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134 Ypsilanti Articles | Page: | Show All

Washtenaw County moves toward establishing land bank

Washtenaw County plans to start banking its land in a land bank this fall.

Excerpt:

The Washtenaw County Land Bank is about to become a reality within the next few weeks.

The county treasurer, Catherine McClary, is pushing the paperwork forward to make it official by September. Properties could be put back on tax rolls as early as October.

Read the rest of the story here.

Ypsilanti’s Parkridge Center project takes new turn

John Barfield is once again reinvigorating plans for the redevelopment of the Parkridge Community Center in Ypsilanti.

Excerpt:

Plans to redevelop the Parkridge Community Center in Ypsilanti are taking another turn. Gone are ideas of renovating and expanding the facility on the city's south side by partnering with local universities. Coming are plans to raze and rebuild the building with the help of the Boys & Girls Club in Ypsilanti.

Spearheading the effort is John Barfield, chairman emeritus of the Bartech Group, who grew up utilizing the Parkridge Community Center. The facility has served as the epicenter of African-American life on Ypsilanti's south side for generations.

"We would like to merge the Boys & Girls Club with Parkridge and to have Parkridge become the headquarters for the Boys & Girls Club of Michigan," Barfield says. "It makes a lot of sense for us because we're both providing the same services for the same kids in the area."

Read the rest of the story here.

Spur Studios goes all Russell Industrial Center on Ypsilanti

Artists in Ypsilanti are about to get their own factory to churn out their work.

Excerpt:

More creative studio space is coming to Ypsilanti in the form of Spur Studios.

The project is transforming vacant office space attached to an old manufacturing facility near Eastern Michigan University, 800 Lowell St., into studio spaces for artists and small businesses. Think Russell Industrial Center in Detroit but on a smaller scale.

James Marks, founder and creative director of Ypsilanti-based VGKids, is spearheading the project. Spur Studios will turn 10,000 square feet of vacant office space into 30 studios. Those studios can be used by everyone from artists to musicians. The idea is to turn the long-vacant space into a cultural asset that attracts talent and innovative ideas.

"The demand has been really strong," Marks says. "We think it will be a model we can replicate."

Read the rest of the story here.

SEMCOG keeps Detroit-Ann Arbor rail line on track

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments might be finished studying the feasibility of the Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter train line, but that doesn't mean it's done figuring out how to make it work.

"We're in implement mode," says Carmine Palombo, director of transportation for SEMCOG, which is quarterbacking the project. "We're not studying to see if this is a good idea."

Right now SEMCOG is at the tail end of figuring out ways to make sure its commuter trains can run smoothly with freight train traffic that already travels the line. Two of the train companies, Canadian National and Northfolk Southern, have already figured this out with SEMCOG.

Palombo also maintains that the project is still set to become operational by the end of next year. Although start times for the commuter rail line have been pushed back several times this decade, the end of 2010 deadline is one that SEMCOG officials have held in recent years. It coincides with the M-1 Rail line (Woodward Avenue light rail) deadline for completion.

The plan calls for creating a commuter rail line between Detroit and Ann Arbor, with stops at Dearborn, Metro Airport and Ypsilanti. Amtrak will provide the trains. It could conceivably be expanded to connect Royal Oak, Ferndale, Troy/Birmingham and Pontiac.

Source: Carmine Palombo, director of transportation for SEMCOG
Writer: Jon Zemke

CAS-MI to expand laboratory space in Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti is becoming one of those Michigan cities synonymous with rejuvenation. And this new research company is helping.

Excerpt:

Laboratory expansion projects in Michigan usually carry city names, like Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Kalamazoo. Add Ypsilanti to that illustrious list now that CAS-MI Laboratories is expanding its facilities there.

The independent testing laboratory is spending $3.5 million on an 11,000-square-foot facility in Ypsilanti Township and turning it into its new Innovation Center. A $1.2 million state tax credit over the next 10 years helped entice CAS-MI to create the new space. Ypsi won out over both Ann Arbor and Livonia.

"We have strong roots with the Ypsilanti community," says Dave Riggs, president of CAS-MI. "There are a lot of available buildings and research space in Ypsilanti."

Read the rest of the story here.

Ypsilanti Freighthouse cashes $500K check for repairs

Some big bucks are helping reopen the doors at the historic Ypsilanti Freighthouse.

Excerpt:

The money is really starting to roll into the Ypsilanti Freighthouse. The Friends of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse recently received a $500,000 check from the state to fund sufficient repairs to the building to allow it to reopen its doors.

That's on top of a $100,000 grant it recently received from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. And on top of the tens of thousands of dollars the friends group has raised for the cause locally. It all adds up to a second lease on life for the historic building in Depot Town.

"This will open our doors," says Bonnie Penet, co-chair of the Friends of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse. "Of course we need more but that funds the critical assessment report and allows us to do repairs so we can open the doors."

Read the rest of the story here.

Schoolpictures.com goes for LEED status with new Ypsilanti HQ

Schoolpictures.com is looking to harness some of the wind at its new Ypsilanti headquarters.

Excerpt:

Schoolpictures.com was already going green with its new headquarters in Ypsilanti by reusing the old Ave Maria University campus in the center of a city. But now the web-based firm is going the extra mile, aiming for silver LEED status.

Schoolpictures.com is trying to do this with a combination of recycling and alternative energy. For instance, construction workers removed 70 tons of debris and trash in the initial phase of construction. About 80 percent of that was recycled. It's also working with Eastern Michigan University to install a wind turbine.

"We very much want to put renewable energy on site," says Skip Cerier, president of SchoolPictures.com.

Read the rest of the story here.

Ypsilanti Freighthouse gets $100,000 renovation grant

One of Ypsilanti's oldest and most historic buildings recently got a $100,000 shot in the arm.

Excerpt:

The folks trying to save the Ypsilanti Freighthouse are ready to do the heavy lifting required to breathe new life into the historic structure in Depot Town.

The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation has given a $100,000 grant to the Friends of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse. That money will be spent on engineering and architectural drawings that will be used to collect bids for a full renovation project.

"It's the most important thing that need to be done to open the doors," says Bonnie Penet, co-chair of the Friends of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse. "It will be from the foundation up."

Read the rest of the story here.

Where to put the train station in Ypsilanti?

Before the train pulls into the station, Ypsilanti's residents need to figure out where to put it.

Excerpt:

Ypsilanti is gearing up to make a decision on a project that has enormous potential to improve the city’s prospects -- both short and long-term.

City officials are trying to figure out on which side of the tracks to put Ypsilanti’s stop on the Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail line. The city’s Planning Commission is holding a public meeting on that subject Thursday, along with explaining the potential impact this stop could have on economic development.

“This is one of the best things that can happen in any city,” says Brian Vosburg, director of the Depot Town and downtown development authorities. “This will be a huge boost to Depot Town and Eastern Michigan University.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Taylor, Belleville, Ypsilanti join Aerotropolis development efforts

Wayne County's Aerotropolis initiative is gaining momentum now that three new municipalities have signed on by signing big checks.

Taylor, Belleville and Ypsilanti have joined the regional corporation that will develop about 60,000 acres of land from Detroit Metro Airport to Willow Run Airport. They each paid $25,000 to become part of the Aerotropolis Development Corporation, which heads up the Aerotropolis initiative.

The Aerotropolis is expected to create 64,000 new jobs, $10 billion in economic impact and millions in tax revenue in the area around Metro and Willow Run airports. Major economic development incentives are planned to help develop the Aerotropolis area.

Metro Airport is expected to become one of Metro Detroit's main economic engines of the 21st Century because it has lots of room to grow in the vacant or unused land around it. Most other major metro airports have already been extensively developed and have little room to grow.

Source: Wayne County
Writer: Jon Zemke

SPARK East incubator opens in Ypsilanti with 4 tenants

Ann Arbor SPARK is now a major player in the resurgence of downtown Ypsilanti.

Excerpt:

New economy entrepreneurs have officially landed in downtown Ypsilanti now that four start-ups have set up shop in Ann Arbor SPARK's newly opened East incubator.

The four lucky companies include LaVision, SENSI Change, Brainstorm Creative, and Smart Dining. They are taking up part of the new incubator's 8,000 square feet on the ground floor of the Mack & Mack building on Michigan Avenue next door to Bombadill's Cafe.

Read the rest of the story here.

Huron Ophthalmology moves into new green building in Ypsilanti

Eye doctors in Ypsilanti are seeing a lot of green in the new home for their business these days.

Excerpt:

The doctors at Huron Ophthalmology in Ypsilanti are so committed to environmentally-friendly practices that one of them even rides his bike to work everyday - rain, sleet, snow or shine.

So it makes sense that the medical practice is moving into one of the greenest buildings on the St. Joseph Mercy Health System campus. The new 21,200-square-foot building features a bevy of environmentally friendly features, such as a geothermal heating and cooling system, thermal glass, skylights, flooring made of recycling materials, motion-sensor lights and, yes, even a bike garage.

Read the rest of the story here.

Ypsilanti's Hope Clinic consolidates with new expansion

Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti is consolidating with its new expansion.

Excerpt:

Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti has been growing since it first opened its doors in 1982, however, that growth has been sporadic and scattered. Today it's looking to continue its expansion in one central location at a steady pace.

The organization is investing $3.15 million to add 23,500 square feet in two floors to its headquarters at 518 Harriet St. That's a big jump in space for the 3,500 square feet of the original building, which is also being renovated.

Read the rest of the story here.

Jackson asks for westward extension of Detroit-Ann Arbor line

It seems like everyone wants to get in on the Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail project, including Jackson.

Excerpt:

It's easy to make the southeast Michigan connection when thinking about Detroit and Ann Arbor, but Jackson?

Most people wouldn't consider the birthplace of the Republican Party part of the Metro Detroit mix, but Jackson's leaders are lobbying to be let into the game by including it in one of the region's marquee projects - the Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail line.

Currently the project's first phase, set to become a reality in the fall of 2010, stretches between Ann Arbor and Detroit with stops at Ypsilanti, Metro Airport and Dearborn. That's it for now, according to Carmine Palombo, director of transportation programs for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, which is spearheading the project.

He added there is talk of extending the line north into Oakland County with stops at Royal Oak, Birmingham/Troy and Pontiac as part of a second phase. SEMCOG is also looking at utilizing Jackson's rail yard as a base for the line, but extending the line to downtown Jackson isn't in the cards, at least not for the project's first phase.

Read the rest of the story here.

Ypsilanti to revamp historic elementary schools into commercial space

Schoolpictures.com is getting green lights galore with its Ypsilanti expansion.

Excerpt:

The last pieces of the Schoolpictures.com project in Ypsilanti are starting to fall into place.

State bureaucrats are giving the development a thumps up while construction workers hurry to finish the project. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority recently approved $86,800 in tax incentives for the $2.8 million project.

Read the rest of the story here.
134 Ypsilanti Articles | Page: | Show All
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