Revitalization of the West 12th Street corridor will soon begin with the redevelopment of the former Erie Malleable Iron building.

One state official visited Erie Tuesday and joined local leaders in celebrating the start of the project.

Local leaders took a tour of the former EMI building on West 12th Street Tuesday. This comes after the Erie County Redevelopment Authority received a $4 million state grant for the project.

Neil Weaver, the Department of Community and Economic Development Acting Secretary, said he and other state officials recognize the need to uplift the region.

“Erie is an amazing place, and the governor recognizes how much there is here for development and change for the future. We’ve looked at this project alone four million dollars. Over all in the past seven and a half years, it’s been an investment of about 90 million dollars of RACP funding because we know the growth of Erie is here,” said Neil Weaver, Acting Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development.

The architect for the project said though it might be a difficult process. He is confident that once its complete, it will benefit the entire region.

“When you have an older building that’s built well, that’s solid construction, of course there’s different things we need to do to bring it back to use. The bones are there to renovate the building, but it’s definitely a well worth effort,” said David Brennan, Bostwick Design Partnership.

Brennan said certain areas of the site will be persevered. Some of the floors need to replaced, and parts of the deteriorating roof also need to be restored.

Several local leaders said this project is a step in the right direction.

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“This is a win-win for the taxpayers. We’re getting rid of this blighted piece of property, we’re rehabbing it, and we’re turning it into a 21st century property that new businesses can come here and start up in. It just looks great for the 12th Street corridor,” said Ryan Bizzarro, (D) 3rd District.