You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 5:56 p.m.

Ceremony Monday will mark start of Ypsilanti's Water Street cleanup project

By Cindy Heflin

A ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Monday will mark the beginning of a 2010 cleanup and demolition effort at the Water Street Redevelopment project in Ypsilanti.

The demolition and contamination cleanup work will start next week and is scheduled for completion by the end of July.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 031710_paul_schreiber.jpg

Mayor Paul Schreiber

The city received $600,000 in Environmental Protection Agency brownfield remediation grants for contamination cleanup, which includes demolition. The cleanup work will be done at 34, 38, and 40 E. Michigan Ave., 14 S. River St. and at the RIM building at 103 S. River St. Ypsilanti also received a $250,000 grant from the Washtenaw County Neighborhood Stabilization Program to demolish other blighted buildings in the area.

"We are excited fo finally demolish the remaining blighted buildings and further prepare for new development," Mayor Paul Schreiber said in a press release.

The city assembled the 38-acre Water Street property about seven years ago to fulfill its vision of creating a mixed-use residential project on the property, just east of downtown.

While the city has contacted more than 100 prospective developers, few have seriously considered the site. Several high-density residential developers - including those offering student and senior housing - have showed interested in Water Street, but city officials say obtaining a loan in Michigan remains a major hurdle

City Council recently rejected a proposal for Burger King restaurant on a one-acre parcel on the site. Schreiber and others said it did not set the right tone as a first project for the area.

The ceremony will be in the parking lot at the corner of Park Street and Michigan Avenue.

View Larger Map



Sun, May 2, 2010 : 9:04 a.m.

I'm curious what company or companies will do the demolition....are they local? I hope so. I'm also a major fan of the future of Downtown Ypsilanti. This demolition is a required step toward a rebirth.

Stefan Szumko

Sun, May 2, 2010 : 12:13 a.m.

I have to say that overall, I'm a fan of the Water Street Project. It is an area whose glory days had faded decades ago. Over the years, blight had set in. Although several of the businesses there tried their best, aesthetic enhancements were not a high priority nor were these affordable. But like pretty much everybody else, I've been frustrated with unexpected twists and hurdles along the way. The brownfield could have been anticipated as well as the eventual economic downturn. But the severity of each of these was worse than most would have thought. So, "Cheers" to Ypsilanti. May this land that was subdivided in the 1840s, re-consolidated in the 2000s, bring prosperity to the city and provide shelter for those who would like to call this city, home.


Sat, May 1, 2010 : 7:48 a.m.

Stefan - you're too funny! But then, if they DID find an archaeological site, the city could make some money from the deal and waste it on another idiotic project. I'm surprised they have nerve enough to hold a "ceremony" for that money-pit project. Who do they think is going to attend? I don't know about you, but I have better things to do with my time. By the the third paragraph, "WASHTENAW" is spelled incorrectly.

Stefan Szumko

Fri, Apr 30, 2010 : 8:22 p.m.

Oh thank goodness. My fingers are crossed that no new surprises come about. Imagine what would happen if a mastodon or an archaeological site were discovered there?