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  #61  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2015, 12:05 AM
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do people still visit Presque isle? I have many memories of that place as a kid, mostly about the insects everywhere. still..nice place.
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  #62  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2015, 12:38 AM
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do people still visit Presque isle? I have many memories of that place as a kid, mostly about the insects everywhere. still..nice place.
Presque Isle was shuttered years ago due to lack of interest.
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  #63  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2015, 2:48 AM
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do people still visit Presque isle? I have many memories of that place as a kid, mostly about the insects everywhere. still..nice place.
Of course, insects and all! Millions of visitors per year actually... even me!









These were from early August... water was just about perfect for a hot day... 78 degree water, 86 degree air... love Erie in the summer.



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Presque Isle was shuttered years ago due to lack of interest.
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  #64  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2015, 2:50 AM
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Originally Posted by dc_denizen View Post
do people still visit Presque isle? I have many memories of that place as a kid, mostly about the insects everywhere. still..nice place.
Its up to 4,000,000 vistos each year

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presque_Isle_State_Park
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2015, 3:04 PM
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Love seeing this type of endeavor in Erie! Fingers crossed that it makes it. Tough business, but do it right and Erieites will flock to it for good live music. A venue this size (900 capacity) has been missing for awhile, like in many cities.

This will open in the former Daka Paper warehouse on W13th across from Griswold Park, which is a great location. This was formerly the Metropolitan dance club, which finally closed after one too many fights and shootings.

Music Hall & Blues Lounge to open Sunday



http://www.goerie.com/article/201509...-ears#cxrecs_s

IE, Pa. -- Jimi Popeski was already scouting locations to open an Erie music club, when a musician friend told him about the Metropolitan at 144 W. 13th St.

He couldn't believe his eyes or ears. The venue had everything he wanted. Downtown location. Two rooms for bands, including one large enough to hold about 900 people. Sound system. Basically, all he needed to do was sprucing up -- some painting, building a green room, renovating a side room and convincing Ron Filippi -- the building's owner -- to give him a shot.

Missions accomplished. The Music Hall & Blues Lounge opens Sunday night with a post Tedeschi Trucks Band concert with the Saint Francis Band, an accomplished Americana group from Georgia, and Sean-Patrick and the Newgrass Revolution.

"I said (to Filippi), I can't believe this room is nearly in silence," Popeski said. "You can tell the details they put into this, the way the bar is set up. You can tell it was designed with a stage for music. And then the dance-club thing took over, and that's all it's ever been. Musicians in Erie don't even know this room exists."

Filippi acknowledged the Metropolitan didn't take off as a dance club, so he's excited to see the venue become a home for live acts. Oh no, it took off, but people tend to decide to stop going after multiple shootings happen inside your club.

"When we opened up originally in 2001, we were a million-dollar dance club, and we really don't want to go back into that business," he said. "The main club is going to be more of a concert hall where we're going to bring in different acts -- regional and maybe some nationals for shows from like 8 to 11 p.m. The Blues Lounge is more of a traditional type of operation."

The Music Hall's capacity gives Erie a room that's larger than a bar but smaller than the Warner -- the equivalent of, say, Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom or smaller Agora Ballroom. Local acts will play the Blues Lounge, which was formerly a Tiki Bar.

In recent years, the Metropolitan mostly functioned as a rental hall for private parties, charity fundraisers and wedding receptions. Filippi said the Music Hall will still be available for Saturday rentals, but those events will eventually move to the second floor after renovations. The entire complex will be renamed the City View Events Center. Cheesy name.
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  #66  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2015, 2:40 PM
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^ That's cool. I hope they can get some decent national acts.

It would be really nice to see this part of downtown finally gain some momentum.
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  #67  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2015, 1:05 PM
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Well it's only taken a couple decades... but very glad it's happening in this revitalizing area of downtown. This building formerly housed Kandyland, a legendary all nude strip club that was at the core of a Supreme Court case regarding fully nude dancing as constituting free speech.

In the 80s and 90s, downtown Erie was filled with strip clubs, porn shops, adult theaters, massage parlors, etc. It had a pretty impressive red light district for a city its size, and I'll admit it was a pretty intoxicating place for a young man. Due to downtown becoming a porn hub, the city passed an ordinance banning totally nude dancing within city limits... hence the Supreme Court case.

About 15 years ago, a comedy club moved into this building and they did some half-assed renovations to the bottom floor as seen below.


At last, Jr.'s building to get renovated in Erie

http://www.goerie.com/at-last-jrs-bu...ovated-in-erie



The Erie Redevelopment Authority is undertaking a long-delayed $500,000 project to install windows in the top two floors of the four-story building at 1402 State St., whose upper facade will get refurbished as well.

The Redevelopment Authority owns the top two floors, whose windows are boarded. A company associated with Jr.'s owns the lower two floors.

The authority is hoping the new windows and other work, including restoration of exterior masonry, will attract a private developer to build loft-style apartments or offices in the upper floors, which will remain unfinished. They each encompass close to 8,000 square feet.
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  #68  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 3:30 PM
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Awful awful 1960s "urban redevelopment" soulless bunker of a building on an awful awful corner of downtown Erie (probably one of the worst, ugliest intersections I've ever seen in an urban area. But this should help improve at least the NE corner. This area was ground-zero for Erie's first experiment with "modernization" in the late 50s/early 60s. Looks inviting, huh?

Erie County General Authority approves financing for St. Martin Center project



  • Tax-exempt bond financing of up to $1.5 million is in the works to help a local nonprofit expand and move its child development and early learning programs.
  • The Erie County General Authority on Sept. 22 approved the financing for St. Martin Center, 1701 Parade St. The nonprofit's Early Learning Center plans to use the money to purchase and renovate the former National City Bank building at 1727 State St.
  • David Gonzalez, the agency's executive director, said St. Martin Center is "relocating and expanding its S.T.A.R.S. 4 Early Learning Center," which currently serves about 130 children.
  • The program currently rents space at Lovell Place in the 100 block of East 13th Street.
  • "The project will allow us to serve up to 190 children, providing preschool and kindergarten readiness programs as well as after-school care," Gonzalez said. "The project signifies an investment in early learning education as well as helping to revitalize downtown Erie."
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  #69  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2015, 1:51 PM
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http://www.goerie.com/pnc-sees-improving-erie-economy#

Quote:
PNC sees improving Erie economy

...

Erie County created about 1,500 new jobs over the past year while the housing market continued to improve.

"I bet you will have another 1,500 jobs over the next 12 months," he said, adding that local employment could finally return to pre-recession levels.

And while most of those jobs will likely be in the service sector, Hoffman sees the potential for 200 to 300 new manufacturing jobs.

"I think the region is poised to continue to improve," he said.

And while he expects the pace of growth to remain modest, it might not be quite as modest as it has been in the recent past.

By this time in 2016, Hoffman believes unemployment could be between 4.5 and 4.75 percent and that workers could see wages grow by 2.5 percent or more after years of stagnation.

...
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  #70  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2015, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergrey View Post
Presque Isle was shuttered years ago due to lack of interest.
Really? How long ago?
'Cause 8 years ago I drove around there one morning.
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  #71  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2015, 5:16 PM
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This new hotel is coming along nicely.



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  #72  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2015, 2:48 PM
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Another nice West Bayfront development:



The previous amphitheater at Liberty Park had a fabric tent-like cover that was removed in the winter. It was destroyed last June by one of those wild early summer storms that blow across the lake. The rendering depicts a permanent wood structure with a thermoplastic covering.

http://www.goerie.com/liberty-park-a...-get-blue-roof

It's a sublime setting for an outdoor summer concert... especially in the evening with the sun setting across the bay.



Last edited by Perch; Dec 3, 2015 at 2:59 PM.
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  #73  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 4:13 AM
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New stage on west side of Perry Square completed. In the Spring, the Edison Electric Fountain will be restored to its original 1929 condition to complete the renovations of the downtown park. It had really become an unattractive and overgrown haven for the homeless and addicts, with a haphazard collection of monuments and a completely out of place gazebo. The city removed trees, planted new ones, reconfigured parking around the perimeter, rearrangemed monuments, constructed entry pillars/lanterns, built this 2-sided stage, removed the gazebo, and will restore the fountain. Good work.

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  #74  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2015, 2:21 PM
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Erie Insurance has been remaking the eastside neighborhood around their HQ in their image... basically building a campus. I have mixed feelings about what they're doing. While I applaud the investment of a major corporation in the inner city and their preservation efforts (of specific buildings that suit their interests), they're on a land-grab binge right now and are really plowing down lots of older buildings/houses and using the land as surface parking until needed for future expansion. This defunct gas station/now check cashing spot is definitely no loss, but I'm sure they'll just plow it down and use the lot for parking.


Erie Insurance to buy former service station

http://www.goerie.com/erie-insurance...ervice-station




Erie Insurance Group is continuing to expand by reaching a deal to buy a service station and convenience store at East Sixth and Holland streets.

The property, once a BP then a Sunoco, operated for the past five years as the locally owned Lucky's Food Mart and Speed Check.

The complex, just east of Erie Insurance's headquarters, is now closed and a fence surrounds it. Erie Insurance soon expects to close on a deal with the owner, Sunny Simran LLC, affiliated with local businessman Kulwant "Lucky" Lakhman.

Knapp said Erie Insurance has yet to determine how it will use the property, "but given its strategic location next to our home office, it makes sense that we would purchase it."

Erie Insurance since early 2011 has purchased scores of houses, vacant lots and other parcels on the lower east side, near the Fortune 500 company's corporate headquarters at East Sixth and French streets. Erie Insurance used some of the parcels to build its 1,000-space parking garage, which opened in 2013 on East Eighth Street, between French and Holland streets.

Last edited by Perch; Jan 21, 2016 at 1:48 PM.
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  #75  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2015, 4:17 PM
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Here's a map of what Erie Insurance has been up to:



- RED circle is the above-referenced former gas station.

- BLUE circle is a tract of houses they demolished to provide parking and construction of an equipment/maintenance structure for their expanding campus. They did a very nice job restoring the old Armory on the SE corner of this block and two old Victorian homes on the NE corner. I wouldn't be surprised if they plan to buy the entire block, if they don't own it already.

- GREEN circle is the site of the former St. Patrick's Cauley Auditorium which they demo'ed a few years ago for a surface parking lot. They claimed it was structurally unsound and that they were going to put a park in its place. I highly doubt it was structurally unsound, and no park exists to this day.

- ORANGE circle is a parking garage and surface parking lots that have been eyed for development for decades now. They own 2 of the 4 historic buildings across the street from it, including the recent purchase of the former Pufferbelly Restaurant.


- LT BLUE circle is surface parking lot that has existed for decades.

- YELLOW circle is a huge surface parking lot that has been there for maybe 10 years now. Speculation that this location will be used for a new signature HQ "tower" for the company. That seems rather unlikely to me, given that it looks like they want a city campus setting for their company instead. They recently did a nice job restoring the building on the NW corner as their "Heritage Center", their first HQ.
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  #76  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2015, 1:53 PM
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A new Penn State Erie, The Behrend College building is nearing completion thanks to the mild fall weather.

Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center; classrooms, labs, and industry space under one roof. Nothing too special as far as institutional architecture goes, but very Penn State-y and functional. The development on and around the 700+ acre Behrend campus over the past decade is impressive. Unlike other commonwealth campuses, it is a "4-year school" and the most comprehensive outside of University Park, of course.

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  #77  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2016, 1:37 PM
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Great job overall. I like that it is truly mixed-use... commercial (office), residential, retail, bar/restaurant, market, hotel, convention center, parkland, parking garages, with public access throughout. Very happy that the surface lots on the east side (marina side) of the pier will be developed with residential. It seems that the surface lot just to the south of the conv center is being left open for future expansion of the center/additional hotel/parking garage. Also very pleased w/inclusion of the pedestrian bridge from the bluff spans the Bayfront Parkway... that is a necessity.... and will match the one on the east side of State St. that will span the parkway from UPMC Hamot area to the planned development by Scott Enterprises (if that ever actually happens).

For reference, here is the site as it looks currently:




Erie Events unveils master plan for former GAF site

http://www.goerie.com/erie-events-un...ormer-gaf-site



ERIE, Pa. -- Retail space for restaurants and offices.

Residential units.

A new "Market House" that could offer local goods like produce, meats, chocolates and wine.

Parking, bicycle trails and plenty of parks and green space, all open to the public and overlooking Presque Isle Bay.

Those are among the features included in an ambitious waterfront development plan that includes the 12.5 acres along Erie's west bayfront that was once home to the GAF Materials Corp.

Erie Events, which owns the site, and Kidder Wachter Architecture & Design, hired to shape the development concept, gave the Erie Times-News a first look at the plan on Monday, and met with the Erie Times-News' Editorial Board on Tuesday to discuss it.

"Just about anywhere on the site, you still have a connection with the water," said Casey Wells, Erie Events' executive director. "That's all done very strategically ... I am very happy with this concept plan, which I think represents the highest and best use for this site."

Architects Jeff Kidder and Chip Wachter said the plan, which their firm has worked on for more than a year, aimed to outline the best use for the property.

Kidder and Wachter said it is a mixed-use concept that includes housing, retail, offices and green space, as well as the layout for roads, sidewalks, streetlights, underground utilities and an overhead pedestrian bridge to carry people over the Bayfront Parkway to the site from nearby Front Street.

The project, which will be explained further at a public meeting in February, also complements the nearby Bayfront Convention Center and Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, the architects said, as well as the $54 million Courtyard by Marriott and parking garage project under construction in that area.

The new hotel is expected to open later this year. The concept includes plans for another parking garage to be added later.

The area, known as Bayfront Place, encompasses 29 acres when the former GAF property, Convention Center complex and the new hotel/parking garage are included.

"We tried to create this dense, urban little waterfront neighborhood on the site, but also not make it too dense," Wachter said. "We also wanted to create something that is realistic for Erie's development market. Everything that is here is compatible with (previous) market studies on what the site can support."

Kidder added: "The plan doesn't say what piece has to go first, what piece has to go second. It's going to be driven by the demand."

Officials connected to the plan said that it involves building 790,000 square feet of new buildings, and the total construction cost -- a developer would be chosen later -- could be as high as $300 million.

The project is likely to be built in stages, and could spawn as many as 1,950 short-term and long-term jobs, including construction work, officials said.

In addition, the development is expected to generate $7 million to $10 million annually in property taxes, collectively, for the city of Erie, the Erie School District and Erie County government once it is fully developed, officials said.

Roger Richards, a member of the Erie Events board of directors and chairman of its Strategic Planning Committee, said that the concept plan is "fluid" and subject to change depending on what individual developers might want.

The authority oversees Erie Events.

"Everything can be renegotiated," Richards said.

Several buildings in the plan would include retail space at ground level, with residences such as apartments or condominiums on the upper floors.

The Market House would be located at the south side of the development, near the Bayfront Parkway and Sassafras Street, adjacent to new office buildings.

All of the new buildings are organized around a network of parks and landscaped open space throughout the site, including a 1-acre "great lawn" at the site's northwest edge, along Presque Isle Bay and adjacent to the Courtyard by Marriott.

Kidder, Wachter and Jacqueline Spry, the architectural firm's planner and project manager, said they also studied waterfront developments in Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia and Rapid City, S.D., among other places, for ideas.

"You have to do your research, and understand what has worked elsewhere and what might work here," Kidder said.

Spry added the architectural firm "wanted to have a dense development, but not have it be too dense and not have it be an 'Erie development.'"

That is why more than 40 percent of the development is open, public space, she said.

Sinnott said he likes the plan.

"The concepts are something we can sell to a developer," Sinnott said.

GAF closed its asphalt shingle plant in 2007 and demolished it in 2010. After lengthy negotiations with GAF, Erie Events, formerly known as the Erie County Convention Center Authority, purchased the property for $3 million in December 2010.

Kidder and Wachter's concept plan follows a two-year, $7 million environmental cleanup at the site by London-based Amec, an engineering and project management firm. The work was funded by a state grant. The cleanup began in June 2012 and was finished in June 2014.

The property cleanup was structured to meet the highest standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Act 2 program, which governs environmental cleanup of former industrial sites.

An Act 2 cleanup allows the authority and potential developers to consider a wide range of uses for the property.

State funding was also used to handle infrastructure work like roads, some utilities and stormwater-management system.

Richards said that helps make the site more enticing to a developer or developers, who would not have to factor infrastructure into their own project costs.

Last edited by Perch; Jan 20, 2016 at 2:10 PM.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2016, 1:45 PM
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More Sassafras Pier/Bayfront Place/GAF Materials site redevelopment renderings from Kidder Wachter Architects










Last edited by Perch; Jan 22, 2016 at 3:51 PM.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2016, 2:05 PM
Private Dick Private Dick is offline
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Cool! I like the revised plan for the GAF site. The surface parking lot along the bayfront parkway raises an eyebrow -- why not just add another office building (or parking structure) to the design, even if it would only be for future expansion? The surface lot for the market is reasonable and I can see that the surface lot between the convention center and the residential block would be for future expansion of either/both.

Overall though, I think they got the density right, and far better than that original plan that the Pittsburgh firm came up with -- that looked like a D-grade high school project.

If this, plus the Scott development to the east ever get going... wow, Erie's bayfront is going to be really nice. I won't hold my breath for all of this, but it's good to see the progress there already and I'm glad a very respectable and talented local firm is doing the design.

And that new hotel is going to be nice with the glass atrium and infinity pool right on the bay -- that's pretty high class for Erie!
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  #80  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2016, 3:42 PM
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New renderings for the Liberty Park amphitheater



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