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Posted on Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 2:36 p.m.

Ypsilanti officials want Thompson Block action within 30 days

By Staff

Ypsilanti officials will be serving the owner of the Thompson Block with an order to either demolish or permanently stabilize the structure, severely damaged by a Sept. 23 fire, according to blogger Mark Maynard.

Stewart Beal, owner of the 30,000-square-foot building on the eastern edge of Depot Town, told in October that he'd finished building scaffolding around the building to stabilize the historic facade. That, he said, was the first step toward saving the remaining historic elements of the buildilng.


The scaffolding is shown in this file photo.

Angela J. Cesere |

In a post on Friday, Maynard published the text of a letter from City Manager Ed Koryzno, detailing the city's intent to notify Beal on Monday that he'll have 30 days to comply with the order.

According to the post, Koryzno wrote: "In the order we are asking the property owner to either demolish (obviously after obtaining historic district commission approval), or in the alternative, permanently stabilize the structure from the interior so the roadway is no longer blocked."

No cause for the fire has been determined, but fire officials said they believe it was due to arson. Fire officials are waiting for results of lab tests from the Michigan State Police crime lab.

Beal said in August he was ready to start construction again on the building after inactivity due to problems with financing.

The building has been a key element of Ypsilanti's redevelopment hopes for the past several years, after the city pursued legal action against previous owner David Kircher.

Read the post on here.



Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 11:19 a.m.

They had trouble pre-renting the apartments before. Why would anyone want to keep this going? By the time the economy makes this feasible, the structure will fall on it's own.


Sun, Nov 8, 2009 : 6:01 a.m.

That mess needs to go NOW! It's a traffic hazard. It's an eyesore...and it was an eyesore long before it burned. I understand the economic downturn prevented Mr Beal from moving forward with restoration. That's not his fault. But now it's time to MOVE ON. Please Historical Commission, approve demolition. Please Mr Beal, have it torn down. With the new Amtrak stop, the property could have some value.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 7:57 p.m.

Mr. Beal is doing something in that town and he's been supported and will continue to be. This project has been a problem for longer that Mr. Beal's involvement and longer than the previous owner's neglect. It needs to come down. Start over put something nice, efficient, and solid in its place. Something with more than 'historic' interest. That building was in trouble when I came here for school in 1980s. Physical trouble, not just economic. It has an interesting story but really, someone or another has been trying to rehab that thing for 30 years and its non-starter. Cut bait, move on.


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 6:19 p.m.

Block two lanes of a major trunkline street in AA and see if you last an hour...


Sat, Nov 7, 2009 : 5:38 p.m.

So a guy is actually trying to do something in that broke city, and they are giving him a hard time? Way to inspire others to make a difference in the city.