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McLevy Square Marks New Phase Of Bridgeport's 'Downtown Renaissance'

Forstone principals Brett Wilderman and Brandon Hall and Mayor Joe Ganim hold the scissors for the ribbon cutting at McLevy Square Apartments.
Forstone principals Brett Wilderman and Brandon Hall and Mayor Joe Ganim hold the scissors for the ribbon cutting at McLevy Square Apartments. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
McLevy Square Apartments sits on State Street, just across from McLevy Green.
McLevy Square Apartments sits on State Street, just across from McLevy Green. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
McLevy Square Apartments feature oversized windows, many overlooking McLevy Green.
McLevy Square Apartments feature oversized windows, many overlooking McLevy Green. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
McLevy Square Apartments feature stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.
McLevy Square Apartments feature stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
The soon-to-be-opened Harlan Haus beer hall offered up a sampling of its menu outside the new McLevy Square Apartments.
The soon-to-be-opened Harlan Haus beer hall offered up a sampling of its menu outside the new McLevy Square Apartments. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Harlan Haus will open in a former People's Bank building that was once home to Roberto's restaurant.
Harlan Haus will open in a former People's Bank building that was once home to Roberto's restaurant. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Developers officially opened McLevy Square Apartments Wednesday, christening the first part of a massive complex set to transform the block across from McLevy Green.

In addition to the 32 one- and two-bedroom apartments Forstone Capital has created at 177-189 State Street, the block will be home to Harlan Haus, a 7,000-square-foot German-style beer hall, and The Stress Factory, a comedy club in the transformed Playhouse on the Green.

Coupled with the newly announced amphitheater proposal at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard and plans to renovate the 2,200-seat Majestic theater not far away on Main Street, McLevy Square is part of a “downtown renaissance” for Bridgeport, Mayor Joe Ganim said Wednesday.

“Bridgeport has taken a very methodical approach,” the mayor told those gathered. “It’s just another step…, but an important one.”

The apartments in the $18 million complex feature high ceilings and oversized windows, many overlooking the green, home to a weekly seasonal farmers markets and many large and smaller fairs and concerts.

Twenty-five of the units are designated affordable with restricted income guidelines. Rents range from $1,200 for a small apartment to about $1,600 for a two-bedroom unit.

The affordable units are just what the state’s Department of Housing likes to see, said Deputy Commissioner Nick Lundgren.

“We continue to revitalize communities and expand access to affordable housing,” he said. “Every community needs affordable housing.”

The much-anticipated beer hall is being built at a former People’s Bank building at 155 State Street. It will incorporate many of the building’s historic features, including a curved teller bank wall.

The menu is European style “infused with Southern barbecue,” according to Forstone principal Brandon Hall. Expect sausage, schnitzel and soft pretzels with a few burgers, fries and salads thrown in for good measure.

The Stress Factory is nestled between the apartments and the restaurant at 167 State Street. Owner Vinnie Brand has been operating The Stress Factory in New Jersey for more than 20 years, welcoming the likes of Chris Rock, Drew Carey, Artie Lang and Jim Breuer to that location.

The club and restaurant are expected to open later this fall.

Forstone will begin renting the apartments soon. For more information, visit www.mclevybpt.com .

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