A big boost today for downtown Erie revitalization.

Gannon University making a $2.5 million investment in the newly formed Erie Downtown Development Corporation.

Gannon's investment follows major funding from Erie Insurance and the Erie Community Foundation.

Supporters are confident more investments will follow.

The goal is to raise at least $25 million and start improving lower State Street, and the surrounding areas from Holland to Sassafras, Perry Square to Third Street.

Plans call for new housing, major street scape improvements and more activities around Perry Square.

Gannon University President Dr. Keith Taylor said, "If our back yard and front yard are going to be home base from where we are going to start revitalization, we need to be part of that."

Gannon is also working to restore lower west side areas through its Our West Bayfront initiative.