One non-profit organization is looking to change the dynamic of Erie’s east side and said they have made amazing progress.
Big plans are underway for a large stretch of Parade Street.
Bishop Dwane Brock gave an update to Erie City Council on the progression of the Parade Street Development Project. Brock, along with the East Side Renaissance, plan to revitalize business and residential spaces.
“There’s an exodus of people leaving Erie, minorities leaving Erie, because they don’t view Erie as a place of opportunity; I want to change that,” said Bishop Dwane Brock, chief executive officer of the East Side Renaissance.
Recently, the organization announced an “Erie Bank” will be built. Their next goal is to add a grocery store and partner with UPMC for a new medical facility. The east side renaissance is looking for the council’s influence, leadership and support in their next steps.
“To this date, the City of Erie has not been involved in actual deliberation and investments in the Parade Street project. As you know, I’m a man to get things done, I believe in action.” Bishop Brock stated. “We want the City of Erie also to be at the top of that list to help us accomplish what we need to accomplish.”
One council woman hopes the improvements in this area will benefit the residents and not displace them.
“I fear that the neighbors are going to be out or priced out so that’s one of my biggest concerns. And addressing the issues that have always been there need to be prioritized such as the grocery store. As somebody that grew up down there, there’s never been a quality grocery store,” said Jasmine Flores, vice president of Erie City Council.
“I’m always thinking about our kids right. 44 percent of kids in Erie are going up in poverty. That’s compared to 17 percent nationally and state level. So, while I really want to see the business development all of that, I really want to see what we’re doing for our kids as well,” said Susannah Faulkner, Erie City Council member.
What’s happening on State Street, on Peach Street, what’s happening on the downtown district, why can’t it happen right there in Parade Street? We think again and we’re going to make it happen,” Bishop Brock went on to say.
Bishop Brock said the organization is making major multi-million-dollar investments and they would like the City of Erie to be involved in that.