A group called East Side Renaissance has shared with the Erie Times-News its plans for a major revitalization of Erie’s east side, beginning with Parade Street.
Here are five things you should know:
- The group is led by Bishop Dwane Brock, pastor of Victory Christian Center and CEO of Eagle’s Nest Leadership Corp.; Marcus Atkinson, former executive director of the nonprofit ServErie who now teaches public speaking and enhanced reasoning to at-risk students; and Matthew Harris, a former Pennsylvania State Trooper who created Character Be About it, a crime-prevention program.
- East Side Renaissance, which has been buying up property in recent months, aims to rehabilitate Erie’s east side through a combination of real estate development and a parallel effort to revitalize people through a combination of education and inspiration. Specific plans call for the development of a social club, bank and grocery store.
- Maybe you’re just hearing about it now, but they’ve been working on this initiative for a long time. Atkinson said they’ve been talking about it and putting together a plan for nearly three years.
- The initial focus of the project will be Parade Street from East Sixth Street to East 12th Street. But that’s only a starting point. Brock said revitalization efforts will next turn west toward Holland Street. “Then we are going to move east toward Wallace (street) and on and on and on,” he said.
- East Side Renaissance has secured significant financial and in-kind support from various partners the initiative’s leaders are not yet ready to identify publicly.
“Many of these people have come forward and said, ‘Let us help you go deeper with this,'” Atkinson said.
However, Brock has acknowledged that the group is working with an entity called Eastward Ventures LLC, which has acquired numerous properties in the Parade Street area since early December, according to Erie County property records.
Both Erie Mayor Joe Schember’s administration and officials at Erie Insurance have told the Times-News they support the group’s plan to further develop Parade Street.
For subscribers, find our in-depth report below:
East Side Renaissance:Erie group eyes multimillion-dollar upgrades along Parade Street
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