January 20, 2016 – Erie Events retained Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design (KWAD), an Architecture and Planning firm located in Erie, Pennsylvania, to design the Development Plan for Bayfront Place. Bayfront Place is a 29 acre site that includes the former GAF shingle plant property and the land occupied by the Bayfront Convention Center complex. A new Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, a 283 space parking garage and 8,600 square feet of leasable commercial space are currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2016.
To create the Development Plan, Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design reviewed past planning efforts for this site, other plans for our region, including Destination Erie’s Emerge 2040 and the Erie Downtown Master Plan and studied successful waterfront development projects in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.
Principals that guided the design of the Development Plan included community input, market studies and discussions with elected officials and stakeholders. KWAD’s goal for the Development Plan is to transform Erie’s waterfront into a vibrant and pedestrian friendly, mixed use neighborhood that will contribute to the vitality of the City of Erie and the region.
The Development Plan promotes new restaurants and retail spaces at ground level with residential apartments and condominiums on upper floors. A market house and new office buildings will be located on the south of the site. The proposed buildings are organized around a network of parks and open spaces providing “view corridors” of Presque Isle Bay. More than 40% of the site is dedicated to parks and open space, making this site a valuable public amenity.
The Development Plan for Bayfront Place creates a neighborhood and employment center that will also provide recreation and entertainment for people visiting Erie’s Bayfront. The site is connected to the Bayfront Parkway and existing pedestrian and bicycle paths with a proposed pedestrian bridge over the Bayfront Parkway that will greatly improve Bayfront Place’s connection to downtown Erie and nearby neighborhoods.
The Bayfront Place Development Plan includes 790,000 square feet of new development with an estimated construction cost of between $200 to $300 million dollars. Once the site is fully developed, it will generate $7-10 million in property tax annually and will create thousands of short and long term jobs.
In early February, a public meeting will be held at the Bayfront Convention Center where Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design will present the Bayfront Place Development Plan.