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Posted on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

New Happy's Pizza at busy Ypsilanti Township intersection expected to open this summer

By Tom Perkins


Problems with parking lot design delayed the opening of a new Happy's Pizza by a year.

Tom Perkins | For

A Happy’s Pizza that was expected to open last summer on the southeast corner of Washtenaw Avenue and Golfside Road in Ypsilanti Township will likely open this summer.

Problems with the site’s design plans delayed the store’s opening, but officials are hopeful it will open within the month.

The building’s shell has been completed and interior work has begun, and problems with the design have been rectified. A second unit in the building will hold a tobacco shop, according to a sign posted on the building.

"Though we would have preferred a more timely completion of the project, slow progress is better than no progress," said Ypsilanti Township Building Director Ron Fulton.

Fulton said site plans approved by the Michigan Department of Transportation didn’t include that the neighboring parking lot was four feet higher than Happy’s lot.

Construction crews discovered the issue after beginning work on the site, but the building has been built and the lots are now contiguous. MDOT officials approved the site on a preliminary walk through on Monday.

The engineer is no longer involved with the project, Fulton said. Happy’s representatives declined to comment on the story.

MDOT has to approve the plans because Wasthenaw is a trunk line. Currently there are two entrances to the property and left turns will be prohibited out of the curb cut, which is close to Golfside.

The site once held a Dairy Mart that closed in 2004 and has sat vacant since. It was owned by Edward Zeer, who had to address numerous blight-related issues and deal with vandals regularly breaking into the building.

Zeer proposed several plans to rehabilitate the property between 2004 and 2010, but none ever panned out. The township filed a motion in Washtenaw County Circuit Court in August 2010 to have the building declared a public nuisance, but representatives from Ypsilanti-Washtenaw Holdings LLC, which owns a Happy’s Pizza on Washtenaw Avenue in between Golfside and Hewitt Road, approached MBZ LLC, Zeer’s company that owns the intersection property, before the case ever went before a judge.

The two parties subsequently entered into a purchase agreement and plans to demolish the Dairy Mart and build Happy’s were put into motion.

"The makeover of this corner promotes a far superior welcome (at the township's border) than what has been here for years prior," Fulton said.

Fulton added that the makeover of this corner is soon expected to carry over into the former Ypsi-Arbor Bowling Alley site. A developer is working on plans for "undisclosed" retail space and is expected to submit site plans to the township this month, Fulton said.

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Roger Dodger

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

Happy's Pizza is not my favorite, but I'm going to give them some regular business just for getting rid of that ugly Dairy Mart. Thanks Happy's.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

I've seen a few Happy's open and close. Good luck.


Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 1:45 a.m.

There's already a Happy's on Washtenaw that seems to be doing just fine. That location is moving to the new building.

Terry Star21

Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 5 p.m.

The Architecture, Engineering and Landscaping on that corner is excellent and very delightful. Everyone did a wonderful job. My juries still out on the tobacco shop.....time will tell.

Life in Ypsi

Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

I hope this Happy's treats the customers better than the Ecorse Road location. I like Happy's, but I am boycotting the Ecorse Road location due to the terrible service and rude behavior of the manager.


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

Agreed. But my experience with the one on Washtenaw has been great. They even kindly helped me take out a large order to my car in the rain.


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 6:37 p.m.

This is a relocation of the Happy's that's just down the street on Washtenaw (next to the Subway).


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

Good luck there. Anything's better than the blight in what used to be a thriving intersection 20 years ago.


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Happy's is "OK" but I go to other places for that type of food.


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 7:54 p.m.

I've found that most people prefer their fish and ribs over the pizza


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 12:23 p.m.

There is a lot of urban blight at that intersection. The Ypsi-Arbor bowling alley is vacant (as noted) and the Farmer Jack's in the big K-Mart shopping center across Washtenaw has been vacant for more than 5 years. I drive through there a lot but don't stop! Maybe the Happy's will help. They've got very nearby competition from Domino's and Cottage Inn, though - pizza alley!


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

That auto repair place could use some spiffing up it looks like a junk yard.


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

I see a lot of the old Farmer Jacks buildings that are still vacant, not just in Ypsi.


Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

I wounder why no one has moved into Farmer Jack's.It always seemed busy.I believe the only reason they closed was because the company went under

Lou Velker

Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

4ft? Maybe 4 inches?

Roger Dodger

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

It really is (almost) 4 foot. They had to do a lot of landscaping to get the entrance to look right. Plus, there is a bus stop right there.