Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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162 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 Randall Shearin Bridgeport's new Steelpointe Harbor project is set to make waves. Safe Harbor I n Bridgeport, Connecticut, an in- triguing new waterfront development continues to make news. Construc- tion has begun on Steelpointe Harbor's $50 million first phase, which remains on track to open its doors this October. Bridgeport Landing Development, LLC (a subsidiary of Miami-based The RCI Group) recently announced the comple- tion of $15 million of infrastructure im- provements, and vertical construction is now underway. Phase I, which features nearly 160,000 square feet of retail, includes a 150,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops an- chor — the brand's first and only Con- necticut location — as well as a Starbucks, Chipotle and T-Mobile. While the first phase of the $750 mil- lion, super-regional development is posi- tioned on the northern end of the 82-acre property, it has become increasingly clear as the project takes shape that it is what's to the south that will ultimately define Steelpointe Harbor. That, of course, is water — specifically Bridgeport Harbor, opening onto Long Island Sound. While the completed project will en- compass nearly 2 million square feet of commercial space — including approxi- mately 750,000 square feet of retail, din- ing and entertainment uses, a 12-screen luxury theater anchor, two hotels, 1,100 to 1,500 mid-and-high rise residential units, and 30,000 square feet of office — its defining feature and almost certainly its biggest attraction will be the waterfront. Accessible waterfront is a rare commod- ity in lower Fairfield County, with private interests and industrial infrastructure lim- iting access to much of the coastline. Not only is Steelpointe Harbor providing that access, but, as project developer Robert Christoph Jr. explains: "the waterfront is integral to Steelpointe Harbor's identity, and we've worked hard to integrate that unique element into the way residents and guests experience the project. The water- front itself is an anchor." The Baywalk Promenade, a large pe- destrian walkway that arcs along the wa- terfront to the south, is perhaps the most obvious example of that engagement. A large waterfront plaza at the midpoint of the Promenade is a natural focal point and a gathering place where shoppers and diners can pause to take in the sights and sounds of Steelpointe Harbor's 200-slip full-service deep-water marina. With lux- ury yachts as large as 300 feet moored in the marina, the views will be spectacular. Even Bass Pro Shops will have its own dedicated marina on the Yellow Mill More than 5.5 million people live within a 60-minute drive of Steelpointe Harbor, with an average household income in excess of $97,000.

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