The Gannon Arch
Gannon University has signed an agreement to purchase the RCWE building at 155 W. Eighth St. A closing is scheduled for Feb. 1.
The agreement includes the four-story building and its adjacent 100-space parking garage.
The purchase is being aided by a significant anonymous gift from an Erie donor.
The terms of the deal with First National Bank, which has owned the building since 2017, are not being released at this time.
The purchase positions Gannon University to address the needs of its growing student population while also aiding the revitalization of downtown Erie by giving new life to an older city structure. The RCWE building was constructed in 1969.
Gannon plans to renovate the building for apartment-style student housing, adding 80 to 100 beds sometime in the next few years. The purchase is an integral step in the University's master plan for enhancing residential opportunities for students and others downtown.
Decisions about how soon this project would begin and how much it might cost are underway and are expected to be finalized in the first half of 2020.
The renovation project will also include repairs to the parking ramp, supporting Gannon’s needs and those of downtown Erie.
The new housing will also provide the University with some flexibility as it considers next steps in transforming its campus and its linkages to the neighboring community.