King and Marie Baer's dream of living on the water has come true.
During an emotional ribbon-cutting Tuesday, Chesapeake Lofts developer Chuck Davis welcomed the Baers to their new home -- a home his father dreamed of, too.
"In the beginning I did not share his vision," Davis said, recounting his initial reaction to the development four years in the making.
But now with the Baers and several others having closed on their condos and much of the construction complete, he's the proudest he has ever been of his father.
"This is the finest thing he's built," he said.
Bob Davis of Mid-States Development, Dublin, died in April, leaving some concerned about whether the lofts would be completed.
But a giant pair of scissors, a blue sateen ribbon, and a broken champagne bottle, courtesy of Commissioner Dave Waddington, gave way to Davis' dream.
"We've waited a long time for this," Waddington said.
Waddington met with the elder Davis on numerous occasions. At one point, he said when the building opened, he would have two bottles of champagne -- one for toasting, the other for christening the building.
"I'm keeping my promise," Waddington said before smashing the champagne bottle against the building's brick.
The Baer's property and several others are move-in ready. In the weeks and months to come, additional properties will be ready for new residents.
Phase two of the building is well under way.
Condo prices range from $135,000 to $335,000 depending on size and location.
Ken and Cheryl Kibbey spend summers in Sandusky on their sailboat and expect their 1,400-square-foot bamboo floor loft to be complete in September.
They already have the decorations and furniture ready and waiting in storage, Cheryl Kibbey said.
The Kibbeys will move to Sandusky to retire on the water next year.
In a couple years, when the Chesapeake Marina is complete, they will likely dock their sailboat in their backyard, Kibbey said.
About three-fourths of the 196 units at Chesapeake Lofts Condominiums are sold according to Mid-States.
The rehabilitation of the former Hinde & Dauche Paper Company located at 401 W. Shoreline Drive.
King Baer can remember being in the paper factory during his days as a firefighter, and to see the transformation and live in a 1,400-square-foot loft is a one of a kind experience for the couple.
Each loft's floor plan is unique on the third floor, Baer explained.
The Baer's home features a first-floor master bedroom, a kitchen that opens to a great room overlooking Jackson Street Pier and looking toward Cedar Point and Johnson's Island.
A spiral staircase leads to a loft the Baers intend to use as a part bedroom, part living space. They will be turning a large storage area of the loft into a bunk room for the grandchildren, Baer said.
They plan to move in and live in the loft full time in a few weeks.
In the meantime, the chocolate keys given to the Baers by the city of Sandusky will be a sweet reminder of their new home.