PRESIDENT: Edward Lavernoich
The Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO), an affiliate of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council (BRBC), is a non-profit economic development corporation formed under US IRS laws as a 501(c)3 corporate entity and recognized as a charitable organization in good standing by the State of Connecticut. BEDCO can undertake a broad range of economic and community development activities with a determined focus of helping public, private and neighborhood partner organizations implement their worthy ideas. BEDCO is governed by its own Board of Directors, comprised of nominees from the BRBC Board of Directors, and appointees from the City of Bridgeport’s Mayor.
Anticipated 2022 Activities
- Assist WC McBride Electric in the construction of its new 10,000 square foot headquarters on Central Avenue, on a BEDCO- remediated brownfield property. Construction commenced in the fall of 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2022.
- Consummate the sale of .7 acres of a BEDCO-remediated brownfield property on Bunnell to NanoSolutions, LLC, a local high-tech manufacturer, and assist the company with the 2022 construction of a 15,000 square foot building
- Serve as the fiduciary and fiscal sponsor for the Bridgeport Environmental Task Force, soliciting community grant applications, managing, and distributing a $2 Million Community Environmental Benefits Fund. Initial grant awards to community projects are expected in April-May 2022.
- Bridgeport Brass Redevelopment Planning Project. Manage a $200,000 Brownfield Area Redevelopment (BAR) planning grant from CT DECD. The effort is intended to create a comprehensive implementation strategy to remediate and redevelop the 22-acre Brass Project Area, through a collaborative effort with the City of Bridgeport and the Metropolitan Council of Governments. In 2022, continuing the management of ongoing diagnostic and planning activities that are expected to culminate in a comprehensive plan that prioritizes remediation and redevelopment of the site, and ultimately attracts State and Federal resources for these purposes.
- East End NRZ Urban Agricultural Projects. Serve as funding applicant and development partner with the East End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (EENRZ) for two urban agricultural project concepts. Serve as the City of Bridgeport’s project manager for a CT Dept. of Agriculture Farm Viability Grant awarded to the East End NRZ’s proposed hydroponic container farm.
- Serve as a grant conduit and fiduciary for a two-year $100,000 CT Department of Public Health grant to the East End NRZ under the federal Building Resilient Inclusive Communities (BRIC) Program.
- Support City of Bridgeport and Bridgeport Regional Business Council efforts in business development and business retention.
- Cherry Street Lofts Phase III Project. Serve as the local conduit for utility infrastructure and brownfield remediation grants totaling $4.77 Million from CT DECD related to a private developer’s 136 residential unit $75 Million adaptive reuse project. Remedial activities commenced in 2021 and the overall development project is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2023.
- Assist the City of Bridgeport’s Office of Planning and Economic Development in the close-out of various brownfield reclamation activities, predominantly in the City’s West End.
- As a grant applicant and project partner, assist local neighborhood groups and others seeking funding for community and economic development initiatives. In partnership with Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust and Bridgeport Landing Development, apply for a CT Communities Challenge Grant for the East Side Pointe $15 Million affordable housing project. Continue a multi-year partnership with the Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District (DSSD) that has previously resulted in more than $45,000 in grant awards for DSSD’s programs.
- Provide external staff support and assistance throughout 2022 to UI/Avangrid’s economic and community development efforts, including staff support and community outreach for “Hydrogen Economy” initiatives in Bridgeport and the Bridgeport region.
Typical BEDCO Activities
- Assemble land for industrial and commercial expansion when statutorily designated as Development Agency for the City of Bridgeport
- Administer brownfield assessments and remedial activities.
- Provide grant/financing administration services for private companies and developers receiving state economic development assistance
- Provide grant/financing administration services and project management for neighborhood organizations
- Provide cost-effective capacity for the City and State’s economic development efforts
- Serve as fiscal/fiduciary sponsor for grant and foundation funding.
Illustrious Past and Current BEDCO projects
- Boston Avenue Industrial Park
- Devar Instrumentation expansion
- Chapin & Bangs expansion
- Carpenter Technology expansion
- Producto Machine expansion
- Lacey Manufacturing expansion (3X)
- Bridgeport Innovation Center modernization
- Read’s Artspace adaptive reuse
- Arcade Hotel acquisition and restoration
- Modern Plastics expansion, West End Municipal Development Project
- Seaview Avenue Industrial Park
- Management of project infrastructure and property improvement funding for Lower East Side Development Corporation
- Lower West End Coastal Resiliency Project
- Bridgeport Brass Redevelopment Planning Project
- State Grant Fiduciary & Conduit for Cherry Street Lofts Project Phase III
- Fiscal Sponsor/Designated Organization for Community Environmental Benefits Agreement
- Fiscal Sponsor for East Side Neighborhood Revitalization Zone’s East Main St Banners Project
- Fiduciary & Conduit for Building Resilient Inclusive Communities (BRIC) grant to the East End NRZ.
The 2022 BEDCO BOARD OF DIRECTORS
David Levine, Cohen and Wolf PC; BEDCO Board Chair
George Estrada, Town of Trumbull, and Bridgeport resident; BEDCO Board Vice Chair
Paul Timpanelli, Hodson Realty; BEDCO Treasurer
Edward Lavernoich; BEDCO President & Secretary of the Board
Andre Baker Jr, State Representative, 124th District
John Bundschuh, People's United Bank
Albert Carbone, Avangrid/UIL
Maureen Funke, Greenbox-is
Carolyn Gonzalez, Capital for Change
Janene Hawkins, City of Bridgeport
Charles Scott, Tri-State Realty
Daniel Shamas, City of Bridgeport
Peter Majewski, Yale New Haven Health Bridgeport Hospital (BRBC Nomination pending)
BEDCO has proudly done business with the following local MBEs since 2016
America View Productions, Bridgeport
Aunt Viv’s Homestyle Cooking, Bridgeport
Brown Construction, Bridgeport
Engineers Ironworks, Bridgeport
Four Star Movers, Bridgeport
Freeman Companies, Hartford
JESCO Builders, Bridgeport
PrintabiliTees, Bridgeport & Stamford
Pryceless Consulting, Bridgeport
Resource Services, Bridgeport
WC McBride Electrical Contracting, Bridgeport
PERMANENT BEDCO DIRECTOR EMERITUS
Kenneth Oppedisano, Main Enterprises Inc., BEDCO Board Chair 2007-2017
Representative Ezequiel Santiago 1973-2019. Dedicated BEDCO Board Director 2011-2019, Vice Chairman from 2015 until his passing.