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Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

$4 million Walmart expansion approved in Ypsilanti Township

By Tom Perkins

The Ypsilanti Township Walmart will be a Walmart Supercenter by the end of the year.

At its meeting Monday, Ypsilanti Township's Planning Commission unanimously approved plans for a 38,000-square-foot addition onto the store at 2515 Ellsworth Road.

The expansion will primarily make room for a full grocery section on the west side of the building, which takes up 13 acres in the Roundtree Shopping Plaza.

The $4 million construction project is expected to begin in August and is targeted for completion within 120 days.

Plans for the 104,000-square-foot building also call for an expanded parking lot, renovations and improvements to the façade, an additional entrance and upgrades to the garden center.


Walmart will invest $4 million to make the Ypsilanti Township a Walmart Supercenter, which will include improvements to the façade.

Tom Perkins | For

“When the development is completed it will look like a new Supercenter building, so it is a good plan for the existing building,” Robert Matco, a civil engineer for Walmart, told the planning commission.

Township planning coordinator Joe Lawson said Walmart chose to expand the store because of its high customer volume and demand.

The nearest Super Walmarts are at 45555 E. Michigan Ave. in Canton; on Belleville Road in Belleville; and at 7000 E. Michigan Ave., in Saline.

The next nearest grocery store is the Meijer at the intersection of Carpenter and Ellsworth roads, in Pittsfield Township. The plaza once held a Busch's before it changed to a Sheena's Market. That shut down several years ago.

Lawson said Walmart had not yet provided information on how many jobs will be added.

"This office and our elected leadership is excited to see the expansion," Lawson said. "This tells us that they obviously see a benefit to being here, and the substantial investment shows they're happy to be here."

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the business desk at



Tue, May 28, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

place is a dump


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

I'm shocked that Walmart is able to survive in Washtenaw County. I don't know anybody who shops there.

Basic Bob

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 12:52 a.m.

The one on Michigan Avenue is busy 24 hours a day, much to the chagrin of the Harvest PTA. You can be sure they all shop at Costco and Whole Foods, but some folks drive in from the next county rather than shop at the overpriced little grocery stores in Clinton and Tecumseh.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

I stopped using this WalMart years ago due to how poorly it is run. It is always filthy. They leave all the overstock in the aisles making it impossible to move around the store. I hope if WalMart sees fit to put this kind of investment into the site, they also invest in new management. I have shopped WalMarts around the country and this one is by far (FAR!) the worst one I have visited.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

I hope that the expansion of this Wal-Mart will put it on equal footing with its sister stores in Saline and Howell; areas that serve a different clientele than the Ypsilanti store. That equal footing would translate into: 1) better stocked shelves, 2) cleaner facilities, 3) store personnel more attentive and knowledgeable, and 4) open 24 hours. It is hard to ignore the disparities in this store and its sisters, especially when you know the demographics of the communities that each store serves.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

not gonna happen


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

There will also be an expansion of empty shelves.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 2:20 p.m.

There are a lot of negitive responses to Walmart and Meijer here. Walmart being non union I can understand it, this being in a mostly unionized township. We have had the pleasures of the UAW for years, bringing wages and benefits to the area. But today the unions have chosen to divide the membership that I can no longer back the unions against Walmart. Today, I still do not shop at Walmart because of the quality of merchandise they carry, as well as the way they treat their employees. Even the way they treat their customers. They know that if I do not buy, the next person through the door will. Ypsilanti Township would probably be happy if a 4 million dollar dog fighting facility was put in next door, just for the tax revenues. But taxes on $100,000 is nothing to brag about.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

My negative comments about Walmart have nothing to do with unions.

Basic Bob

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

otow, lawsuits against townships who prevent businesses from expanding in proper zoning cost the residents money and lost services. let them build, then choose for yourself whether you want to shop there.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

With Walmart, there is the additional issue of the conditions in factories where their products, how far they transport goods (from Third World countries) and how they treat their employees nationally and locally. They also often move into an area, undersell small businesses until they can't survive, then raise their prices. The ecological effect of this expansion is also worth considering.

Christine Moellering

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

They can make it as big as they wish but I will not ever shop in that store.

Basic Bob

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 11:10 a.m.

@Michael, Screwing together Japanese parts and tending machinery designed and built in Japan may create jobs but it does not create wealth.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 9:51 p.m.

Basic Bob: Toyota hires more Americans and builds more of their cars in America compared to even Chevrolet. Sure, its headquarters may be in Japan, but it helps the American economy more than Chevy does.

Basic Bob

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 3:56 p.m.

and i will never ever buy a toyota. that's far worse for america than supporting chinese sweat shops.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

Amen, Christine!

Life in Ypsi

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

This has to be the one of filthiest Walmart's I have ever been to.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

@lisamarie, I don't have to stick my hand in the fire to know it's hot and could burn me. I have friends who have worked at walmart, and could tell you firsthand how they were treated. there is also a book that I suggest you read titled "how wal-mart is destroying America(and the world) and what you can do about it". this book is very well-researched, it's not based on conjecture. and no, I am NOT getting off my soapbox!!

Lisa Marie

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:45 p.m.

Right. We've all heard the argument on why Wal-Mart sucks.... this isn't about that. What I'm disagreeing with is the statement, "under these conditions, it's not surprising at all that the store looks the way it does" - coming from someone who's never even stepped foot in the store. The fact that it's an old Wal-Mart would be the reason it's absolutely filthy... & I, too, avoid this Wal-Mart because of it's condition. And you're right- the only way to improve its look is to approve the expansion. So.... what's the problem? & Lastly, who cares if Meijer and Kroger take business away from Wal-Mart? It's already there, so it's not like it's new development taking away from something else. They must be doing just fine to want to pump money into expanding. And quite frankly, the expansion $$ isn't coming from your pocket. If the market decides to run it out of business because everyone prefers Kroger, let it happen. It isn't costing you a dime.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

Lady Marie, The location is the oldest of the WalMarts in this area and all other Walmarts have been updated or added as Superstore locations. Now, I agree with Mady on each point she made which is correct. In addition, I avoid this Walmart directly due to the overall appearance of this store. Yet, the only way to improve its' look was to approve the expansion. Either way Meijer's and Kroger's will continue to take business anyway from Walmart in this area in general (for grocery shopping especially and more) due to public perception that they treat the employees fairly and pay at least decent wages.

Lisa Marie

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 5:08 p.m.

Mady, This PARTICULAR Wal-Mart IS filthy. Get off your soap box & actually go to the one located on Ellsworth. Or perhaps go in a Wal-Mart in general. According to you, ALL Wal-Marts treat their employees this way, even though you've "never" stepped foot in one, and know nothing about this particular location. Perhaps you could explain why other Wal-Marts are kept in better condition than Ypsilanti's filthy Wal-Mart, considering they ALL have associates working in the conditions you describe?


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Ypsi, Walmart is filthy in ways that have nothing to do with how the floors look; they are filthy in the way they treat their employees. They are filthy in where their products come from(see:sweatshop labor where people work long hours, in unsafe conditions, for starvation wages). If the store is filthy from a physical standpoint, maybe it's because it is staffed by "associates(??)" who are overworked and don't receive a decent wage. under these conditions, it's not surprising at all that the store looks the way it does. you can't expect these people to care about their jobs when management doesn't give two hoots about them. Which they don't. I don't care how low their prices are. I have never stepped foot in a Walmart and I never will.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

Anybody know if a Walmart is scheduled for the west side of town, say near Zeeb? Is it just me or is there particularly good people watching at Walmart, at any of them, across America.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

Ypsi, you didn't answer my question. What city are those two Meijer stores in then? Both addresses are in Ann Arbor, and both surrounding areas send their kids to Ann Arbor schools. For all purposes they are in Ann Arbor. Are you going to suggest that people who live in Ann Arbor township but not within the city limits of Ann Arbor are not in Ann Arbor because some are not within the city limits? If your address says you are in Ann Arbor, you're in Ann Arbor, it's literally that simple. The tractor supply company is just another layer of this where they're in Ann Arbor, part of Scio township and pay into Dexter schools. They're still in Ann arbor. They are not in Dexter. They are not in Chelsea. Your address does not list a township, it lists a city. That city is where you live. These stores simply do not belong to no city because you're unwilling to recognize them. They belong to a city and if you're not willing to accept that they are part of Ann Arbor, what city do they belong to? Again, a township is not a city. They pay taxes to the township which gives taxes to the city for services, they are part of Ann Arbor.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

hail2thevict0r, I'm not sure how else to explain it to you. A city is a city and a township is a township. There are no "technicalities" involved. Cities and townships are both recognized as governing, taxing authorities, but a township that is adjacent to a city is NOT part of the neighboring city, no matter what. Meijer pays property taxes to Scio Township for their property on Jackson Road. Yes, part of that property tax is used to support the Ann Arbor Public Schools, but that's only because that part of Scio Township gets public school services from the Ann Arbor School District. The tractor supply store you cite in an earlier comment also pays taxes to Scio Township, but its property taxes support the Dexter Community Schools. Does that somehow make them part of Dexter? No. No matter where their school taxes go, both Meijer and the tractor supply store are IN Scio Township. Scio Township controls the zoning in that area, and provides policing and fire services there. Ann Arbor is a city. Cities are defined by their city limits. An address is either inside the city boundary or it is not. The Carpenter Road and Ann Arbor-Saline Road stores are both in Pittsfield Township. The Zeeb Road store is in Scio Township. While all Meijer stores in this area have "Ann Arbor" mailing addresses, exactly NONE of them are IN the City of Ann Arbor.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

I still don't buy that technicality. Those two stores are in Ann Arbor and identify with no other city other than this apparently strange township rule. They are not in the "city" of Pittsfield township or in the "city" of Scio. Under basically every definition outside of that they are part of the city of Ann Arbor. I'd argue that people do refer to these places and say they're in and from Ann Arbor. No one says, "the Pittsfield township Best Buy". You say you're from whatever city is in your address, not whatever township purgatory you find yourself in. If your address says Ann Arbor and you're in Ann Arbor schools - you're in Ann Arbor.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 9:46 p.m.

Hail2thevict0r, it is a technicality, because in Michigan, we have strong home-rule, which means that people consider townships to be cities here. Mailing addresses/school districts/library districts, etc. do not reflect the political boundaries of a city or township. So, they are correct in saying there is no Walmart, or Meijer in Ann Arbor. When one says Ann Arbor, they refer to the city limits. Nobody says Ann Arbor to refer to the surrounding suburbs. They each have their own identities. The Meijer on Carpenter Rd is in Pittsfield Township, not Ypsilanti, which its mailing address would indicate.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

Ypsi, so what city are they apart of then? I'd agree they aren't in the "city" limits off ann arbor and are in scio township, but a township is not a city. These stores are in Ann Arbor and I can't see a logical argument to suggest otherwise. So again, what city are they in if they aren't in Ann Arbor? Some pergatory between Ann Arbor and Dexter that gets no recognition? Kids who live over there go to ann arbor schools. If you were typing into a GPS how to get to that store and it asked what city you were going to, you'd select Ann Arbor. So you are both wrong and trying to argue some technicality. There are no Meijer stores in the city limits of Ann Arbor, but there are Meijer stores in Ann Arbor. These stores do not identify with any other city other than Ann Arbor and since the kids go to school in....Ann have no argument. Not to mention, there is a Meijer on Ann Arbor saline road....another Meijer in Ann Arbor. So there are actually 2 of them in Ann Arbor.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 7:58 p.m.

hail2thevict0r, The Meijer store on Jackson Road is in Scio Township, not Ann Arbor. The "city" information in a mailing address refers to the post office that handles the mail for a location, not to the location's municipality. Since the mail for that Meijer store is handled by the 48103 post office (in Ann Arbor), the mailing address says Ann Arbor. The store is located in Scio Township, as is the tractor supply company you refer to. Basic Bob is correct. There are no Meijer stores in the City of Ann Arbor.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

Bob, you're 100% incorrect. The address for the Zeeb road Meijer: 5645 Jackson Rd Ann Arbor (734) 222-0300 In fact, "Ann Arbor" continues very far down jackson road: almost to baker road. The tractor supply company is also located in Ann Arbor: 7251 Jackson Rd Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Basic Bob

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

Zeeb Road is not in Ann Arbor. Neither is Meijer.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

I hope a Wal-mart never is built in Ann Arbor - especially by me at Zeeb. There is no need for one. Regional businesses, like Meijer, satisfy the grocery need. Add onto that Busch's, Kroger, Whole foods, trader joes, and plum market and you'll see that there is no need for a Wal-mart. I'd rather pay an extra $.25 at Meijer.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Currently that store stocks a very limited supply of fresh produce, like bananas in bags, and a couple of other things. Sometimes I'm already at that shopping center, and I'll be glad to have the option of getting more produce there.

Ann English

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

What keeps me going to the Ellsworth Road Wal-Mart is the lower prices on some health and beauty products, such as for feet. They don't have a generic brand for those products, but still sell them cheaper than anyone else. The bunion cushions sold at dollar stores are of an inferior design to Dr. Scholl's. This Wal-Mart location has always sold diced pimentos for less than the Saline Superstore does. Black tea in 100-count packages for less than dollar stores. KateT, this location started carrying ANY produce after the Saline Superstore opened.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

I choose life, so we don't go near there! I'd rather go to Saline and stay safe. We also avoid that Meijer. What a trash hole. I know they make a ton of money in that run down store, but I'd rather just go to Target or other places and not deal with the Carpenter Meijer attitude. Where you shocked to learn they were growing weed upstairs? Neither was I.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

i've been going to Carpenter Rd.Meijer since it opened it's doors and i will continue to do so when in area.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 12:12 a.m.

big upheavel going on at Meijer's only going to get worse.


Fri, May 24, 2013 : 3:07 a.m.

Talk about a bunch of Meijer and Walmart employees commenting. Why not clean up your stores instead of trolling this blog.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

I have never had a reason to feel unsafe in the 20 years I've been shopping at that Walmart location. But I do agree...Carpenter Meijer is the worst Meijer ever. Every time I go in there I regret wasting my time and standing in the checkout for 30 minutes while my refrigerated items go bad.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

So why add this useless comment to this article? Stay in Saline or wherever else you shop because Ypsilanti Township businesses have thousands of other shoppers who don't mind a bit of diversity.

Steve Hendel

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

Which is....?

Bertha Venation

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

I never feel under dressed at the Carpenter Rd. Meijer. It's the only store where I feel in place wearing a halter top and Daisy Dukes.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 3:54 p.m.

That'a OK @joejoeblow we all know the real reason you stay in Saline.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

I've never had a bad experience at the Carpenter Road Meijer and I've shopped there multiple times per week since the late 1980's. It's generally clean, well-lit, well-stocked and well-organized. I'm not sure what "attitude" you're referring to, but I've never found the staff to be unhelpful or unfriendly. I also see many of the same staff members there year after year, which gives me the impression that they don't have a huge staff turnover. I don't shop at Wal-Mart no matter where they set up shop, but that's a different matter altogether. (I'd much rather support a Michigan-based company.)


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

My experience has been totally different at the Ypsilanti Meijer, where I've shopped for 17 years. The store is clean, bright, and well-stocked. I especially love their produce, cheese, garden and bakery sections. The employees fall all over themselves to help. Prices are competitive. The store is not so large so as to be a labyrinth. If you choose life by buying healthy foods, this is the place for you.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

I find the staff at Meijers mostly friendly and helpful. It's some of the customers that are rude and annoying.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

What makes it unsafe may I ask ? Hate to tell you this but just because it's in Ypsi twp does not make it unsafe.Between me and my mother we've been there 100's if not 1000's of times and never had or seen any problems

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

"they" was not meijer, but a nail salon that rented the space.

Hugh Giariola

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

Tom, I believe the Walmart supercenter on Michigan Ave. and Canton center road is closer than the one in Belleville.

Ann English

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

I'm getting the impression that a Super Wal-Mart was built at Michigan Avenue and Canton Center Road since the spring of 2007. After that season, I stopped going to Canton. The Wal-Mart at Ford Road just west of I-275 in Canton must be a regular Wal-mart; there's definitely no room for THAT location to expand to its right. And Sam's Club is immediately to its left.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

Geographicaly I would say that Saline is the closest, followed by Canton, than Belleville. But time wise, Saline, Belleville, than Canton. But sheese... I took his statement that these were the three closest Walmart stores to the Elsworth Road store.

Tom Perkins

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

@ Hugh Giariola They are actually the same distance. I'll add that location to the story. Thanks.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

I don't know if it was there when you made your comment ( has a tendency to edit their errors without mentioning it ) but now it says Belleville and Saline


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 10:54 a.m.

So they are all excited about turning the Walmart into a Superstore, carrying groceries when there's a Meijers just a couple of miles down the road and and a history of 2 failed grocery stores in that location, but will give a woman a hard time to open up a small daycare out of her home. Boo, Ypsilanti Township Planning Commission.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

"but will give a woman a hard time to open up a small daycare out of her home" Key detail you may have missed: The Walmart store is not being operated out of a home.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

"there's a Meijers just a couple of miles down the road and and a history of 2 failed grocery stores in that location" Did you ever shop at those failed grocery stores? It's not surprising they closed. Have you ever shopped at a Walmart Supercenter? They are always busy and there are many people from Ypsilanti that travel to the other locations to shop so they will likely start shopping at the Ypsilanti location. As far as Meijer is concerned, it really doesn't matter how close they are. There are those who are dedicated to Meijer but so far that hasn't hurt business at the other Walmart locations that are minutes from Meijer and Kroger stores.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 10:38 a.m.

That Walmart is poorly run. Adding more products will result in more stock outs, which they always blame on the warehouse. I used to buy certain staples at Walmart maybe 4 times a year. Annoyed by the stock outs, I made a list of items and priced them at Walmart, Target, and Meijer. Target was cheapest for many. I bought a years worth at the cheapest store since the time value of money is so low. I have Walmart down to 3 items.


Thu, May 23, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

I don't buy anything at Walmart.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

I'm with A2comments - I have my set of only 3 or 4 items best found at WalMart; so 3 or 4 times a years, when a need comes due, I just hold my breath, fill my cart, and head for the express line. Works for me.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

Shopping for value and long term cost is excellent money management. I am on a fixed income and can't afford to buy for a year at a time, but I do seek the best possible values and stock up as much as possible on staples. Target and Meijer are often cheaper. Unfortunately, prices are often higher in low income areas than where incomes are greater.

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

"I believe you have my stapler" - milton/office space


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 10:08 a.m.

I like the smaller store on Ellsworth. Bigger is better is not always the case.