ERIE, Pa. — The Erie Downtown Development Corporation purchases its first group of properties.
It includes eight properties on the block, which are bordered by North Park Row and West Fifth Street and Peach and State streets for $2.95 million, according to the Erie County Recorder of Deeds.
John Persinger, chief executive officer of the Erie Downtown Development Corporation (EDDC), confirmed that the organization purchased that house several business that house Sherlock’s, Park Place, Tandoori Hut, Dave’s Diner, Coconut Joe’s, and other establishments.
Speculation had surrounded Sherlock’s and Park Place after they abruptly closed their doors in late August. The previous owner, Tom “Tippy” Dworzanski put the property up for sale in August 2016.
Persinger said in the short-term, the EDDC plans to put in pop-up retail.
Moments after signing the paperwork on Friday afternoon, Persinger said, “This is a very strategic acquisition for the EDDC. The EDDC is focused on transformational change, not chasing small wins. But now the hard work of redevelopment begins.”
The owner of Tandoori Hut, located in one of the properties on North Park Row, said the new ownership with be a catalyst for improvements.
“It’s good for us. It’s good for everybody. If they do a new thing and others will be seeing that then everybody will follow the same thing. So, the good thing will be followed by everybody.”
Mayor Joe Schember said, “I think the EDDC, in addition to bringing more businesses downtown, it’s going to bring more residences. So, people can live and work downtown and play downtown.”
The transaction includes the following eight properties:
27 and 29 West Fifth St
508 and 510 State St
18 N Park Row
20 N Park Row
24 and 26 N Park Row
28 N Park Row
32 and 34 N Park Row
36 N Park Row
The EDDC will mark the milestone with a block party. Erie’s Comeback Tour will be held at North Park Row on Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.