A controversial $35 million housing project on the Lake Erie shoreline will be reviewed Tuesday by the city’s Planning Commission.
The project, 700 Lake, a condominium/townhouse development on 2.5 acres just west of Bradstreet’s Landing on Lake Road, needs approval from the Planning Commission and the Design Review Board before it can start.
The developers want to build 25 condos and 17 townhomes in a two-phase project they hope to start this fall and open the first units in 2020. Plans filed with the city show that Phase I would call for erecting a three-story condominium building and 13 townhomes. Phase II would encompass four townhomes.
The Design Review Board is to meet at 4:45 Monday at City Hall. The board will look at the aesthetics of the project. The Planning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday. After its review, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing, which could be as early as Aug. 20. That will be determined following the meeting on Tuesday.
Prices will start at $700,000 for a townhome and go up to $1 million for a condo, Andrew Brickman, one of the developers,said in a June 28 interview. He said that 50 people are already on a waitlist, which he said indicated the high level of interest in the project. Brickman estimated the project cost at $35 million to $45 million.
The project has been working its way through the approval process for three years. In April 2018, City Council voted 4-3 to rezone the site from single-family use to higher density to allow for the development. Residents have objected to the project along the way, calling it an eyesore on the Lake Erie shore and raising concerns about the density of the project, as well as the site’s geology and topography.
Brickman, along with partners John Carney and Alexandra Yonkov, had prepared the new design after city planners rejected their last plan. The commission rejected the previous plan because it differed from the conceptual design that commissioners and City Council had in hand when council approved a rezoning.
“The city wanted to be diligent and prudent in trying to ensure that it was the best project that they could get,” Brickman said. “They were very thoughtful in the process.”
The project encompasses lots from two demolished single-family homes on Lake Road that have since been razed and four houses on Breezevale Cove, which the developers control but have not yet torn down. In all, the developers control six of the eight properties on Breezevale Cove. But the other two, which are on the shoreline, have yet to agree to sell.
If approved, Brickman said he plans to break ground in late August or early September, with the first units ready at the end of 2020.
One of the Breezevale residents who agreed to sell, Tom Coughlin, said he is unsure why the two other residents are holding out.
“People that are on the lake think they own the lake,” said Coughlin, 71. “I think it’ll be a nice project.”
Brickman is undeterred and expects the plan to go ahead. He opened a sales office on Old Detroit Road in Rocky River. Brickman also has done similar projects in Lakewood and Fairview Park and has proposed one in Chagrin Falls.
“People by nature don’t like change,” Brickman said. “We have most of the neighbors’ support. We don’t have all of them. You’re never going to get a 100 percent consensus on anything.”
Contact this reporter at Akamczyc@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.