Rocky Hill…The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) and GE Money, the consumer lending unit of General Electric Company, have entered into a partnership to make low-cost financing available to developments that support and encourage downtown stabilization and revitalization in the City of Bridgeport.
Earlier this year, the City of Bridgeport released its draft plan of redevelopment for its downtown central business district as well as surrounding neighborhoods that are affected by and influence downtown markets. The Plan includes projects that encourage downtown housing, small business development, public transportation, as well as entertainment and retail expansion.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with GE Money to support and encourage downtown stabilization and revitalization in the City of Bridgeport,” said CHFA President, Gary E. King. This initiative is in line with CHFA’s goal to promote Smart Growth per the State Conservation and Development Plan and Governor M. Jodi Rell’s Executive Order No. 15.”
On the need to redevelop the City of Bridgeport, a 2005 Advisory Board Services Panel report from the Urban Institute noted, “Bridgeport’s future lies in capturing the plentiful opportunities available now, which follow a very different path from attracting heavy industry. The city will meet with substantial success if it reaches out to developers of retail, service, and residential properties.”
GE Money will invest up to $25 million in Bridgeport and sought a strong partner to design and implement the financing strategy. CHFA offered a partnership opportunity whereby GE Money would purchase $25 million of taxable CHFA bonds, a sale that was approved by the CHFA Board in May 2007. The proceeds from the sale will be used exclusively for financing developments in line with the City of Bridgeport and GE Money policy priorities.
“GE Money is pleased to partner with the City of Bridgeport and CHFA on a redevelopment plan that has a clear path to successful community and economic revitalization.” said Mark W. Begor, president and CEO of GE Money – Americas “This is a great opportunity to invest in our local community on a major effort to improve the lives of area residents.”
CHFA will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting developers to submit financing requests for developments that are in accordance with the priorities outlined in the City of Bridgeport’s plan. There will be a particular emphasis for mixed use residential and commercial properties and/or mixed income rental and homeownership developments and will involve the restoration of historic and industrial buildings, transit-oriented improvements grounded in green and smart growth principles, and much more. Although the RFP will reflect the GE-supported financing only, other CHFA financing products may be available for eligible projects. The complete RFP is available on CHFA’s website at: www.chfa.org/RFPs.htm.
CHFA was created in 1969 by the State Legislature. CHFA’s purpose is to help alleviate the shortage of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families and persons in Connecticut, and when appropriate, to promote or maintain the economic development of the State through employer-assisted housing efforts. CHFA is financially self-sufficient and operates without state tax revenues. Information about CHFA is available on our website at www.chfa.org or by calling (860) 721-9501.