In March 2007, Fourth River Development was commissioned by the City of Erie, PA to oversee the planning, design and construction of a comprehensive residential, commercial and live/work complex to occupy a six-block area surrounding the cityís downtown Griswold Plaza. Erie officials have committed some funding for park, streetscape and infrastructure improvements, but the majority of the redevelopmentís components will be secured by Fourth River representatives from private sources. The firm also was responsible for assembling the design team that met the approval of the Erie Redevelopment Authority, the projectís client.
An October charrette involving all project principals and interested stakeholders resulted in the identification of housing and retail options for each block of the project site. Popular plan features included upgrading Griswold Park itself; gracing its immediate rim with townhouses; and disbursing parking and retail throughout the area targeted for renewal. The objective of the redevelopment initiative, agreed to by all participating parties, is to create a neighborhood capable of functioning as a self-sustaining community.
Additionally, in its role as a partner in Keystone T Ventures, Fourth River is providing mezzanine financing for the redevelopment of the Mercantile Building, an Erie landmark. The joint firm was formed in late 2006 with Radnor Property Group of Wayne, PA, to address development opportunities in the “T” section of Pennsylvania – the area of the state located between and north of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. And it was awarded $6 million in funding from the Building PA economic stimulus program created by Governor Edward Rendell to enable projects like the Mercantile Building to move forward.