At the very least, a proposal to build more than 14 modern, arts-and-crafts-style bungalows on the 2.6-acre property of a million-dollar estate has got the attention of the neighbors.
Nearly 50 people attended a recent meeting at Emerson Elementary School to listen to an introductory proposal for the Edgewater Drive property.
The lakefront estate, at 13474 Edgewater Dr., is listed at $994,900.
The former owners of the property — who reportedly lived there for 30 years — turned the deed of the estate over to mortgage lenders three months ago. The four-bedroom, 4.5-bath home — with a soaring foyer, grand staircase, a formal dining room overlooking a reflection pond, cherry floors and a carriage house — has been vacant since.
If the development project goes through, all of that could be demolished.
Dru Siley, assistant director of planning and development for the city, said the project would appeal to seniors who are looking for single-story housing — something the city is interested in providing.
“What we’re seeing in our market, is that we don’t have a great supply,” he said.
Andrew Brickman, of the developer Adobe Living, said the 14 detached 1,800- to 2,000-square-foot single-family townhomes would be priced beginning at $379,000, according to LoveLakewood.com.
It seems that most of the neighbors who attended the meeting were mostly curious about the proposal. But some were concerned.
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Karen, who lives on a street adjacent to the estate, said the plans were nice, but not appropriate for the location. “It’s way too dense for our neighborhood,” she said. “It looks too development-like.”
In addition, she found the style of architecture to be inconsistent with the surrounding neighborhood. “It’s not why we bought in Lakewood,” she said. “To me, it looks like it was dropped from the sky.”
A 52-year resident of Edgewater Dr. also thought the development layout looked cramped. “You have too many houses on too little land,” she said, and warned of the dangers of building structures too close to the cliff overlooking Lake Erie. Over the years, she said she’s lost 30 feet of property to erosion.
Another citizen was more direct in expressing his thoughts on the renderings. “We lose the character of what Lakewood is all about,” he said. “This is a travesty in my neighborhood as far as I’m concerned.”
The ball is now in the city's court. To allow the project to move forward, the code will need to be change to allow an additional number of house to be built on the property.