East Ave. Task Force Open for Business

Categories:  News & Politics    Community
Friday, January 9th, 2015 at 11:04 AM
East Ave. Task Force Open for Business  by Jim Wertz

East Ave. between 6th Street and 12th Street is illustrative of Erie’s past – once community centered and defined by the eclectic nature of its neighborhoods – or a warning about its future – potentially devoid of viable and sustainable local business while approaching post-apocalyptic blight.  

For more than a few years, community leaders like East Avenue Neighborhood Watch coordinator Fr. Jerry Priscaro have decried changes to the urban landscape that have impacted the area known as the East Ave. business district. Positive changes for the region have regularly been detrimental for the continued operation of business and the overall well-being of the neighborhood at large.

The opening of the Bayfront Connector and the closing of the East Ave. bridge loom large over a decades long pattern of shuttering factories, exodus of community resources – including grocery stores – and an increasing isolation from neighborhoods south of the train tracks and west of the highway.

“This neighborhood has taken some hits with the closing of factories and rerouting traffic. We want to come up with ideas to bring hope back to these businesses and the East Avenue neighborhood,” says Erie City Councilman Bob Merski.

Merski is leading a group of civic and community leaders, including Fr. Priscaro, in what they are calling the East Avenue Task Force.

Other members of the task force, which will make recommendations for existing and potential businesses in the East Ave. corridor, include State Rep. Pat Harkins, County Councilman Andre Horton, and Kim Green, the City of Erie’s director of economic development, as well as the owners of Clancy’s Pub and Pizza, New York Lunch, and the Razanauskas Funeral Home.

Jim Wertz can be reached at jWertz@ErieReader.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @jim_wertz. 

Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 13
Now Available — Pick It Up Today

CURRENT

Dr. Ferki Ferati will succeed Dr. William P. Gary as the head of Erie's think tank

Innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders shaping the future of Erie

Centenarian building serves criminally good drinks, eats

Thousands of music enthusiasts from all across the country flock to the Great Blue Heron Music Festival.

Don’t Blink Photography and Design along with The Box will is putting together Humanity Against Heroin fundraiser.

IN THIS ISSUE

Innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders shaping the future of Erie

Centenarian building serves criminally good drinks, eats

Thousands of music enthusiasts from all across the country flock to the Great Blue Heron Music Festival.

Don’t Blink Photography and Design along with The Box will is putting together Humanity Against Heroin fundraiser.

Big Thief are able to communicate emotions with heartbreaking accuracy.

East High School Tribute

Uncanny advertising and meth-fueled hotwiring 

Catch some of Erie’s best original musicians while helping to support a great cause.

Goodell Gardens and friends present the gardens’ third annual Botanical Beverages event.

Beach Fossils continue to raise the bar for themselves