May 4, 2021

RCI Vision Takes Shape


The Christoph vision for Bridgeport Harbor continues to take shape. Recently, the father and son harbor-front development team announced that global sail maker North Sails was moving manufacturing, service and sales to Bridgeport Harbor into one of Christoph’s facilities along Seaview Avenue. The parcel owned by the Steelpointe Harbor developers across the harbor will suddenly be very busy.

North Sails will be joining their new neighbor Bridgeport Boatworks and Boatwork’s new tenant/client, Hornblower, a major Ferry company out of New York City.

It so happens just south of Boatworks, the Bridgeport Port Jefferson Ferry along with Vineyard Winds, a windmill manufacturer, are also preparing to develop facilities. The Seaview Avenue buzz is palpable, especially when combined with the development at the adjacent Steelpointe Harbor which includes Bass Pro Shops, Starbucks, T-Mobile, Chipotle and Boca Oyster Bar. All of that sits alongside a harborwalk accessible to the public, and the new state-of-the-art 220-slip deepwater marina, Bridgeport Harbor Marina. Also, The Lighthouse Building, at the head of the marina is the hub of all the activity as it houses the RCI Group headquarters run by Robert Christoph and Robert Christoph Jr.

North Sails officials said recently, they are excited to announce the move. The new loft will open on July 1st, 2021, bringing several global departments under one roof and serving as the global headquarters for North Technology Group. This location puts North Sails at the heart of an exciting nautical destination.

The new loft will be one of seven North Sails-owned manufacturing lofts worldwide and will be in 35,000 square feet of purpose-built space. The North Sails team has everything they need to construct and service a wide range of sails, from small dinghies to superyachts and coastal cruisers to Grand Prix racing machines.

Ideally positioned on Long Island Sound, local sailors will enjoy the easy access and customer-friendly sail pick-up and drop-off, as well as an extensive list of services: sail storage, washing, evaluations, measurement, new sail quotes, and more. The loft will also be an East Coast distribution hub for North Actionsports, the kiteboard and windsurf division of North Technology Group.

“Our entire North Sails team is looking forward to opening our loft doors in Bridgeport,” said North Technology Group Executive Chairman Tom Whidden. “We’re excited to be a part of a growing waterfront community that has a strong marine industry heritage. Local and out-of-town cruisers and racers will benefit from having a new waterfront service loft on the East Coast. This is a great move for North Sails.”

Steelpointe Harbor developer Bob Christoph Jr. stated, “North Sails is the worldwide leader in sail-making. I am thrilled to have them come to Steelpointe Harbor. This move will help the waterfront continue to grow as a destination for marine, retail, and activity.”

Congressman Jim Himes added, “Steelpointe Harbor has been an area of exciting development in the city, and North Sails’ decision to bring their operation here will only add to that momentum.”

Since signing the lease, operations and sales teams have been working to optimize the new space for an enhanced customer experience. As longtime members of the Connecticut and Long Island sailing communities, the North Sails team is excited to welcome clients, both new and existing, to the space.

“People will come into this harbor and marina, dine, shop, get your boat worked on, as well as go see a first-class show,” Christoph told a Connecticut Post reporter recently. “It’s very exciting to see the way Bridgeport is coming together.” Christoph added, “We’re going to continue to grow Steelpointe Harbor into a maritime destination. The important thing that we’ve always been careful of is not just grabbing the first and easiest tenant to come to the property. It’s nurturing and growing the program and continuing to grow it with first-class tenants and global brands.”