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 organized under US IRS laws as a 501(c)3 corporate entity and is recognized as a charitable organization in good standing by the State of Connecticut. BEDCO has the ability to undertake a broad range of economic and community development activity, with a purposeful 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 Mayor of the City of Bridgeport.
Anticipated 2021 Activities
- Assist C. McBride Electric in the pre-development approval phase leading to the construction of its new 10,000 square foot headquarters on Central Avenue. The building construction is expected to commence in March 2021.
- Consummate the sale of .7 acres of industrial property to NanoSolutions, LLC, a local high-tech manufacturer, and assist the company through the pre-development approval phase leading to the construction of a 15,000 square foot or more building, with construction expected to commence in summer 2021.
- Assist the City of Bridgeport’s Office of Planning and Economic Development and Small & Minority Business Enterprise Office in the administration and distribution of $1 Million of federal CARES funding for Bridgeport small businesses. This activity is expected to commence in December 2020 and continue through March 2021.
- Serve as the fiduciary and fiscal sponsor for the Bridgeport Environmental Task Force, managing and distributing a $2 Million Community Environmental Benefits Fund.
- Bridgeport Brass Redevelopment Planning Project. Awarded $200,000 Brownfield Area Redevelopment (BAR) planning grant by State of CT. The project is intended to create a comprehensive implementation strategy to remediate and redevelop the 22-acre Brass Project Area, through a collaborative effort between BEDCO, the City of Bridgeport and MetroCOG. In 2021, 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 Main Street Banners Project. Successful applicant and fiduciary on behalf of the East Side Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (ESNRZ), for up to $19,000 of Community Development Block Grant funding. The project will result in the installation of approximately 80 neighborhood- themed banners designed by students of Bridgeport schools.
- East End NRZ Urban Agricultural Project. Funding applicant and development partner with the East End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (EENRZ) for two conceptualized urban agricultural projects.
- Support City of Bridgeport and Bridgeport Regional Business Council efforts in business development and business retention.
- Cherry Street Lofts Phase III Project. Awarded a $1 Million grant by the State of CT to provide financing to the 100 + residential unit adaptive reuse project for utility infrastructure and related site remediation costs.
- Provide external staff support and assistance to UI/Avangrid’s Economic and Community Development team as requested throughout 2021.
Typical BEDCO Activities
- Assemble land for industrial and commercial expansion when designated as Development Agency (under Statute) for the City of Bridgeport
- Administer brownfield cleanups
- 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 to 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 (3 times)
- 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
The 2021 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
Paul Antinozzi, Antinozzi & Associates
Andre Baker, 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
BEDCO has proudly done business with the following local MBEs since 2016
Aunt Viv’s Homestyle Cooking
Brown Construction, Bridgeport
Engineers Ironworks, Bridgeport
Freeman Companies, Hartford
JESCO Builders, Bridgeport
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.