Water Street Redevelopment Area

Ypsilanti's Water Street Family Dollar Ground Breaking
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ypsilanti  leaders hope "Family Dollar" Groundbreaking is first of many to come, but there is community concern over what kinds of developments may locate in the Water Street re-development area.  


Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council recently closed on a deal to sell a parcel of Water Street property for a Family Dollar Store, and there's no time to relax before the next proposal lands on council's plate.

A purchase agreement for Washtenaw County's proposed east side rec center is on council's Tuesday night agenda. 

City Planner Teresa Gillotti.

"There will be a public hearing on it," Gillotti says, "and probably a vote on it from city council to potentially accept the offer."

Water Street Development Plans Coming Along

Mar 21, 2014
Bob Eccles

Interest in Ypsilanti's Water Street redevelopment area continues to grow, as the three projects currently proposed  make their way through the process.

City Planner Teresa Gillotti says most of the interest lately is from residential developers. 

She says the Family Dollar store is close to closing, with construction beginning in April or May.  The Water Street Flats developer finds out in July whether they've received the state tax credits needed to move forward.  And a purchase agreement for the Washtenaw County Recreation Center is expected in the next month or so.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday night voted 4-3 to approve a purchase agreement for the Water Street Flats affordable housing proposal. 

Bob Eccles

As Ypsilanti City Council prepares to vote on a purchase agreement for the Water Street Flats affordable housing proposal, downtown businesses are sounding off on the project.

  

    

Business owners have been portrayed as being united in opposition to it, but an informal survey shows most like the idea or don't really have an opinion.  

Of the 13 businesses WEMU news asked, four said they support Water Street Flats, two are opposed and seven didn't feel strongly either way. 

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council has approved a letter of intent to sell a parcel of land in the Water Street Re-Development Area to a company that wants to build a 76-unit affordable housing project there. 

Michael Rodriguez is Development Director for Herman and Kittle Properties.  He says the  3.13 acre parcel on the southern edge of the re-development area is attractive for several reasons, including proximity to the Huron River and Michigan Avenue.

The housing development wasn't welcomed by everyone. 

Downtown businessman Dave Heikkinen expressed concerns that the city needs more market-rate housing rather than housing that caters to low-income residents. 

The city would sell the land for $157,000, with the developer performing about $750,000 worth of infrastructure improvements.  The plan is to have a purchase agreement back before city council in March.


WEMU's Issues of the Environment is a weekly feature and is heard each Wednesday at 8:20am, as part of Morning Edition.

In this week's installment,  WEMU's David Fair is joined by Ypsilanti City Planner Teresa Gillotti. The city has been looking to re-purpose the 38-acre water Street property since 199, and now there is it looks as though there will be development in 2014. 

The land has required some environmental remediation, and any new development will have to meet Ypsilanti's Master Plan goals. And, of course, it must ensure the health of the Huron River. Listen below as David and Teresa look at the environmental issues surrounding Ypsilanti's Water Street property. 


Work on a proposed Washtenaw County recreation facility on Ypsilanti's Water Street property is rolling along. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story. 


Water Street Family Dollar Sign Crisis Averted

Oct 17, 2013

The crisis that could have derailed plans for a Family Dollar store in the Water Street Re-Development Area has been averted.

City Council on Tuesday approved a development plan for the store that removed a provision to allow a so-called monument sign on the property – something a representative of the developer suggested could be a deal-breaker.