Bridgeport’s Zoning Commission has rejected plans by a Miami-based company to build a four-story dormitory complex for Sacred Heart University (SHU) students.ABS Capital Co. sought to replace the Monticello Gardens apartments at 4100 Park Ave. with a 179-unit, 600-bed facility, whose cost was estimated at $55 million. First pitched about a year ago, the proposal ran into opposition from nearby residents and the Bridgeport Police Department over problems at existing properties used by SHU students, saying they have been disruptive to the neighborhood in the past.
ABS Capital – which would have retained ownership of the site – had maintained that it would be paying around $2 million per year in real estate taxes on the property. In addition, it would have invested some $300,000 in a traffic light on Park Avenue to alleviate concerns about increased traffic.
The Zoning Commission voted 6-3 against the proposal on Jan. 28.
Sacred Heart University officials have spoken in support of zoning for the project, believing it would provide additional options for upperclassmen and graduate students.
“This kind of third-party arrangement is common near colleges across the United States,” the Fairfield school said in a statement, “because everyone benefits — students have modern housing; colleges don’t have a financial commitment; and municipalities do not lose tax revenue.
“We thought it was a good solution as it would provide students with a spot that has adequate parking and an easy commute to campus without driving through the North End neighborhoods,” the statement continued. “We were a little surprised by the negative response from the North End representative as we thought this — along with the six residence halls we are adding to our campus — was a solution to many of their concerns.”