New Italian restaurant to open in downtown Ypsilanti after winning tax exemption
Ypsilanti will soon be able to add Italian fare its growing list of dining options.
Piero Sbraga, an Italian immigrant now living in Ann Arbor, is planning to open a new restaurant at the former Biggie’s at 16 N. Washington Street.
The Ypsilanti City Council recently approved an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) exemption on the property. That will freeze the taxable value at its current level and mean Sbraga won’t have to pay any additional taxes on the property’s increased value for 12 years.
The property is currently valued at $85,000 and is estimated to have a taxable value of $125,000 in 2023.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
Sbraga is estimating renovations at $247,000. Construction will be split up into two phases. The first floor will be renovated by April 1 and house Sbraga’s restaurant, which doesn’t yet have a name.
The second story will either house a split between apartments and more restaurant space or solely residential units, depending on the restaurant's needs. The second phase is to be completed within three years.
The building had been in bank foreclosure from January 2010 until Sbraga purchased it in January 2011. The city assessor declared the property functionally obsolete in April.
Sbraga told City Council he paid around $7,000 in taxes on the property and the renovations wouldn’t make sense without the OPRA exemption.
He said he remains a little nervous over the long-running vacancy of the former Pub 13 and Savoy directly across the street, but he will join several new restaurants that have recently opened or are planning to open in Ypsilanti.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for AnnArbor.com.