Urban Partners was retained by the Erie Downtown Partnership to conduct a market analysis for Downtown Erie. This market analysis serves as an update to the market component of the Erie Downtown Master Plan that we completed in 2006. Building on the momentum generated by the initial implementation of Plan elements, including the restoration of the Mercantile Building as a mixed-use facility.
Erie hopes to further expand its market capture to effectively reinvigorate Downtown retailing and residential opportunities and to preserve its key office and entertainment roles.
Downtown Erie retail establishments currently provide goods and services in 25 different retail categories and service several distinct retail markets, including downtown residents, including Gannon University students; downtown employees; residents of the greater Downtown area; attendees of Downtown Erie’s growing cultural and sporting events and the broader Erie County regional customer base. Urban Partners examined each of these markets independently and collectively and identified additional sales capture potential in the Greater Downtown, including those specifically
geared toward the Gannon student market.
Urban Partners assessed opportunities to expand residential opportunities in Downtown Erie through market analysis and a survey of area residents.An online survey conducted through the Erie Downtown Partnership’s website quantified a signfiicant interest in downtown living and provided
detail about resident preferences by unit type, size, amenity level, pricing and tenure. We identified new sales housing opportunities for several niche oriented developments situated to most effectively build upon the strengths of the downtown, including housing targeted to value-conscious
“young relocating owners” and amenity-seeking “older relocating owners.” On the rental size, our analysis found that potential for further growth in the University market is limited due to anticipated enrollment stabilization at Gannon over the next several years; however, that demand for subsidized rental housing remains strong and that demand for market rate rentals, particularly townhomes and historic loft conversions, is increasing.