Bayfront East Side Task Force, Our West Bayfront Awarded $300,000 Grant for Home Improvements
Posted: January 4, 2018
Two nonprofit organizations working to revitalize Erie's east
and west bayfront neighborhoods have been awarded a $300,000 grant
to help fund their efforts.
The grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and
Economic Development will allow the Bayfront East Side Task Force
(BEST) and Our West Bayfront to make repairs to approximately 20
residential properties in order to address code issues and improve
the health and safety of the homes.
BEST and OWB have worked together since 2010, most recently this
year to jointly administer a $500,000 grant from Erie Community
Foundation, the Susan Hirt Hagen Fund for Transformational
Philanthropy, and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority.
"We're happy to be able to have additional resources to bring
those homes into compliance and improve the overall appeal of the
neighborhood and, hopefully, also improve property values," said
Jeremy Bloeser, executive director of BEST.
"This is just another example of the two bayfront neighborhood
organizations working in concert with each other," Bloeser said.
"We're happy neighborhoods can share in the same resources and have
a greater impact."
Replacing roofs, reconstructing porches and replacing windows
can send a ripple effect throughout the community, OWB Executive
Director Anna Frantz said.
Neighborhood revitalization is "one piece of our city's economic
development strategy," Frantz said. "When businesses are looking at
investing in the Erie community they're looking at the health of
neighborhoods as one piece of the package."
Formed in 1978, BEST works with neighborhood residents and
businesses to revive Erie's historic east bayfront through new home
construction, home renovation and blight removal; by increasing
safety and the availability of activities for youth; by improving
communication and cooperation with local government and agencies;
and by reviving the image of the neighborhood through streetscaping
and beautification projects, among other efforts. The 25-block area
served by BEST is bounded by Holland and Wayne streets from East
Sixth Street to East Front Street.
Our West Bayfront was created in 2014 by interested residents
and community partners from Erie's West Bayfront neighborhoods with
support provided by Gannon University. OWB is guided by the
West Bayfront Community Plan, completed in 2016, which identifies a
range of strategies to build a better Bayfront and is based on
extensive input from neighborhood residents and community
members. The 843-acre area served by OWB is bounded by the
Bayfront Connector to the west, West 12th Street to the south,
Sassafras Street to the east and Presque Isle Bay to the north, and
is home to more than 13,000 residents.