Community and business leaders are gathering at the Bayfront Convention Center this week to discuss regional progress.

Business leaders are impressed; they say since 2019 the amount of development in the region is noticeable.

The Erie Homecoming event has returned.   

Hundreds of leaders gathered to talk about investment and development in the region, many taking a driving tour of the Bayfront and downtown Erie.

The president of the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership said it’s exciting to show people the outcome of local investment.

“This is stuff that we see every day as part of our job. We see the investment, we see the enthusiasm, and it’s a way that we can share this with the community so they all can see really the truly amazing things that are happening here,” said James Grunke, president, Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.

One local business man said after seeing the kind of investment others were making in the region, he was inspired to develop properties in downtown Erie.

“When the EDDC got started on their project, we decided we would jump up on the 12th Street Corridor. So we’re on our third building renovation now, with another one following right after this one. So trying to transform the 12th Street Corridor,” said Pete Zaphiris, sole & managing member, Great Lakes Insurance.

Zaphiris said many new downtown businesses were ideas just several years ago. He said that each year there are even more development projects completed.

“They’re starting to see what’s happening. You know, there’s cranes places, there’s construction jobs happening all over the city. Over the last couple of years, hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent in the city core, and Erie’s right on that cusp of having a dramatic change,” said Zaphiris.

Erie Homecoming continues tomorrow at the Bayfront Convention Center.