Bridgeport, CT came in #3 as one of the best places to invest in real estate in the U.S. according to Business 2.0's article The New Rules of Real Estate: The Best Places to (Still) Invest http://money.cnn.com/popups/2006/biz2/newrules_bestinvest/3.html for those who have the patience to buy and hold.
I've lived here for 30 years now and I'm not surprised. This city is located 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, a boat ramp into Long Island Sound, 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 more than $100 million in recently completed and proposed development projects in Bridgeport.Why is this happening? Location and natural resources. Bridgeport is approximately 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. See the BERC website for more information http://www.bridgeport-econ.org
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 commercial real estate in Bridgeport!
The Black Rock residential area, which is on the border of Fairfield and Bridgeport, will probably rise in value faster than the other residential areas of Bridgeport for three reasons:
(1) Black Rock train station (to be completed in 2010 -- first new stop on Metro North line in 40 years), which will make commuting to Manhattan easy and convenient for residents and is already bringing exciting, upscale arts, entertainment and dining to our commercial district along Fairfield Avenue
(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
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.