Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's administration came to Erie Tuesday morning to highlight state investment in the former Erie Malleable Iron (EMI) complex in the W. 12th St. corridor.

Acting Community and Economic Development Secretary Neil Weaver was joined by a bipartisan delegation of state and local lawmakers.

They are supporting the Erie Redevelopment Authority's plan to turn the once-crumbling manufacturing space into a high-tech business park.

They hauled out tons of debris, and now the work begins to make this business ready.

The state has already invested $4 million in the project.

"We want to redevelop communities and neighborhoods, build them back to what they used to be, and we see that here on 12th St.," said Weaver. "We don't think that it's a bad place at all.  We think it's great has great opportunity, great bones, and we're looking to invest as much as we can into it."

Tina Mengine, CEO of the the Erie County Redevelopment Authority told us they already have interested tenants. "We’ve had a lot of interest from local businesses wanting to expand or move - they’re intrigued by the concept," Mengine said.  "We’ve also met with and talked with several developers and site selectors from out of town. So now that we’re at a point where we can begin demolition and really build out the concept, we’re going to start marketing it heavily. We don’t envision having much difficulty filling it," she added.

The Redevelopment Authority will keep and renovate the office building at the corner of West 12th and Cherry Streets, moving their own offices there and renting out additional office space. 

Demolition of buildings on the west end of the property will in time make space for new buildings.  That demolition work is set to begin later this summer.

Once it gets started, the renovation work in the future business park space is expected to take about 18 months.  The total project is estimated to cost about $22 million.  Mengine said through grants and federal, state and local funds they have already acquired about $18 million of that funding.