Mayor Joe Schember’s Administration, along with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s administration, announced the distribution of funds totaling $765,000 to Our West Bayfront.
The funds will be used for revitalization projects to three buildings in the 400 block of W. 8th St.
One of the buildings is already occupied by a neighborhood convenience store, while the other two are vacant.
“We’re hoping that once renovated, the building would provide for neighborhood-orientated commercial businesses,” said Anna Frantz, executive director of Our West Bayfront. “So, [we’re talking about] restaurants, cafes, the type of businesses that neighborhood residents can utilize.”
Frantz said there are existing businesses that will use the buildings, and there will be apartments on the upper floors.
Kim Thomas, the Northwest Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, said the money is a win for everyone because private property owners can continue to plan future efforts in the community.
“It’s really what the keystone community is all about,” said Thomas. “It’s about those strategic partnerships that are being created so in this case we’re seeing partnership between the state, the city and these private property owners to really get some great neighborhood revitalization done.”
Others said the renovation of these buildings will bring more life to the West Bayfront neighborhood.
“A lot of development happening here on West 8th street,” said Mayor Schember. “Wouldn’t have happened without LERTA [Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance], so it’s making a huge difference and the more that we can do the better, and I think it’ll continue to grow as we’re seeing right here.”
It’ll be another example of economic programs breathing new life into Erie’s West Bayfront neighborhoods for generations to come.
Those involved said it will take about 12 to 18 months to complete all three projects.
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