BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) – A business is coming to Bridgeport and is expected to bring jobs, investments and waterfront activity to the city.

The Hornblower Group reached a lease agreement with Bridgeport Boatworks, the companies announced on Monday.

Gov. Ned Lamont, Rep. Jim Himes and Mayor Joe Ganim held a news conference at 11 a.m.

Hornblower, a transportation company, operates the NYC Ferry, Statue Cruises, and other ferry and vessel operations across the country and in the United Kingdom.

The agreement calls for a vessel maintenance, upgrade, and retrofit facility at the Boatworks. The development, planned for operation by the third or fourth quarter of 2021, is slated to bring the city up to 100 new jobs and advance the Boatworks as an important hub for regional maritime services. The facility will feature a 700-ton travel lift for hoisting large vessels — among the largest lifts in New England and a complement to the 75-ton and 200-ton lifts already operating at Boatworks.

“We are pleased to bring our expansive, industry-leading fleet from the East Coast and eventually the Midwest for service and maintenance to this new port facility, Bridgeport Boatworks,” said Hornblower chief operating officer of ferry and transportation services Scott Thornton. “We look forward to partnering with the City of Bridgeport to establish and build upon its reputation as a global maritime hub.”

Hornblower expects to create 45 to 60 employment positions at the facility, while Boatworks anticipates 20 new employees will be recruited as the facility becomes a bigger regional hub for industrial and maritime needs.

State officials said significant additional job growth is expected as the business continues to grow.

Boatworks plans to invest $8 million to improve and expand the facility’s infrastructure.

“I’m thrilled that Hornblower Group is moving to Bridgeport,” Himes said. “Steelpointe has been an area of exciting development in the city, and Hornblower Group’s decision to bring their operation here will only add to that momentum. We have been working on the local, state, and federal levels to attract new businesses and investment to Bridgeport. Today’s announcement should fill everyone in the city with growing optimism that we’ll see continued growth and opportunity for years to come.”

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