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Residential development proposed for Outer Harbor

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Mike Desmond/WBFO News
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Developers of Queen City Landing want to open late next year, renting out 197 apartment units on a site sticking out into the Outer Harbor. It was once the site of the Freezer Queen plant.

After years of trying to rebuild that structure, developers changed to a plan for a 23-story tower. That drew blasts from two opponents at Monday's city Planning Board meeting.

Developer Gerry Buchheit says the old structure had too many problems.

"Part of the problem is the building in times of high winds and bad weather is underwater. We tried doing a number of things and had concerns about the understructure. The bottom line is the structure of the building won't do what we want it to do," Buchheit explained.

Because the site was once part of Lake Erie, building the $60 million project will require driving piles 75 feet through steel-making slag into bedrock to support a new structure several feet higher than Freezer Queen.

Opponents question the tower and the legal ability to build it, citing zoning issues and coastal zone issues.

The Planning Board tabled the plan and it will be back in two weeks.