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Posted on Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 11:55 a.m.

First development in Ypsilanti's Water Street project: Burger King?

By Paula Gardner

An Indiana company is offering Ypsilanti $400,000 for a half-acre at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Park so that it can build a Burger King.

According to the agenda, City Council will discuss the offer from Bravokilo at tonight's meeting.

The property is on the eastern end of the 38-acres comprising Water Street, which the city assembled about 7 years ago to fulfill its vision of creating a mixed-use residential project on the property, just east of downtown.

The offer includes a request that the city extend Parsons Street about 200 yards to the west. (See map
View Larger Map">here.)

The proposal has been a long time coming. City officials worked with at least two developers, then listed the property with CB Richard Ellis to sell portions of it. And during that time, the economy tanked. Lending for local development projects appears non-existent. So are buyers for land to redevelop just about anything.

City officials bonded $13 million to pay for the land acquisition - and payments started in 2009-2010, representing 4 percent of the city's budget, according to city documents.

Meanwhile, Ypsilanti blogger Mark Maynard is reporting his take on the proposal. He writes: "We’ve debated the hell out of it on this site, and kicked around ideas for the past year, but, the sad truth is, we’ve got bills to pay, and Burger King is the only entity out there willing to invest in Ypsilanti."

Read the rest of Maynard's post here.

What else could end up on the site? And who else has been interested? Part of the agenda packet includes some insight into the marketing of the property by CBRE. Here are those specific pages, which indicate, for example, that campus housing may be possible, senior housing has been an option and a new Aldi grocery won't happen soon.


Paula Gardner

Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 10:17 a.m.

lumberg48108, I've come to value the discussion on a topic that bloggers can generate - and try to add links to them in columns when I think a reader may appreciate seeing another point of view. Purely optional on the reader end, though:)


Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 9:27 a.m.

Who cares was a blogger has to write in a straight news story?


Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 8:08 a.m.

Ignatz, I agree, It's a start and better than nothing, especially since all we see when we drive by the area is a bunch of nasty vacant buildings and unkempt land. The area is an eyesore. "Build it and they will come"; hopefully, it will lead to MORE businesses wanting to build in the area, and an Aldi's would be great because I would certainly shop there. Why isn't the city ACTIVELY pursuing that company or any other companies? Looks to me like they are continuing to sit on their hands.


Wed, Mar 17, 2010 : 7:24 a.m.

I'd prefer the Aldi's to move in there, myself. I actually live downtown and while I enjoy the Dos Hermanos and the co-op, having another grocery store within walking distance would be fantastic.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 7:41 p.m.

If the bk is put on water street the other one where the ladies of the night like to eat should be quarantined.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 2:52 p.m.

uawisok - Mom and pop shops don't have 400k to drop on a half acre. I have no argument against putting a Burger King there, but I do have a problem with this guy. I don't know much about him, but I see what he's done with the Burger King he already has and it leads me to wonder if the next one will attract any of the problems that happen in the parking lot of the current one. Or if the food quality will be as low. Or if some of the substandard employees from the first store would be transferred to the second. I just wish some of BK's competition would make some competitive offers on the land.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 2:47 p.m.

uaw, you mean Bills Hot Dog Stand? Gotta love Bills! I'd love to see that place downtown! This choice is a no-win for Ypsi. The Burger King franchise they have a few blocks down the street has been unkempt, dirty and the food and service sub par. That would be a business operation Ypsi should not look at duplicating.

Dante Marcos

Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 2:43 p.m.

If a Burger King goes up at Water Street, I will bulldoze it.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 1:33 p.m.

gheez..I would rather see a mom and pop hot dog stand like the one on east michigan ave with the ugly yellow building but great dogs and service


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 12:21 p.m.

Well Paula I sure hope they they do better job at the new one. the last time went in the food was cold and the staff was moving like turtles they were more concerened about chit-chating than the costumers,never went back

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 12:20 p.m.

doesn't elvis work at the one on mich ave in ypsi? another bk? fail


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 12:13 p.m.

It's a start and better than nothing.

Paula Gardner

Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 12:09 p.m.

Also, I just got off of the phone with Burger King's media relations department - Bravokilo is the franchisee of the store at 823 E. Michigan Ave. I'm adding that to this story.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 11:52 a.m.

@wereintroubl I'm sure there will be no shortage of people applying for those minimum wage jobs


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 11:50 a.m.


Paula Gardner

Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 11:45 a.m.

Here's an online article that explores the business relationships tied to Bravokilo and Burger King.


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 11:45 a.m.

Good Ypsi is not anti-business like A2.I hope its not ran by the same people who runs the one 1/2 a mi down the road


Tue, Mar 16, 2010 : 11:45 a.m.

Whopee- a few dozen minimum wage jobs! This will really help turn things around with GM leaving Willow Run!