulls Head Market currently has a number of other grab and go markets in Norwalk and throughout Fairfield County. Their latest concept, anticipated to open in the spring of 2012, will be a full service urban-style market connecting local growers to Fairfield county customers. Bull’s Head Market & Café is local community based operation with broad aspirations to not only meet some of the basic sundry needs of the area, but also deliver a convenience not currently available in downtown Bridgeport. The market will sell meats, produce, seafood and imported and locally grown products of excellent quality and value, and with great service– something for everyone.
The Cask Republic, of New Haven, is bringing a sprawling brew/pub concept to the former City Trust bank building located at 955 Main Street in downtown Bridgeport. Under the 10-year deal, The Cask Republic will inhabit 10,000 square feet. The Cask Republic made its debut in New Haven in 2011. Featuring great artisan beer from around the world, The Cask Republic Bridgeport will also be a destination for ardent beer drinkers, while being as much of a neighborhood restaurant and gathering place. It will also feature new American menu designed to complement the wide variety of beer.
“These two new downtown businesses, once open, will become instant landmarks within Fairfield county bringing a new set of options to the growing number of entertainment and food-service venues for downtown residents, daytime workers, and visitors” said Carre Harnett who handled both transactions for the owners.
“My administration has made revitalization of our Downtown a top priority. This announcement is a huge step forward for our efforts and should be recognized as such. We’re excited to welcome The Cask Republic and Bulls Head Market & Café to Bridgeport,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “The addition of these two businesses represents job opportunities for the City’s residents and much needed services for members of the downtown community.”
Urban Green Builders is a developer of urban, transit-oriented projects incorporating environmentally-friendly technologies and sophisticated financial structures. It has rehabilitated over 1,000 residential units, many of which are located in East Harlem, New York, where they have played a primary role in the community’s renaissance. Details on Urban Green’s projects can be found at www.urbangreenbuilders.com. Eric Anderson is the principal of Urban Green.
Ginsburg Development Companies, established in 1963 and based in Valhalla, N.Y., is one of the nation’s premier full-service real estate design, development and management companies. Martin Ginsburg is the president and chief executive officer.
GDC has developed more than 10,000 residential units during its 45-year corporate history. GDC residential sales Web sites are www.gdc-homes.com and www.gdcmetro.com. Information about GDC’s commercial ventures, corporate activities and charitable foundation is available at www.gdcllc.com.