West Erie neighbors debate proposed bayfront apartment complex - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

West Erie neighbors debate proposed bayfront apartment complex

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ERIE, Pa. -

This is the first look at what could be Erie's newest apartment complex, built here between W. 2nd & 3rd Streets between Cherry and Poplar Streets, called Bayview Heights.

"Erie is a great market, it really is," said Ryan Landi, vice president of development at Testa Companies, the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based firm looking to build on the site. "It has a lot of pent up demand."

West-bayfront residents sounded off in a meeting with developers Thursday night. Some were concerned the 71-unit, three-story complex will block their view of the bayfront. Neighborhood organizer Anna Frantz is seeing mixed reactions from local residents.

"A little bit of both, trepidation on one side, but also optimism about the project," said Frantz, executive director of Our West Bayfront.

Forty-five apartments on the first two floors would be designated for senior living. Rent for those apartments will run around $600 a month, Landi estimated. The remaining 26 rooms on the third floor would not have an age limit. Renting those: upwards of $1,000 a month, he said.

"We're looking for young professionals," he said. "It is a young professional feel, a loft-style apartment."

Developers are calling this a long-term investment in Erie's lower west side. Long-time residents are saying they have never seen anything like this.

Brett McCorkle, 35, believes the $12 million project will benefit the community. He's now a homeowner now in the west bayfront neighborhood. But if this building were around when he studied nearby at Gannon University...

"I could see myself 10 years ago eyeing that up," said McCorkle.

Testa is expected to apply for state funding to aid the project by Oct. 20, Landi said.

Construction may not start until 2019.

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