The Downtown Erie Hotel at 18th and State St. has been sold to out-of-town developers.

Sherry Bauer, broker of SBRE Sherry Bauer Real Estate Services, first told Erie News Now in October 2019 a sale was in the works.

The name of the new owners has not been disclosed, but we have learned they have experience in the hotel industry and plan to make a big investment.

The property, which was purchased for $1.1 million, is expected to be an independent hotel, not a franchise.

The owners will be able to take advantage of LERTA, meaning the owners will pay taxes on the current value of the property and any taxes on improvements or new investments will be deferred for 10 years.

The hotel also falls within an Opportunity Zone, which provides tax incentives for private investors.

In February 2019, Erie News Now first reported the City of Erie condemned the property and declared it uninhabitable because of numerous fire and code violations.

Since then, Bauer said the owners have been working diligently to fix the violations and clean up the property in order to sell it.

Bauer told Erie News Now she had been trying to sell the property since November 2018.

We're told the developers have an "aggressive" timeline to make improvements and reopen the hotel.

The City of Erie Department of Economic and Community Development and Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership assisted with the sale of the property.