It may be 35 years since his death, but Elvis fans still flock to a wide variety of events celebrating the "King." Outside of Graceland the place to be this weekend is the 15th annual Michigan Elvisfest in Ypsilanti's Riverside Park.
Thursday morning presented third and fourth graders from Ypsilanti's Holmes Elementary School with a chance to compare what they learned in a project-based unit on economics to what happens in real-world businesses.
89-1 WEMU's Bob Eccles tagged along with the kids and their teachers on a visit to Depot Town.
Developers of the Thompson Block in Ypsilanti's Depot Town have secured a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehiabilitation Act tax credit from city council.
Project partner Tyler Weston said the city also approved a Brownfield plan for the project, so the next step is to ask Washtenaw County for Brownfield tax credits.
"What Brownfield allows us to do is essentially get paid back for site improvements at the property" Weston explained. He said those improvements include things like added parking space and structural improvements to the building.
With developers of the Thompson Block securing their first commercial letter of intent, City Council tonight will consider a tax exemption to help move redevelopment of the property forward.
Thompson Block partner Tyler Weston says a local restaurant entrepreneur has taken the first step toward becoming a tenant, and a coffee shop has also expressed interest.
Weston says the development plan has improved greatly since he came on board a year ago, with parking space now included for commercial and residential tenants, along with patio space for commercial tenants.
Businesses in Ypsilanti's Depot Town are looking forward to something happening with the Thompson Block, but opinions vary on what should happen to the former Civil War barracks and adjoining properties.
City Planner Teresa Gillotti says the current plan for the Thompson Block is a bigger and better project than the earlier proposal so it needed to be a planned unit development. Gillotti adds that the changes include adding residential parking behind the building and streetscape improvements along River Street for cafe seating.
Gillotti explained that the actual building permits will likely be similar however to the previous designs, adding the fire has eliminated a bay window from the front of the building and the entrance for the residential portion of the building has moved from the north side to the east side with the addition of the parking lot.
Gillotti maintains developers have two years to complete a PUD, however the Thompson Block faces a deadline in about 15 months for a finished building under the city's dangerous building ordinance.