Federal Tax Credit Program Will Spur Erie East Side Revitalization

An innovative economic and community development agency now available locally will spark the revitalization of Erie’s East Side, according to Senator Dan Laughlin, who worked with a group of area leaders to bring the program to the community.

Today’s closing on the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC) funding will enable the Erie Center for Arts and Technology (ECAT) to redevelop the former Wayne School Building. This marks the first NMTC in Erie County. The NMTC Program provides federal tax credits to investors supporting certified Community Development Entities that invest in low-income communities.

The renovated building will enable the United Way to work in the neighborhoods that they serve, allow for an expansion of the community-based health office run by Primary Health Network, and provide for a nursing school, community arts space, job training facilities and more.   

“This is a tribute to all of the community partners who made today a reality,” said Senator Laughlin. “This truly is a community project. It has the support of numerous business leaders, such as UPMC, the Erie Community Foundation, Erie Bank, Northwest Bank and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority. As we moved forward, this will mean much more than the redevelopment of one building. It is a project that has the potential to impact many lives and spark an economic development renaissance on Erie’s East Side.”

Senator Laughlin said ECAT is patterned after an approach pioneered by Manchester Bidwell in southwestern Pennsylvania that promotes technical training and community empowerment and support programs.

“I had the pleasure of visiting Manchester Bidwell in 2018 at the request of the local group that ultimately founded ECAT,” said Senator Laughlin. “I was intrigued by the concept behind the organization and I continue to be supportive of the effort. It is a model that we can definitely use here in Erie.”


Contact:           Matt Azeles                 mazeles@pasen.gov              

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