Policy Committee tours local businesses, development projects in Erie

Lawmakers see local effect of investments

ERIE, Aug. 22 – The House Democratic Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie), held a roundtable discussion, and took a trolley tour across the Erie region, making stops at several businesses and development projects in the area, before finishing up at Presque Isle.

“Today was a great opportunity to show members of the House the area I represent and let them see first-hand the vision and positive momentum of our city,” said Bizzarro. “The work we do in Harrisburg impacts all corners of the state, and it’s important for my colleagues to witness the influence they have with each vote.”

The first stop in downtown Erie brought legislators to the Flagship City Food Hall, home to nine different food vendors and seating for up to 160 people, and the Erie Food Cooperative – delivering fresh food and meats to downtown residents. Both spaces are owned by Erie Downtown Development Corporation (EDDC), which is in the process of renovating several buildings on the same block into mixed-use spaces. These will eventually be home to apartments, fitness facilities and retail spaces. EDDC has invested $110 million in these Erie projects in the last two years.

During the second leg of the tour, legislators drove through the 8th Street Corridor in Millcreek. The Town of Millcreek is looking to completely redevelop the corridor by acquiring property for reinvestment in the community at a commercial level. Local officials said it’s ripe for economic opportunity that can attract and retain even more visitors, which will further drive the local economy.

The final stop of the tour brought the Policy Committee to Presque Isle State Park, home to more than four million visitors each year. It’s a 3,200-acre park right on Lake Erie, offering visitors areas for swimming, biking, boating, fishing and hiking. The state park features the Presque Isle Light House, an historic landmark built in 1872, and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, a 65,000 square foot facility that offers visitors the chance to experience the history and diverse ecosystem of the area.

“As state representative of this beautiful area, I was proud to show off the current attractions and upcoming projects that will drive the local economy for years to come,” said Bizzarro. “There’s a lot happening in our corner of the state, and I’ll continue to do everything I can in Harrisburg to make sure it’s supported by our legislature.”

Photos from today’s hearing will be available here.

Information about this hearing and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at pahouse.com/policy.