In Rick & Ine's blog on the Strongest Real Estate Markets they mentioned Bridgeport, CT came in #3 according to Business 2.0's article The New Rules of Real Estate: The Best Places to (Still) Invest with a projected increase in value of 63% over the next five years. One person commented that they were surprised Bridgeport made the list.
Well I've lived here for 27 years now and I'm not surprised. What surprises me is how long the value of properties in this city have been supressed. This city is in one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S., Fairfield County, home to Greenwich and Darien, Connecticut. It is within commuting distance of Manhattan. I worked in the corporate world and commuted to Manhattan for many years before "retiring" to my real estate career.
Bridgeport was once a vibrant, wealthy industrial center and the architecture of both the commercial and residential buildings reflects this. It has the largest sandy beach park in an urban area in Connecticut. Seaside Park has 325 acres of lawns, shady groves of trees for picnics, sports fields, and a long white beach with Fayerweather Lighthouse at the end of the jetty.
It has been the focus of a tremendous amount of interest by developers lately. Here are some of the recently completed and proposed development projects in Bridgeport:
Why is this happening? Location and natural resources. Bridgeport is 60 minutes from Manhattan. It is a transportation hub with I-95, 10 Amtrak stops daily, and 87 local trains to and from Manhattan. It has a 40 acre deep water harbor and may soon be home to a high speed ferry service to Manhattan. It already has ferry service to Long Island.
Downtown Bridgeport is just beginning its turnaround, but it's already got a number of cultural attractions and good restaurants, so you can see the potential for a vibrant nightlife. No it's not there yet, that's why you can still get a good value on real estate in Bridgeport!
My area of Bridgeport is called Black Rock. It is on the border of Fairfield and will probably rise in value faster than the other areas of Bridgeport for three reasons:
(1) Black Rock train station (to be completed in 2009 -- first new stop on Metro North line in 40 years)
(2) the natural beauty of our community, bordered on one side by Long Island Sound and on another side by the Ash Creek tidal estuary
(3) our ability to attract talented, creative people, such as writers, artists, musicians, academics, and performing artists (last night we went to the Black Rock Arts Center to see a former star of the London stage perform her cabaret act, she now lives two blocks from me) and tonight we went to the opening reception for an art exhibit by a local artist at Harborview Market (an espresso cafe). Check out our vibrant cultural life in Black Rock on our community blog
I know I'm biased, but I can see the changes occurring and the excitement in this city. There are solid reasons for this turnaround. I hope others can now see why Bridgeport is #3 on the list.