OUR WEST BAYFRONT NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN
Images prepared by City Architecture
West Bayfront is a dense series of neighborhoods nestled between the Lake Erie waterfront and the City’s downtown core and Little Italy community. West Bayfront is home to 13,000 residents, Gannon University, Cathedral Preparatory School, numerous religious organizations and many commercial and industrial businesses. Urban Partners assisted City Architecture prepare the Our West Bayfront Communtiy Plan, which focused on reversing recent trends of disinvestment and disconnection and to identifying a new path to a sustainable future. Our team facilitated an inclusive process to identify concerns about the community and goals for its betterment, explore opportunities to create positive and sustainable change, and provide an implementation strategy for the people of West Bayfront to guide community growth in a manner consistent with these goals.
We identified a series of focus areas which could become centers of activity where initial investments could have the greatest catalytic effect. Priority activities included residential initiatives (development of affordable infill housing, homeowner assistance programs and renovation activities); public art, park and public space improvements; infrastructure upgrades; social programs (community center master planning and expansion of youth recreational activities); business supports, and identification of organizational/coordination requirements. For each priority activity, our team identified necessary participants and potential sources of financial support for project development and operation. Since completion of our work in late 2016, Our West Bayfront has received a commitment of $1.7 million in funding from various public and private institutions, including UPMC Health Plan, Gannon University, Marquette Savings Bank and Erie Insurance through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance tax credit program and an experienced executive director has been retained to coordinate implementation of the plan.