Erie Downtown Development Corporation (EDDC) CEO John Persinger shared his vision for downtown Erie while addressing a crowd Thursday morning at the Manufacturers and Business Association .

EDDC unveiled plans over the weekend for a $39 million culinary arts district.

It plans to develop the space with a food market on the west side, similar to one in Cleveland, and a food hall in the former Sherlock's Park Place space.

They also plan to build a new building in the gap to connect the two sides.

On the upper floor of the new and old buildings, EDDC will develop 70 to 80 residential units.

Persinger said EDDC is open to ideas on how to fill the space best.

"This is where we want the communities input," said Persinger. "We want to know what they would want to see. We have nine vendors. What do you want? Do you want pizza, sushi, salads? Do you want ice cream or cookies? We really want the community to buy into this project, so we want their feedback on what they would like to see in terms of vendors."

Persinger said it will take several years to turn the plan into a reality.

As leases expire, he said the EDDC will go building-by-building to take each down to the studs and bring it back with new life.