Charles Pointe shopping center taking shape

The Exponent Telegram

Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2012 9:53 pm | Updated: 9:56 pm, Sat Sep 1, 2012.

by Leslie Moses, Staff Writer

BRIDGEPORT — Work continues on a new Charles Pointe shopping center soon to hold about a dozen storefronts off Jerry Dove Drive behind Buffalo Wild Wings.

It looks to be the first of multiple buildings constructed there quarterly, according to David Biafora, partner with Metro Rentals, which is developing the site.

Already confirmed for the site are three restaurants — pizza, Mexican and Asian eateries — and a cell-phone store, Biafora said.

Developers are in negotiations with a doctor’s office and a hair and nail salon, he said.

Metro Rentals’ The Commons is a 20,250-square-foot building with 12 to 13 units, according to Bridgeport Assistant City Manager Jimmy Smith.

“That’s going to be an economic boost to the Charles Pointe area, the first real growth we’ve had there, retail-wise, in a while,” city Recorder Mario D. Blount said, mentioning BFS, which opened within the past year.

The businesses will generate more shopping and eating options for residents of the area, as well as revenue for the city, according to Mayor Jim Christie.

“They want something different,” Christie said. “They want new restaurants.”

Blount called it a “destination shop,” with a nice mix of retail and restaurant sites.

“It’s a great addition for Bridgeport,” said Randy Spellman, director of community development for Bridgeport. “It’s a great addition to Charles Pointe.”

The Commons “bring a little more retail flair” to Charles Pointe, which includes hotels, gas stations and office buildings, according to Spellman.

More buildings are planned.

A building parallel to the Commons is already in the works, according to Mark Dellana, executive director of development for Charles Pointe.

The upcoming 5,000-square-foot building will be compatible with the one under construction now, according to Dellana.

Other Charles Pointe construction should follow every three months within the year, according to Biafora.

A larger 120,000-square-foot building is planned across the street from the Commons.

It will be built in phases of 30,000 to 40,000 square feet, he said.

It will be modeled after the “very successful” Suncrest Towne Centre in Morgantown, according to Biafora.

The two-story site will hold offices on the top floor and retail shops on the first floor, he said.

“It really makes it nice because it’s all right there,” Biafora said. “Nobody has to get in their car for lunch.”

Revenue to the city for the Commons comes with the $6,340 building permit, which could mean around $12,000 in permit fees once the shell is built out, according to Spellman.

Taxes for business and occupation also will mean city revenue, according to Spellman.

Work on the Commons may be complete by the end of this year with stores opening by early 2013, according to Christie.

Currently, roofing and windows are in place, but the interior structure is not complete.

The current shell cost $820,000, but the completed project could be around $1.5 million “once everything is built out,” Spellman said.

It “brings more traffic to the area,” said Christie. He mentioned both shared and increased traffic for neighboring sites like Buffalo Wild Wings.