Bridgewater In Deal To Move To Stamford

Aug 16 2012 | 4:04am ET

Bridgewater Associates will move from Westport, Conn., to a new $750 million headquarters in Stamford after striking a deal with the state that could be worth more than $100 million to the hedge fund.

Bridegwater will build its new home in Stamford's Harbor Point neighborhood, on the Long Island Sound. As part of the deal, the $130 billion hedge fund has agreed to nearly double its workforce and create up to 1,000 "high-level" jobs in Stamford over the next decade.

The secretive firm is currently located in a five-building, 47,000-square-foot campus in Westport, where it has been based since the mid-1990s. Last year, Bridgewater took on office space in Wilton, Conn., and also leases space in Norwalk, Conn. It has been mulling a move to Stamford, 15 miles down Interstate 95 from Westport, for at least two years.

"To have a company of Bridgewater's stature make the business decision to invest $750 million in our state and significantly increase its workforce is not only an extraordinary economic win, but signals to the rest of the world that Connecticut is strengthening its leadership position in the very competitive financial services sector," Gov. Dannel Malloy, a former Stamford mayor, said.

Bridgewater will build the two-building, 750,000-square-foot, 14-acre campus with a "forgiveable" $25 million loan (subject to "certain job-retention and creation requirements") and will get $80 million in tax credits. There is also $5 million for job training and $5 million for alternative-energy systems. If all goes according to plan, the hedge fund will move into its new home in 2017.

The site under consideration is currently a boatyard, a fact that has some Stamford residents up in arms. "To blatantly do this with their arrogance is just unacceptable," Maureen Boylan of Save Our Boatyard told NBC Connecticut.

"A lot of work needs to be done to see if a move to the Stamford campus can become a reality," Bridgewater spokeswoman Lindsay Fetzner told Bloomberg News. "We will continue to work with our team of skilled partners to evaluate and plan the campus and will make our decisions known when we make them."

Even after the potential move, Bridgewater is not likely to abandon its long-time home entirely. Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said he has been assured by Bridgewater co-CEO Dave McCormick that the hedge fund will probably maintain a presence in the town.

"Bridgewater has recently invested heavily in a new trading facility at Nyala [Farms office complex], where it employs about 800 people, and this is likely to be part of its future plans," Joseloff told the Westport Patch.

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