Planning on one of the largest improvement initiatives in downtown Erie moves toward the next phase.  

John Persinger has been in the CEO role of the Erie Downtown Development Corporation (EDDC) for about two months now.

Some of Erie’s major corporations and organizations have invested more than $25 million to improve downtown Erie.  Former Republican Candidate for Mayor John Persinger is leading the charge.

Through the non-profit EDDC, Persinger has a number of objectives.  One of them is to develop commercial and residential real estate.  Persinger says he’s been in discussions with nine different property owners, but at this point hasn’t acquired any property.  But, he says, they’re getting close. 

As the non-profit moves forward, Persinger is not expected to do it alone.  Sifting through nearly 100 applications for two additional employees.  

Persinger says, “There’s been great momentum behind the organization and we want to keep things moving forward, so I’m eager to get the team assembled and into place as quickly as possible.”    

While the group continues searching for a permanent location for their office spaces, they feel right now, there’s no better place to do business than the streets of downtown.  

Persinger tells us, “I’ll meet people at coffee shops, I’ve met people on the steps over here at Perry Square, we’ve met for food at the food trucks. It’s great to be out on the streets talking with our local residents and our businesses to get an idea of what they want to see happen downtown.”

One of those business owners voicing her thoughts is The Juice Jar’s Heidi Lutz.  Though her business is in Millcreek, she’s now mobile with a food truck.  Persinger says the work of the EDDC will benefit the many food trucks rolling into town.

Lutz says, “We’re hoping that, in the future, we can stay down here after business hours and have bands down here, things like that, so it’s very exciting.”

A number of announcements are expected to come in the following weeks.