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This is the newest rendering of the main entrance of 700 Lake, a $40 million lakefront development of 25 condominium and 13 townhomes.

A $40 million lakefront condominium and townhome project on Lake Erie is about a month away from breaking ground.

The Rocky River Planning Commission approved final designs of 700 Lake on Feb. 28 on Lake Road, west of Bradstreet’s Landing. Developer Andrew Brickman plans to start work as soon as April and hopes to finish in 2021, weather permitting, he said.

Crews have begun preparing the 2.5-acre site, which includes securing the shoreline and assessing the property. Brickhaus Partners, the design firm responsible for the project, has already razed four single-family homes on Breezevale Cove to make way for the new construction.

“It’s a great relief because we have a lot of customers who’ve been waiting a long time for this building,” Brickman said. ”People who want to be on the lake and don’t have any other good options will finally get something they can be proud of.”

The project has undergone various changes, including reducing the number of units and the size of the underground garage. Originally, Brickman proposed the four-story building would hold 25 condominiums and 17 townhomes. But after review and pushback from the commission, developers cut the number to 20 condominiums and 13 townhomes.

First proposed in 2016, the project has faced an uphill battle from the start. It was met with fierce resistance from the private neighborhood of Breezevale Cove and other city residents who cited the size and density of the project as issues.

As a result, Brickman and his partner, John Carney, initially struggled to rezone the property. Brickman estimates they went through about 70 design iterations as city officials worked to make sure that concerns from the community were addressed.

“We’ve been at this for almost four years, so we’ve answered all the questions that were posed,” Brickman said. “The city’s been very diligent and good to work within providing us direction. There are a lot of people in the administration that care a lot about the city and want the best building they can get for their community.”

After four years of protest, residents who live on Breezevale Cove announced in November they would no longer oppose the project. While some issues still linger with residents over how close the development will be to the street, Brickman is confident the project meets city code.

Council President Jame Moran has been following the development’s progress since 2016 and is aware of some of the concerns that some residents still have about the project. Despite this, he believes the project will blend right into the city’s look and feel.

“I understand the concerns, it took a lot for me to come around to it too but the building’s design has been heavily vetted. There have been so many details that both our design boards have gone over and over,” he said. “When this building goes up, hopefully those residents who still have concerns will see how much time we spent on this and that we’ve done everything possible to make sure hat this is the best that it can be.

About 12 people have bought space in the development, Brickman said.

Contact this reporter at akamczyc@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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