Skip to main content



The largest economic development project in Bridgeport, Connecticut, since the Industrial Revolution

Steelpointe Harbor in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is that city’s largest economic development project since the Industrial Revolution. Don’t believe it? Just ask Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.

Last November, when Bridgeport Landing Development, Steelpointe’s developer and a subsidiary of The RCI Group, announced that Starbucks and Chipotle would be among the first tenants to open at the project, Mayor Finch said in an address, “Steelpointe Harbor — our city’s biggest economic development project since the Industrial Revolution — is finally becoming a reality.”

When its 2 million sq. ft. are complete, Steelpointe Harbor will also be the first super-regional mixed-use destination in Southwest Connecticut.

The developers are not waterfront development novices. In fact, The RCI Group has developed a number of successful waterfront properties, including the well-known Miami Beach Marina.

“Steelpointe Harbor is similar to our Miami Beach Marina revitalization,” said Robert Christoph, chairman of the RCI Group. “That property was a bus depot and waste transfer station. Steelpointe is a brownfield site as well — it was an old power plant.”

That old power plant, now taking shape as a giant $750 million development, will span 82 acres of waterfront property along the coast of Bridgeport Harbor in Southern Fairfield County. Steelpointe Harbor enjoys excellent highway access and visibility; more than 156,000 vehicles pass the site every day on I-95, and two exits provide direct access to the site.

Just one exit west of the project, I-95 connects to both Route 8 and Route 25, which travels to the Merritt Parkway. The upshot is that Steelpointe stands at the center of a highway network with direct and convenient connections to Stamford to the southwest, New Haven to the northeast and Waterbury to the north.

The demographics of the region are impressive. More than 1,250,000 people live within a 30-minute drive of Steelpointe Harbor, with an average household income of $112,000.

Steelpointe Harbor also counts customers from New York’s Long Island in its trade area. The Bridgeport-Long Island Ferry, a year-round ferry service operated by the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co., will ferry them back and forth. The ferry provides 10-20 daily round-trip service runs for vehicles, passengers and freight across Long Island Sound between Bridgeport and Port Jefferson, servicing 800,000 passengers annually. But when the ferry company acts on its impending relocation plan to move the Connecticut terminal adjacent to the eastern edge of Steelpointe Harbor, officials estimate ridership will increase to more than 1.4 million passengers annually over the next few years.

Steelpointe’s waterfront, of course, defines the project’s character. Harborwalk, a major feature, is a waterfront promenade stretching along the site’s southern perimeter. At Harborwalk’s midpoint is a waterfront plaza offering views of large yachts moored in the marina.

Plans call for the $50 million first phase of the project to open this fall. It will include Bass Pro Shops, Starbucks, Chipotle and T-Mobile. The $15-million Phase I infrastructure improvements have been completed. Those improvements included rebuilding the street grid and adding new sidewalks, lighting and utilities. The stores are now under construction.

When completed, the entire development will feature more than 750,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurants and entertainment, a 12-screen luxury theater, two hotels, 1,100 residential units in mid-rise and high-rise structures, 30,000 sq. ft. of office space and a 200-slip deep-water marina.

The Bass Pro Shop, the first and only planned for the State of Connecticut, will measure about 150,000 sq. ft. Under construction now, the completed store will include slips for Bass Pro’s for-sale boats. “When you test a boat on the water, it is called a sea trial. Customers will be able to sea trial the boats right on the property,” said Doug Jerum, a partner with Ferrara Jerum International, a retail real estate consulting group handling Steelpointe’s leasing.

“Bass Pro will be a strong anchor for the site, and these other well-established businesses are welcome partners in the revitalization of this historic area,” said Congressman Jim Himes, whose district includes Steelpointe Harbor. “The federal and state infrastructure investments we’ve made to improve the Steel Point Peninsula are creating the right conditions for businesses like Chipotle and Starbucks to come to the area and bring new jobs and new visitors to Bridgeport.”

No other tenants have been announced, although Jerum said he expects to announce new leases soon.

“Our leasing for Steelpointe Harbor has been heavily focused on a tenant mix of both recognizable and first-to-market retailers,” said Jerum. “We have gained tremendous momentum in our discussions with a strategic blend of fashion, home, food and entertainment users that will deliver a diverse and appealing combination of accessible luxury to the entire region.” For example, the 12-screen theater will offer in-seat dining and stadium seating. On a broader scale, the contemporary architecture will offer space for visitors to stroll, relax and enjoy the views. Steelpointe aims to become both a visual and experiential standout.

The billion-dollar-plus project will rise through four phases over the next 10 to 12 years, each adding layers designed to cement Steelpointe Harbor’s foothold as a unique and region-defining destination.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds