Ypsilanti Freighthouse

Bob Eccles

Local efforts to restore Ypsilanti's historic Freighthouse have entered a new phase.  Ypsilanti City Council Member Pete Murdock is calling on the city and local organizations to help finish restoring the building.

Those efforts stalled after a State Historic Preservation Grant fell through.

Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority, city government and other local groups had previously pledged to contribute to the project if the grant was awarded.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday night signed off on a handful of budget amendements that direct funds toward non-motorized plan projects, renovation work at the Freighthouse, and future traffic calming projects.

Council member Pete Murdock says the $220,000 for the Freighthouse will go toward upgrading mechanical systems. 

Other amendments include spending $100,000 over the next two budget years on non-motorized projects like the Border-to-Border Trail and a mid-block pedestrian crossing on Michigan Avenue near Water Street. 

Friends of Freighthouse is well on its way to transforming Depot Town's historic structure into a community hub. 

The organization recently secured $40,000 in funding from a variety of sources, including the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority.

The plan is to turn the Freighthouse into a venue where people can host local events, with long-term plans to have a small cafe.

Friends of the Frighthouse chair Corrine Sikorski says along with basic maintenance, the building needs some major renovations, including ADA-compliant restrooms.