After Nearly a Decade, Meadowbrook Mall Entity Sees Six-Figure Renovation Project Get Under Way

By Jeff Toquinto on October 07, 2018 via

While all economic progress in the city is critical to Bridgeport Community Development Director Andrea Kerr, she keeps a special eye on Meadowbrook Mall. Not because it’s more important than other areas, but because it serves as the retail hub to the city.
Despite the recent loss of Elder-Beerman and Sears, Meadowbrook Mall may not be drawing anchor stores just yet to replace those entities. It is, according to Kerr, still seeing signs that things are still positive.
Along with the announcement of two new stores – uBurn Sauce Company and Boardwalk Arcade & Confections – there is also a substantial renovation project being done to one of the existing tenants. Kerr said a building permit was issues a little more than a month ago for a $144,000 renovation of the Armed Forces Career Center.
“The permit for that was acquired on Sept. 4,” said Kerr.
The work is being done by B&B Contractors. The company does frequent projects for the mall’s owners, the Cafaro Company, and is based out of Youngstown, Ohio.
“The contractors are renovating the entire space,” said Kerr of the 3,200 square feet occupied by the Center.
Meadowbrook Mall Property Manager Marcello Lalama is pleased to see the work being done. He said there was a reason that the work began.
“The Army is taking over the space occupied by the Navy, which is no longer at the location. The Army is expanding and moving office and will continue to maintain a strong presence there,” said Lalama. “The Air Force and Marines will also maintain their presence in the space.”
Kerr said the fact that a six-figure renovation is being done to a business that has had a presence at the mall for several years is a good sign. She said it goes hand-in-hand with upgrades the Cafaro Company does to the 35-year-old building.
“I’ve always said it’s a good sign our mall, which is Cafaro, keeps investing money in the structure from the interior to the common area and beyond,” said Kerr. “It’s just as good of a sign to see a tenant that is recognizable choose to stay and remodel and existing space inside the mall.
“When you see this, and the new businesses that have come as others have left, you can see there is still interest,” she continued. “It’s still solid for our community and those visiting it.”
The Armed Forces Career Center opened at its current location in February of 2009. It left the mall at one point and returned nearly 10 years ago.
“They do well at that location and it’s been beneficial from a recruiting standpoint,” said Lalama. “That investment shows they plan on being here for a long time to come.”
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Andrea Kerr going over plans for the renovation work, while the second photo is the building permit outside the Center. The outside sign is shown below.

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