THE ST. Patrick’s Day blaze in Bridgeport that took the lives of three young children was tragic. That will never change that as it will remain painfully etched in the minds of many.
The owner of that fire-ravaged site is hoping to make something constructive out of the rubble. It is a plan that we hope Michael Shaheen is able to follow through on.
The local attorney has deep-rooted and emotional ties to the venue. His father was born in that building. Moreover, his father and grandfather have owned some of the structures there for half a century.
His passion for doing something positive is understandable. If things play out as Shaheen hopes, the site of tragedy will be transformed into a worthwhile addition to the Bridgeport business district.
The project is a multi-dimensional one.
Shaheen is hoping for the ground floor to house a restaurant, coffee shop or grocery store. Any of which would be a welcome newcomer.
The upper floors — as currently planned — would serve a needed community service — providing decent and affordable housing.
“It would not be section 8 or just for seniors,” Shaheen noted. “What I would like to do is bring in some clean, good, reasonably priced housing to that area.”
A project of this magnitude would be embraced anytime. Considering the circumstances, it would also expedite the community’s healing process.
Much remains to make this project come to fruition. Shaheen will likely need partners to help hep fund the endeavor.
Only time will lessen the pain and anguish felt from the fatal fire, but Shaheen’s proposal is a step in the right direction.