Bridgeport officials are making room for ongoing redevelopment in the Downtown North area.
Roughly a year after taking down the former Corbit’s Photography Studio, the city has begun tearing down a pair of derelict buildings at 157 and 171 Golden Hill Street, which members of the Office of Planning and Economic Development expect to become new public space and parking.
“That will open up this whole area and of course it just compliments everything that is going on,” OPED Director Tom Gill said.
At one point, the city-owned buildings were office space used for legal practices, but Gill and other members of OPED struggled to remember how long ago that was. The full demolition and transformation of the site is expected to happen in the next month, as city plans to partner with the neighboring Salvation Army and the Colorblends art gallery owners.
Following the demolition of the Corbit’s Studio, Chris and Tim Schipper, who own the gallery and Colorblends, a wholesale flower bulbs business on the city’s East Side, turned the site into parking and green space.
“We expect to have some sort of artistic treatments to the site, so it should be a lively space,” said Bill Coleman, deputy director of OPED in Bridgeport.
City officials have been touting the revitalization of the Downtown North for years, with a mix of big-ticket projects and housing developments like Jayson-Newfield renovations into the new 1188 Lofts and a proposed apartment complex by Bridgeport-based Primrose Companies on Congress Street.
As work continues in the area, Coleman said, there has also been an emphasis on creating a more welcoming atmosphere for prospective tenants.
“It’s a focus on trying to make the city look better and more aesthetically pleasing and more inviting as the residents move in,” he said.
A similar concept is slated across from Colorblends in the Preservation Block, which Coleman said will also see demolition to create public space near the 1188 Lofts along with the Golden Hill Street site.