OWB’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in Erie’s West Bayfront neighborhoods through civic engagement, thoughtful development, historical preservation and neighborhood pride.
Local nonprofit Our West Bayfront (OWB) hosted a 2023 Community Update Monday morning at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center to share the progress made in revitalizing the West Bayfront neighborhoods of Erie, and to announce major funding commitments from several key partners.
Representatives from Our West Bayfront highlighted progress that has been made since the group was incorporated and launched in 2016 with support from Gannon University. Those accomplishments include securing over $4.4 million for revitalization projects in the neighborhood, directly assisting 136 property owners with repairs, renovating vacant homes, facilitating community planning for improvements to Bayview Park and Gridley Park, installing public artworks, and coordinating community events. “This work has truly been an all-hands-on-deck effort,” said Anna Frantz, Executive Director.
“These successes are due to the engagement and leadership of hundreds of neighborhood residents, and the partnerships we are grateful to have with so many agencies and businesses.”
The group also noted that work remains to be done. “While we are proud of the work that this community has been able to accomplish together over the past several years, we understand that many of the challenges faced by the community are deep-rooted and require continued attention to address,” said Frantz. The group plans to address the high eviction rate, low homeownership rate, and problems such as litter and traffic.
Fortunately, several partners have committed to supporting the work over the coming years. Marquette Savings Bank, Erie Insurance, and KeyBank, have each made funding commitments through the PA Neighborhood Partnership Program, a tax credit program for local businesses, to ensure that West Bayfront revitalization efforts will continue.
More information about OWB can be found on its website at www.ourwestbayfront.org. More information about the NPP program is available here.