Property eyed for cottage along Allegheny River
The Derrick,10/26/01 By JUDITH O. ETZEL

A special thank you goes out to The Derrick for allowing this article to be posted

THE POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENT IS UNUSUAL BECAUSE IT IS THE FIRST BUILDING PROJECT ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE RIVER.

A Pittsburgh resident is eyeing a property along the Allegheny River at the Oil City city limits for a summer cottage.

What makes the possible development unusual is that it is the first building project of any kind on that side of the river stretching from Oil City several miles north to the Oleopolis community. The southern side of the Allegheny in that stretch is chock full of settlements.

C. Arthur West III of Glenshaw, a Pittsburgh lawyer and real estate agent, is having a road bulldozed from Oak Grove Street down the hillside to a river bank spot opposite Alcorn Island. He recently purchased the tract from Steven and Noreen Oliver and Mary Lou and Keith Boyd, at one time involved in the Oliver Manor housing project just up over the hill.

Excavation crews from Bert Klapec Inc. have been working for the past several weeks to create a wide roadway leading from Oak Grove Street near Calvary Cemetery down to the river. Some excavation work has been done, too, at the bottom of the hill near the railroad bed.

Although the property is within the city limits, city officials said they are unaware of exactly what the project is and how extensive it might be. A housing development along that hillside, which city engineer Chris Sporer described as "right at the city line," could conceivably be hooked up to city water and sewage services from the Siverly end.

However, West, who was in Oil City on Wednesday to check on the progress of the work, said he has no plans to develop the property other than to perhaps build a summer cottage.

"I'm just cutting in a road to have access to the river for my personal use. I may build a summer home, a cottage, there but I've not made that decision yet," West said.

The Allegheny River's northern shoreline is devoid of cottages or any other buildings from the Siverly neighborhood in Oil City upstream to Oleopolis. The southern side of the river has several communities, starting with Rockmere just outside the city in Cranberry Township.

Despite reports that the hillside tract is being considered for a residential housing project, West said that is not in the works.

"I have no plans to build houses there. It would be nice, though, to have a cottage there because it's so beautiful," West said. He has owned river frontage up from the former Oliver property for 10 years but had no road access to it. His latest purchase, priced at $35,000, was made last summer.

West has business interests in Venango County. He is a third-generation real estate business owner and has an office, West Real Estate, in Emlenton.