Living in the Black Rock Garden Cooperatives in Black Rock

black rock ct


Fine Architectural Design in the Heart of Black Rock CT

What are the Black Rock Garden Cooperatives?

The Black Rock Garden Cooperatives (BRGC) are co-op units located in desirable Black Rock, a water community, noted for their fine architectural design which incorporates tree-lined streets, courtyards, and resident maintained gardens. BRCG is conveniently located within walking distance of the new Fairfield train station, the newly renovated Black Rock branch library, Burroughs Community Center, Captain's Cove Seaport, the public tennis courts at Ellsworth Field, a public beach on Seabright Avenue, and a waterfront park at St. Mary's-by-the-Sea.

Why are they so desirable?

DSCF1784.JPGThe complex is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was created under the supervision of a noted architect, R. Clipston Sturgis, who was President of the American Institute of Architecture and whose work included renovations on the Massachusetts State Capitol Building and construction of the Federal Reserve building in Boston. His work is noted for blending architecture with their environment and for its emphasis on light and air flow.

The BRCG apartments were planned around courtyards with existing trees. They were also designed with outdoor porches and with no central hallway, only two rooms deep, so that air could flow freely from the front of the apartment through the back windows. At that time there was a central heating plant which provided steam heat to all the buildings. This has since been replaced by gas heating systems in each building. The architectural goal was to provide ample light and air as well as a pleasant view from each room in every apartment. The use of brick added both beauty and safety compared to wooden structures, which were less expensive, but more prone to destruction by fire.

The buildings were constructed beginning in 1918 and completed in 1920. The complex was owned by the Bridgeport Housing Company until 1954 when it was sold to the tenants and incorporated as a cooperative. BRCG units are all owner-occupied. The common charges for BRCG units include heat, hot water, and property taxes.

A Board of Directors, comprised of residents, controls the cooperative, but all leaseholders share the responsibility for the financial stability, maintenance of the property, and enforcement of the rules and regulations. When you buy into a cooperative you are given the lease to a particular unit, however, you own shares in the entire complex. Cooperative living provides a higher quality of life at a lower cost than other housing options, but requires more participation than condominium living. Greater participation also brings a sense of community, making BRCG a pleasant and safe place to live.

What does the Black Rock Garden Cooperatives complex consist of?

There are 36 buildings in the BRCG complex and 216 units on 6.77 acres of land. A parking lot for residents has an entrance on Rowsley Street. The BRCG office is located on the first floor of 2825 Fairfield Avenue.


What size units are available?

There are three sizes of units in the complex, which are called: 3 room, 4 room, and 5 room styles.


  • 42 units in complex
  • Approximately 682 SF (not including porch, some of which are enclosed and heated)
  • Located at 590 & 606 Brewster; 29, 75, & 78 Haddon; and 108 & 109 Rowsley
  • 2 bedrooms, 1 bath


  • 156 units in complex
  • Approximately 607 SF (not including porch, some of which are enclosed and heated)
  • 1-2 bedrooms, 1 bath


  • 18 units in complex (one used as office for complex)
  • Located at 2825 Fairfield Avenue, 44 Haddon, and 61 Rowsley
  • 1 bedroom, 1 bath



Can I have a dog or cat in my unit?

One dog of gentle disposition and two cats are allowed. Carpeting is required in the bedrooms, living room, and dining room of units with pets.

Can I have a washer and dryer in my unit? Backyard 1 2005 01 13_0208_09_10Adjust.jpg

Washer and dryers are to be placed in the kitchen only.

Can I work at home?

Home professional pursuits are allowed, however, they must comply with all zoning regulations. The types of businesses allowed rare those that do not involve visits from the public, walk-in clients, employees, or unreasonable levels of mail, shipping, trash, or storage.

Can I rent or sublet my unit?

No, all units must be owner occupied.

Can I cook outdoors?

Yes, but cooking must end by 8 PM and the area thoroughly cleaned.

Can I garden?

Gardening is encouraged, but you will be responsible for the upkeep.

Can I remodel my unit?

Yes, after completing a Remodeling/Repair request form from the management office and obtaining written Board approval.

Can I have a picnic in one of the three courtyards?

Yes, after filling out a Picnic Request form and obtaining Board approval.

Can I install a satellite dish?

Yes, after filling out an Antenna Notification and obtaining Board approval.



Mortgage Pre-Approval

EXTERIOR 2005 01 13_0232.jpgYou will want to meet with a mortgage broker or lender who is currently providing mortgages on BGA co-ops (this is an ever-changing list, so please check with your buyer agent) and obtain a pre-approval letter for amount of the purchase price of the home (not just the amount of the mortgage) when you find the right property.

Making the Offer

Your buyer agent will fill out a binder for you to sign. The binder should be submitted with the preapproval letter. It is customary to put 1% of purchase price in escrow. This check will be deposited within 72 hours of signed acceptance by the seller into your broker's escrow account.


Inspections are usually scheduled within 7-9 business days of the signed offer. You will want to schedule this ASAP to avoid paying application fees (see below) if you decide not to proceed with purchase.


Visit the BRGC website to download the co-op application (phone: 203-333-5737, location: 2825 Fairfield Avenue, first floor, office is on left side of foyer). 

You will also need to go to your local police department and ask for a background check on yourself. Obtain printout and submit with your application (this is in addition to the criminal check the co-op will do). Your application must be complete or it will not be reviewed by the Board. Ask for leaseholder number from your real estate agent.

When your application is handed in, the office will give you a copy of the Corporation's By-Laws, Rules & Regulations, Conditions of Apartment Leasehold and the Modification of Addendum to the Conditions of the Apartment Leasehold.


Ten days after accepted offer (a few days after the inspection), you will meet with your attorney to sign the purchase contract. At this time you will need to put down the remaining money in escrow (9% if you are putting 10% in escrow).


The mortgage company will send out an appraiser. It is not necessary for you to be there, the real estate agent will let the appraiser in and will hopefully be able to give the appraiser comps that support your purchase price (lenders want three recent comps that sold within the past 6 months, which may not be possible, especially if the sale price is high). If the unit does not "appraise out" then either the buyer has to come up with more money or the seller has to lower the price, or else the transaction fails and the unit goes back on the market.

Mortgage Commitment

Once the mortgage commitment letter is received, you will send it to the Board so the Board can put it in their files.

Board Interview & Resale Certificate

The Board meets 1-2 times a month to review the applications and then will schedule a brief interview to ask you questions about your application. At the end of the interview they will provide you with a copy of the Resale Disclosure Certificate pertaining to the Apartment Leasehold you are proposing to purchase. The Certificate will contain insurance information and financial information. It is important for you to review the Resale Packet in detail as well as your attorney to determine whether there are any bylaws, rules & regulations, or financial red flags to consider before purchasing. You have five business days in which to rescind your offer to purchase the co-op according to state law.

Final Walk-Through

Either the morning of the closing (or the day before) you and your real estate agent will walk through the unit to make sure it is in the same condition as when you had the inspection.


Closings are always held at the Co-op Board office at the corner of Fairfield Avenue and Brewster Street (first floor, on the left). Keys to the unit and your leaseholder certificate will be given to you at that time.

After Closing

You will want to obtain a parking sticker from the property management company, in case you ever park in the parking lot. This cannot be obtained until after closing as you need to change your address with the DMV and your car insurance first.

Disclaimer: This document may contain inaccurate or out-of-date information. Please check with the BRGC office for accurate, up-to-date information.

How can I contact the BRGC office?

The Black Rock Garden Cooperative (BRGC) office is located at 2825 Fairfield Avenue in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport at the corner of Brewster Street and Fairfield Avenue. Park your car on Fairfield Avenue, not Brewster Street, when visiting the office. The office is on the first floor to the left.

Phone: 203-333-5737




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