SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (
-   Northeast (
-   -   Revitalization of Industrial Erie (

pj3000 Nov 28, 2007 3:20 AM

Revitalization of Industrial Erie

Evergrey Dec 2, 2007 2:45 AM

wow... that's a really ambitious coaster

pj3000 Dec 2, 2007 10:09 PM

^ yeah, it's supposedly going to be a very unique coaster. A lot of buzz has been generated among coaster enthusiasts internationally. The owner of the park has been dreaming of building it for years, but it has been delayed by zoning issues. The original Ravine Flyer was built in 1922 and dismantled in the '30s after a rider fell to his death. It's a great addition to Waldameer which lacked a big, signature ride. It's a cool, little old-style (one of the older parks in the US, I believe) amusment park though, kind of like a smaller Kennywood.

Evergrey Dec 3, 2007 3:26 AM

the water park seems to be a big draw... I remember thinking that was more impressive than the amusement park when I was there at age 10 or whatever

pj3000 Dec 3, 2007 3:52 PM

Right... I think "Water World" probably attracts more visitors than the rest of the park, but it seems to be improving with some more impressive rides... rather than just the same old "Paratrooper", "Dodgems", and "Tilt-A-Whirl" rides that you can find just about anywhere.

Wheelingman04 Dec 12, 2007 2:29 AM

I like that roller coaster.

Evergrey Dec 12, 2007 7:04 PM

How is Erie's plastics industry doing?

pj3000 Dec 22, 2007 5:18 AM

First shipment of Biofuel from Port of Erie
For the first time since the 1970s when Shell and Sun Oil had facilities at the Port of Erie, a fuel product has been shipped out of Erie's port. Only this time instead of petroleum, it is biodiesel from Lake Erie Biofuels. The tanker Clipper Tobago arrived in port, loaded 5000 metric tons of biodiesel, and departed on 12/20 bound for Europe. Wonderful news for Lake Erie Biofuels (set to become one of nation's largest biofuel producers), the Port of Erie, and Great Lakes shipping.
photo credit: globalerie

Many photos of port activity can be seen here:

Evergrey Jan 15, 2008 10:56 PM

PNC Bank's economic outlook for Erie MSA:

pj3000 Jan 16, 2008 2:58 AM

^ Thanks for the info, Evergrey. A somewhat dismal outlook for Erie overall, eh? Nothing too surprising there... forecasting a continued downward trend in the manufacturing based economy... higher than average unemployment figures... seems to be the same story in Erie since I was but a wee lad.

The job growth and housing charts offer rather simplistic views though... a brief, yearlong period of very modest job growth, followed by an even more modest yearlong decline - not very telling of anything, given the short time period... as for housing, permits for new construction mirror the LERTA incentive timeframes offered to developers in the county, and thus not providing a real picture of actual growth.

James Bond Agent 007 Jan 19, 2008 4:09 AM

Hey, speaking of Erie and GE locomotives, in the Jan. 2006 issue of Popular Mechanics, they had a cool story about GE's new hybrid locomotives. It also had a cool picture of the inside of the factory.

Article is here:

marinog Jan 22, 2008 3:19 PM

Nation grim, but we look good
Region doesn't fear reports of recession

BY JIM MARTIN [more details]

Published: January 22. 2008 6:00AM

(Chris Sigmund / Erie Times-News)

Zoom | Buy this photo

Folks in Erie know a thing or two about recessions. History shows they arrive here sooner, last longer and cut more deeply.

But is one here already?

A recession is often defined as a decline in gross domestic product for two consecutive quarters. While there's widespread concern about the direction of the nation's economy, it's not clear if Erie has even started down that road.

In fact, based on local economic indicators, a case could be made that our region is bucking a national trend.

Erie County's unemployment rate fell from 5.2 percent in October to 4.5 percent in November.

"The employment data we have looks real good," said James Kurre, professor of economics at Penn State Behrend. "We were below the national average, and that's only happened 22 (months) out of the last 18 years."

Kurt Duska, president of Engineered Plastics Inc., said nothing has happened in recent months to suggest his business is slowing. In fact, he's seen tool companies recovering and local businesses taking advantage of a soft dollar to expand exports.

"I would say, compared to three years ago, our employment is up by 25 percent and our sales are up by 40 percent," he said.

The bottom line: If a downturn is lurking around the next corner, Duska hasn't spotted it.

Robin Scheppner goes even further. The owner and manager of American Tinning and Galvanizing Co. said her 77-year-old company enjoyed its best year ever in 2007.

"We've had phenomenal growth over the last couple years," she said.

Scheppner said her company's biggest customers are equally upbeat and planning investments in the months ahead.

"The picture is extremely bright," she said. "Manufacturing is alive and well on the corner of 12th and Cherry."

Of course, little is proved by isolated success stories.

"The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data,'" Kurre said.

At the same time, he said, neither the anecdotes nor the data make a convincing case that Erie is in a recession.

Although holiday sales were off nationally, business on Peach Street was brisk by most accounts.

And while the national housing crisis has many worried, Kurre said, "we didn't have the bubble blow up to begin with, so we don't have to worry about it popping."

So how does all this add up to a recession? According to a front-page article in Friday's Wall Street Journal, Moody's has identified Erie as one of several dozen metropolitan areas that appear to be in recession.

Stephen Onyeiwu, professor of economics at Allegheny College in Meadville, said that judgment might have been based on a recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank in Philadelphia.

"They found the recession had already begun in the manufacturing sector of Pennsylvania," Onyeiwu said. "One of the reasons is that business investment is down, which means manufacturers are not buying new equipment."

Onyeiwu doesn't dispute those findings, but wonders how precisely they apply here.

"They are lumping everyone together," he said. "You cannot say authoritatively this is what's happening. I would say generally in the aggregate that the national economy has slowed considerably."

Ralph Pontillo, president of the Manufacturers' Association of Northwest Pennsylvania, worries that the economy is moving in the wrong direction.

"I think there is a deep conviction that unless something changes in a meaningful way ... a recession is inevitable," Pontillo said. "I think most of the arguments today are how to avoid that."

Pontillo urges the government to make adjustments to improve the business climate. He's also a fan of stimulus packages that would return money to taxpayers.

Economists often note that a recession is part of a natural economic cycle. Natural or not, Pontillo thinks it should be put off for as long as possible.

"People get hurt in bad economic times," he said. "It's the last thing we need right now."

JIM MARTIN can be reached at (814) 724-6397, 870-1668 or by e-mail.

Going Global A Good Thing
An increasingly global economy could prove to be a good thing if we should find ourselves in a recession.

That's perhaps why General Electric Co. noted in its quarterly-earnings report Friday that more than half its sales are from abroad.

"It's like a stock portfolio," said Todd Nesbit, who teaches economics at Penn State Behrend. "It means you are better off in terms of risk. That's what having a global economy is."

Nesbit, who predicts the next recession will be mild and relatively short, said globalization is part of the reason why. "Having a global economy, when the dollar is getting weak, it brings in more sales to us. It is also going to moderate our good periods," he said.

Evergrey Feb 11, 2008 5:25 PM

speaking of strategic location... do you remember when there was discussion of Erie getting a "Superstation" like Atlanta's TBS or Chicago's WGN a few years ago? I remember that some people thought it was a good location due to its equidistant location between the major markets of Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Wonder whatever happened to that idea...

pj3000 Feb 11, 2008 9:43 PM

^ yeah, the local CBS affiliate, WSEE, was set to broadcast as a national "superstation" a few years ago, but some FCC rules changes stopped it from happening.

Strangely enough, WSEE is the CBS affiliate throughout the Caribbean and in some parts of Central America... I have no idea why.

pj3000 Feb 11, 2008 9:48 PM

Erie's location is becoming more and more popular for shipping and logistics firms though. DHL is currently expanding their operations in Erie to be one of the largest hubs in their firm. Also, a number of smaller logistics firms servicing the rail and trucking industries seem to be setting up shop all the time. With the finally approved ERI runway extension, the major air cargo complex will hopefully break ground.

Evergrey Mar 8, 2008 4:26 PM

Erie is a major focus in this NYT article about the upcoming Democratic primary

Evergrey Mar 20, 2008 5:21 PM

the Cleveland Fed did an economic profile on the Erie MSA back in January


Regional Activity

The Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area

By Tim Dunne and Kyle Fee

The Erie metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is located in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania on Lake Erie. Home to 279,811 people, Erie, a Great Lakes city, has an employment history of heavy industry and manufacturing. In 2006, Erie was still heavily invested in manufacturing industries, having about an 80 percent higher proportion of its workforce in manufacturing than the nation as a whole. Meanwhile, Erie’s service industry workforce was proportionately higher in health services industries relative to the nation and lower in information, financial, and professional business and services industries.

Looking at the components of annual employment growth in the Erie MSA, the strongest driver of employment growth from year to year has been the service sector industries of education, health, leisure, government and other services. Not surprisingly, manufacturing employment is the biggest drag on Erie’s employment growth.

Erie’s most recent employment growth has come from growth in tourism-related industries. Erie’s total nonfarm employment growth from October 2006 to October 2007 is 0.7 percent, while employment in the leisure and hospitality industries has jumped 6.6 percent over the same period. On the down side, goods-producing industries lost employment at a rate substantially above the national rate.

Since the last business cycle peak in March 2001, Erie lost 0.9 percent of its total nonfarm employment, compared to Pennsylvania’s gain of 1.6 percent and the nation’s gain of 4.4 percent. From its lowest employment levels in July of 2003, Erie has expanded its employment 4.5 percent. Over that same period, Pennsylvania’s employment grew 3.7 percent and the nation’s grew 6.5 percent.

Compared to other cities on Lake Erie, Erie actually has performed reasonably well. While employment is still below the city’s 2001 level (similar to the decline experienced by its neighbor to the north, Buffalo, New York), the Erie labor market has been stronger than Cleveland’s or Toledo’s.

Disaggregating employment into manufacturing and nonmanufacturing components, we see that the Erie metropolitan area underperformed relative to the U.S. average in both sectors. Since the last business cycle peak in March 2001, Erie lost 25.5 percent of its manufacturing jobs, while the nation lost 17.5 percent. This manufacturing drag on Erie’s economy is particularly important because Erie has a much higher share of manufacturing than the United States as a whole. Alternatively, Erie’s nonmanufacturing employment growth has tracked the national trend pretty closely over the past six years.

Like Buffalo and Cleveland, Erie’s manufacturing employment has suffered a steep decline, though the time-series patterns for Buffalo and Cleveland differ. Erie’s steepest drop occurred in the 2001–2003 period, but since mid-2003 it has stabilized somewhat, while in Buffalo and Cleveland it has continued to contract. Toledo’s decline has mirrored that of the United States, though recently, Toledo is showing some relative weakness.

Where Erie looks quite different from the other cities along Lake Erie is in the growth of nonmanufacturing employment. Erie has consistently added nonmanufacturing jobs at a faster rate than the other Lake Erie cities. Erie’s 6.8 percent nonmanufacturing growth exceeds Buffalo’s 2.7 percent gain, Toledo’s 0.6 percent loss, and Cleveland’s 1.5 percent loss.

The relatively slow growth of Erie’s labor market is also reflected in the metro area’s statistics on per capita personal income. Over the last six years, Erie’s nominal growth in per capita income has been substantially lower than Pennsylvania’s or the United States’. Nominal per capita income grew in Erie at 17.9 percent, while Pennsylvania and the United States had similar rates of 23.5 percent and 22.7 percent, respectively. Moreover, Erie has substantially lower per capita income. In 2006, the Erie metro area’s per capita income was only 79 percent that of Pennsylvania’s and the United States'.

pj3000 Mar 20, 2008 11:23 PM

^ Interesting comparison with the other, larger Lake Erie industrial cities.

One of the main challenges Erie faces, and the reason for the its lagging behind PA in per capita income and the smaller financial and information sectors, is the fact that the region has long undervalued education - forcing college grads and advanced degree holders to look elsewhere for employment... this is displayed by the fact that Erie wage scales are 20%!!! less than average.

It's interesting that Erie has the second highest number of college students per capita in the state (after State College, obviously), yet a very small percentage stay in Erie after graduating.

Evergrey Apr 6, 2008 11:53 AM

Erie is home to the nation's largest medical school?

pj3000 Apr 6, 2008 8:17 PM


Originally Posted by Evergrey (Post 3465909)
Erie is home to the nation's largest medical school?

Yeah, surprising but true. In terms of total enrollment LECOM has become the nation's largest (recently surpassng the U of Illinois-Chicago med school with the entering class of 2010). In its relatively short existence (founded in 1992), it has definitely made an impression in medical education, attracting students from all 50 states (you should see the license plates in the parking lots... most are not from PA) to its main campus in suburban Erie and to its branch in the Tampa Bay area (Bradenton, FL). It's really been a positive presence in the Erie community.

Evergrey Apr 6, 2008 9:27 PM

nothing wrong with a rah rah article for once.. it's good to have balance... but balance doesn't sell newspapers... a lot of these pieces on Erie featured in the NYT and elsewhere are just "drive-bys"... they make places like Erie, New Castle, Johnstown sound like lands of post-apocalyptic jobless mutants ala Charlton Heston's "Omega Man"

Video Link

pj3000 Apr 7, 2008 4:12 AM

^ RIP Chuck Heston

Erie Pa Apr 7, 2008 10:25 PM


Originally Posted by pj3000 (Post 3467567)
^ RIP Chuck Heston

Amen Brother. We lost one of the good guys.

pj3000 Apr 8, 2008 12:33 PM

^I just liked him as an actor in a lot of cheesy 70s flicks. In a lot of ways, he really wasn't one of the good guys, but rather a real SOB.

pj3000 Apr 9, 2008 3:16 AM

Erie Inventor John Kanzius On 60 Minutes This Sunday
Video link to news story:

Evergrey Apr 13, 2008 3:57 AM

the train keeps a-rollin' in Erie

Video Link

Evergrey Apr 21, 2008 5:33 PM

Erie Insurance ranks 488 in the 2008 Fortune 500 list... down from 463 last year

marinog Apr 22, 2008 1:50 PM

Agency plans 7-story complex
Downtown structure would house parking ramp, residences, retail space

BY GEORGE MILLER [more details]

Published: April 22. 2008 6:00AM

Plans are under way for a possible $21 million, seven-story complex at the northeast corner of West Fifth and Peach streets that would contain a parking ramp, 90 residential units and retail space.

The Erie Redevelopment Authority on Monday unveiled plans for the structure and agreed to apply for $3.5 million in funds through a state program that will be critical for the project to go ahead.

"This project shows a lot of promise," said John R. Elliott, the authority's executive director. "I don't want to say it is definite. It's a strong enough possibility that we are pulling the pieces together. Our goal is to have building permits within 12 months."

Elliott said the parking ramp is "absolutely essential" to downtown revitalization in that area and was identified as an element in the city's downtown master plan.

"We all know that a parking ramp is desperately needed in that area to encourage development," he said.

Erie city officials and some merchants have been pursuing the parking ramp for several years, saying it's needed to relieve parking congestion in the area.

But a study on behalf of the Erie Parking Authority found that there was not enough demand to allow the construction to be done by traditional financing.

The multiuse structure will make the project feasible, creating additional parking demand and also providing tax revenue, Elliott said.

The first floor of the complex will contain about 10,000 square feet of retail space.

The parking facility would contain about 296 spaces and will be on the second, third and fourth floors. The last three floors would be for the residential units.

Elliott said the complex could contain an eighth floor for office space.

The $3.5 million is being sought through the state's tax-increment financing program. Under it, the city, Erie School District and Erie County would have to agree that the increased real-estate tax revenue generated by the project would be used to repay the $3.5 million.

"We know that project will not work without tax increment financing," he said.

Elliott said the housing and retail space will add about $13 million to the local tax rolls.

A private firm has tentatively agreed to provide $7 million for the project, he said. In addition, federal tax credits of at least $2 million will be sought.

The remainder of the funding will come from bank financing.

Elliott said a Hamot Medical Center affiliate owns five of the site's six parcels. A McDonald's restaurant owns the other.

The Redevelopment Authority has been in discussions with them about the project, he said.

GEORGE MILLER can be reached at 870-1724 or by e-mail.

pj3000 Apr 22, 2008 8:44 PM

^ Positive news for this area of downtown. I hate those surface parking lots and the drive-thru McDonald's that currently occupy the site. There has been talk of this for years, so I won't hold my breath. However, the new redev. head seems to be much more active and intelligent than what Erie's had in the past. I guess that the McDonald's has been a really tough issue, because they don't want to move or change the setup of their establishment.

Evergrey Apr 22, 2008 9:43 PM

ohhh... that is so cool...

pj3000 Apr 23, 2008 2:18 AM

^ yeah... I can't wait to check that film out... with western PA scenes featured prominently, it seems. I really like Cormac McCarthy stories (esp. Blood Meridian) and Viggo and that Guy Pearce dude are damn good actors in my book, so it should be good.

By the way, Evergrey, the Aerosmith "Train Kept A Rollin" video... awesome... those were some heavy drug years.

Evergrey Apr 25, 2008 1:54 AM

I love how every article always has to be prefaced with "rust belt" or "lost half its population".. even when it's not applicable to the topic of the article at all

pj3000 Apr 25, 2008 5:19 PM

I know... it does get tiresome... and gives people that image of, as you said in an earlier post, a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Evergrey Apr 25, 2008 5:22 PM

... which "The Road" will only reinforce ;)

pj3000 Apr 25, 2008 5:28 PM

Yeah... I was thinking that too...

Hmmm... let's see, where should we film a story about life after the apocalypse?

How about at various locations in Western PA? No one lives there anymore and there is nothing but abandoned factories... perfect!

pj3000 May 2, 2008 6:24 AM

Cool video about Erie's past and future

pj3000 May 7, 2008 6:16 PM

Erie International Airport Runway extension

Evergrey Jun 16, 2008 3:50 AM

PNC Bank's May 2008 economic forecast for Metro Erie

Evergrey Jul 24, 2008 8:06 PM

Erie coke plant fights $6 million pollution fine

Thursday, July 24, 2008
The Associated Press

ERIE, Pa. -- Erie Coke Corp. is appealing more than $6.1 million in state air pollution fines that the company's owner says threatens the viability of its Erie plant.

The company says it will "vigorously defend" itself, but wouldn't cite specifics. A statement by company owner J.D. Crane also noted the company's "significant contributions" to local charities and public safety unions.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection proposed the fines last month in ordering Erie Coke to comply with its air quality permit and the state's Air Pollution Control Act.

The DEP says the penalty follows repeated violations at the company's Lake Erie facility, which includes 58 coke ovens installed in the 1940s and 1950s.

Coke is a fuel used in steel production. It is made by baking coal in large ovens to remove impurities.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Evergrey Aug 16, 2008 10:37 PM

Dr Nevergold Aug 17, 2008 2:33 AM

Presque Isle might as well become a premiere beach location even more than it is today and Erie should just embrace tourism as its mainstay. Its safely located far enough away from Cleveland and Buffalo and Detroit to avoid the dirty water containation and the beaches are actually some of the best in the Great Lakes region, probably because the Isle juts out into the lake a good bit.

Only problem with tourism based economies is that the jobs typically don't pay as well as industrial jobs unless you're in Las Vegas. ;)

But light manufacturing like the beer brewery can also be part of the puzzle.

Evergrey Aug 17, 2008 4:46 AM

many of Presque Isle's beaches have been closed this summer due to contaminant levels... it's a problem every year... though this year seems worse than usual... Erie's economy still relies heavily on the manufacturing sector

Dr Nevergold Aug 17, 2008 5:01 AM

Where does the contamination come from?

Lake Erie is the most shallow of the Great Lakes, creating higher contamination averages from what I understand. Even Lake Ontario, despite its smaller coverage area, has more than double the water volume because its so much deeper.
Volume: 116 cubic miles
Average Depth: 62ft; maximum 210ft
Volume: 393 cubic miles
Average Depth: 283 ft; maximum 802ft

That's almost 4x the volume of water in Lake Ontario, and its smaller than Lake Huron and Michigan.

Evergrey Aug 17, 2008 5:49 AM


Originally Posted by BrandonTO416 (Post 3740455)
Where does the contamination come from?



pj3000 Aug 18, 2008 6:30 PM

The "contamination" is naturally-occurring E. coli bacteria that reaches higher levels with summer storms (runoff from agricultural areas mainly), high water temps (this summer the waters off of Presque Isle have topped out at around 79 degrees), and especially due to a change in the federal guidelines as to how E. coli levels are measured. This "contamination" is really no big deal... if the levels are high on certain beaches, then they'll issue a swimming advisory - basically don't swallow large amounts of water or if you have large open wounds, you might not want to swim. Overall, Lake Erie is cleaner than it has been in decades and the lake and Presque Isle Bay in Erie have cleaned up dramatically since the 1980s.

Also, if they adhered to the same E. coli guidelines on the Jersey Shore or in Florida... you wanna talk about loss of tourism revenue...

pj3000 Aug 18, 2008 6:42 PM


Originally Posted by Evergrey (Post 3740436)
Erie's economy still relies heavily on the manufacturing sector

yeah, I think it's still somewhere near 22-25%! The shift to a tourism and service-based economy is a tough sell in Erie where the blue collar ethic still runs deeper than just about anywhere else I can think of. That's one of the big problems in Erie; the place has really known nothing but a local economy based on heavy industry, be it iron & steel, shipbuilding, tool & die, locomotives, plastics, various durable consumer goods, etc. It's having one hell of a time making the transition. I went to a lecture and seminar a few months ago focusing on Erie's industrial past and preservation of its industrial architecture. It featured some renowned industrial architecture scholar (don't remember his name, but I can look it up) who said that Erie was the largest manufacturing city in the world per capita from the turn of the century until the 1960s... I never realized that little tidbit.

Evergrey Aug 18, 2008 7:14 PM

In July 2008, Metro Erie had 23k manufacturing jobs out of 134k total for a 17.2% share. (national average 9.8%)

In July 2000, Metro Erie had 34k manufacturing jobs out of 136k total for a 24.3% share. (national average 13.1%)

However, I assume the manufacturing accounts for an even greater share of regional earnings.

Dr Nevergold Aug 18, 2008 10:40 PM

I don't think the loss of American industry is a good thing personally, but there's nothing you can do with political policy as we've sold that sector long ago.

pj3000 Aug 20, 2008 12:21 AM


Originally Posted by Evergrey (Post 3742852)
In July 2008, Metro Erie had 23k manufacturing jobs out of 134k total for a 17.2% share. (national average 9.8%)

In July 2000, Metro Erie had 34k manufacturing jobs out of 136k total for a 24.3% share. (national average 13.1%)

However, I assume the manufacturing accounts for an even greater share of regional earnings.

Last I read, it was somewhere around 22%, but, as you said, that may have been a regional number including all of Erie County (and maybe Crawford and Warren, as well). Also, Erie has lost a good number of manufacturing jobs just this past year (GAF Materials, Steris, Affinia all moved to cheaper pastures... to name 3 of the larger plant closings... combined they probably employed around 2000).

Evergrey Aug 20, 2008 2:09 AM

Those numbers are for Erie MSA, which consists of Erie County.

you can look them up here:

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:16 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.