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Posted on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 2:22 a.m.

Thompson Block developer and City of Ypsilanti could be headed to court

By Tom Perkins

The City of Ypsilanti and developer Stewart Beal could be headed to court to settle a dispute over the future of the historic Thompson Block building in the heart of Depot Town.

The two sides have both battled and come to agreements several times in the last several months over support beams that extend from the building into the roadway.

On Tuesday, the Ypsilanti City Council voted 4-3 to pass a resolution directing City Attorney John Barr to initiate legal action to remove the support beams in the city's right-of-way propping up the Thompson Block’s façade.

The vote came after nearly an hour of sometimes-heated discussion between council members and Beal on the 148-year-old structure’s redevelopment. The building was severely damaged in a fire last fall.

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The placement of beams holding up the Thompson Block has been a point of dispute between the city and developer.

Beal declined to comment after the meeting. He later provided a written response to

Last month, Beal presented a two-part plan to the city spelling out how he would remove external shoring holding up the Thompson Block from the roadway and renovate the undamaged third of the property.

In the plan, he said all supports would be out of River Street by March 15 and out of the public right-of-way, which includes the sidewalk and grass between the sidewalk and roadway, by Nov. 30.

At a Feb. 24 meeting between city manager Ed Koryzno and Beal, Koryzno gave Beal a document containing additional stipulations and tighter deadlines. Koryzno said the new agreement addressed the city’s concerns over removal of the shoring, deadlines, rehabilitation plans and a performance bond, among other issues.

Beal told Koryzno several provisions relating to financing were of particular concern and couldn't be met.

In responses to each stipulation in a letter provided to council on Tuesday, Beal said he couldn't provide evidence by May 1 that financing and tax credits would be in place.

“We are yet in the midst of the worst financial/bank crisis since the Great Depression and financing for all intents and purposes is impossible to obtain for this type of project, even with all our experience and the banking relationships we have developed through our prior redevelopment success,” he said.

Koryzno recommended the council initiate legal action to remove the supports from the city’s right-of-way because Beal said he couldn't meet the deadlines. He said it's time for the city to move forward.

A temporary traffic control order allowing the building supports to remain in the roadway expires today. Beams are currently in the road on northbound River Street and on the sidewalk on the Cross and River Street sides.

Several council members said they were uncomfortable voting against the resolution without “assurances” or “bargaining leverage,” which they felt would be lost.

“We’re not in a position to keep giving extensions and extensions,” Council Member Lois Richardson said. “We have a responsibility to the city. What’s going on there affects the entire city.”

When Barr was asked to explain his position and why he drafted the agreement, he said the building is a nuisance per a city ordinance, which states nothing can block the city’s right-of-way without proper authority.

“Mr. Beal is in the right-of-way at the pleasure of the city council,” he said.

Barr pointed out that the abandoned depot next to the tracks in Depot Town remains vacant because the city didn't use strong enough wording in its conditions with developers during negotiations over its redevelopment.

“If I was faced with a situation of ‘What do you do?’ my answer is - you put the developer’s feet to the fire,” he said.

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Developer Stewart Beal

Beal said he's had less than a week to respond to the agreement Koryzno presented, and that wasn't enough time for a project in which millions of dollars were at stake.

“Sometimes these projects take six months to a year,” Beal said.

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber agreed Beal didn’t have enough time to respond to the document. He added finding developers willing to work with the city as Beal has is rare.

“I think we need to help them instead putting restriction on them,” he said.

After the discussion, Schreiber said he would prefer take the second half of the agreement and “throw it away.”

Mayor Pro-Tem Trudy Swanson-Winston concurred. She said the city “put up” with David Kircher, who previously owned the Thompson Block, for 10 years before taking legal action.

“I think its only fair to give this young man a little more time,” she said.

Council Member Brian Robb questioned why the work performed in January on Cross Street wasn’t also performed on River Street, when it's essentially the same work.

Beal said he “did not have an answer for that.”

Council Member Pete Murdock said he supported the resolution because Beal has come to the city several times asking for extensions and only beat work deadlines by a day or two.

“There’s a credibility gap here with you, personally, in my opinion,” he said.

“That’s a bold accusation,” Beal responded. “I said I was going to do something, and I did it.”

The exchange between Murdock and Beal grew heated as Murdock argued for the resolution. At one point, Schreiber asked Beal to allow Murdock to speak as their voices rose.

“We need to move the ball into a timeframe that is more reasonable, but we’re not going to go around in circles another six months on this,” Murdock said.

Murdock charged the last time the city tried negotiate with Beal, Beal and his team “stormed out” of the negotiations. Beal strongly disagreed and said voices were raised, but no one stormed out or refused to meet afterward.

“When someone pours five years of their life into a project that burns down, I think it's fair - let’s talk about fair - to be a little upset,” he said.

All board members who voted for the resolution said its approval doesn't preclude Beal from continuing to meet with the city to negotiate.

Schreiber, Council Member Bill Nickels, and Swanson-Winston voted against the resolution. Council Members Murdock, Richardson, Robb, and Mike Bodary voted yes.

Barr said the two parties could be in court within two to three weeks if further negotiations fail.

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.


Pete Murdock

Wed, Mar 10, 2010 : 3:03 p.m.

G M DeSade Here is the response from the fire chief to your comments about the Fire Department's actions at the Thompson Building fire. The 911 response address came in as the Hudson Auto Museum and changed in route as 400 River. Both of our engines functioned. We responded with 5 personnel, an incident commander, and 4 fire fighters. The building did not have any fire alarms or sprinklers working. The interior floor had openings, missing decking, and missing stairs to the second floor. We were aggressive on the initial attack and were forced into a defensive attack after the first 10 minutes. We received the call at 1:40 AM and were on scene at 1:42 with smoke exiting 3 windows on the third floor. We requested Ann Arbor City Fire, Ypsilanti Township fire, and a full call back of all Ypsilanti personal. Fire personal forced entry on the first floor stretched a fire line into the building. Exterior personnel (2 in 2 out) placed a second means of egress (ladder) on the second floor window above entry. The interior crew found floor decking missing as well as the interior stairs preventing advancement to the fire. The interior crew exited and went up the ladder to the second floor but could not extinguish or contain the fire and vacated the building. Ann Arbor fire and Pittsfield fire arrived at 2:00 AM with an engine and aerial respectively. Ann Arbor received the call at 1:49 AM and Pittsfield at 1:52 AM. Pittsfield responded with additional aerial and engine at 2:18 and 2:24 respectfully. In addition we requested Superior fire bring and aerial. The last aerial cleared at 09:00 AM. Fire personnel were not permitted in the building when we went defensive due to collapse and master streams operational. I do not have information of notifying neighboring structures of the fire. Jon R. Ichesco Fire Chief City of Ypsilanti 525 West Michigan Ave. Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197 734-482-9778

Mark Boone

Mon, Mar 8, 2010 : 6:26 p.m.

Living close the pace, by I have to believe the main concern should be "is it safe to leave it standing?" (I can see cracks spreading).. If it falls and people and or property are damaged, is there a liability on the part of the city of does Mr Beal have adequate insurance for this possibility?

Grand Marquis de Sade

Sat, Mar 6, 2010 : 12:39 a.m.

As somebody who actually watched this historic building burn I think the city should probably give Mr. Beal some latitude considering the piss-poor job they did fighting the fire. Not a drop of water was sprayed until a trickle of smoke became a raging inferno (after about an hour) and Pittsfield Township FD showed up. Was the pumper that YFD dispatched to the scene even functional? Furthermore given the close proximity of the neighboring structures it seemed like it took an awfully long time for the sleeping neighbors to be alerted to the massive fire raging next door to them. I am not a firefighter and do not presume to know the appropriate response to a fire. I do, however, know the timeline of that evening. Smoke trickles from window. Fire Department alerted with crew arriving very shortly thereafter. YFD breaks down front door and places ladder against west wall. Firefighter climbs ladder and peers inside then climbs back down. 3 firefighters stand around for 45 minutes or so while trickle of smoke becomes raging inferno. Pittsfield, Ann Arbor, and Ypsi Township trucks arrive. YFD still standing around. Truck from Pittsfield hooks up to hydrant immediately and begins dousing Thompson Block (which is now completely engulfed) and neighboring structures. If I were Stewart Beal I'd be pissed too.


Thu, Mar 4, 2010 : 12:52 p.m.

I just want to add that I have nothing against Mr. Beal, either professionally or personally (or his parent's company). I just really believe that the Thompson block should be torn down and the bricks sold on eBay. Back in the 90s, my brother and I took a look at the place and we came up with an estimate of about 3.5 million bucks to do a basic renovation and bring the building up to code. Now, that nothing is left, you're looking at close to 7-8 million just in rebuilding costs alone, not including permits, electrical, plumping or meeting new codes. Mr. Beal would be better served converting an old Detroit dealership into lofts than wasting his time and money on Thompson.


Thu, Mar 4, 2010 : 8:57 a.m.

delorean - Where did I ever say I was forced to leave? I left by my own choice after going 9 months without a way to cook food that didn't come in a plastic tray and countless requests for work orders gone unfulfilled.


Thu, Mar 4, 2010 : 8:13 a.m.

Take a deep breath and count to ten. This age old saying is especially true if you are a businessman that is in sales, and even more so in this age of electronic media. You never want to present yourself as out of control and, in turn, bring a poor name to the company you work for and all it's employees. It is grounds for termination in most companies dealing in sales. Ypsi City Council members that flew off the handle gave Ypsilanti (the "company") a bad name. After reading his letter it is clear that Mr. Beal went straight home (the letter does say "tonight") and penned his odd letter with the speed of lighting and by doing this he has put his company and employees in a poor light, and opened the door for further criticism. This letter wasnt leaked he put it out on the web where anyone can comment on it and say whatever the want to about him and his company. Its tough in this market to sell anything, especially when there is a thing called "google" that everyone uses to check up on everyone. College students love the internet! Finally I just have write that Mr. Beal made it a point to call himself a "26 year old, which seemed so odd to me. If I can not be asked my age in a job interview then why would a businessman point out his age in a public letter? It makes no sense to me. Age shouldn't be a factor. Hey the kid that started Facebook is now 26 years old too, so what is Beal's point with the age thing? If anything this discussion here should remind everyone, Take a deep breath and count to ten.

Tom Perkins

Thu, Mar 4, 2010 : 4:02 a.m.

Andy, They were talking about the depot and not a train car. I made a correction. Thanks. Tom


Thu, Mar 4, 2010 : 2:31 a.m.

So, I'm pretty sure that no one was taling about a rail car in Depot Town, they are talking about the depot that has been abandoned and falling apart for a couple decades.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 6:28 p.m.

I am stunned at what happened last night. The Mayor must go. He only seems to be on council to take care of his friends. What a joke.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 5:51 p.m.

If it can be rebuilt, then rebuild it. Build it and they will come!


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 5:41 p.m.

I must admit that the outrage is a little lost on me. Many people are asserting that the Thompson Block is in disrepair and "doomed." I'm not qualified or prepared to make a definitive statement on whether or not it can be salvaged. I would guess that most, if not all of those making such claims are equally unqualified. Also, I live in Ypsi and have driven to Depot Town on may occasions since the right-of-way was obstructed and don't find it to be that much of a nuisance, and it has hardly discouraged me from going to Depot Town. If something as trivial as this is keeping you from supporting Depot Town businesses, then clearly you never cared that much about them to begin with. Also, I have read Mr. Beal's letter and I do not find anything presumptuous or cocky about it. It seems clear to me that he is simply doing the best to state what he is and is not able to do in regards to the city's demands. I don't know Mr. Beal personally, nor am I familiar with what it would take to restore the Thompson Block, and since nobody else seems to be able to speak to it I can't assume he's being unreasonable. Lastly, Mr. Beal is 26 years old and an adult. Referring to him as a "kid" or "boy" or using a diminutive nickname only goes to indicates one's own immaturity and pretense.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 5:06 p.m.

@Malorie...i find you to be contradicting - weren't you forced to leave as a tenant from Beal?? I am most certainly not making up facts, in fact i can list every property Beal owns! I absolutely call Ypsilanti my home including professionally. @CountyKate - I'm curious which Beal employees you "interviewed"i dont know a single one that would bash his houses or him. I do find it interesting that no one could step forward about being a structural engineer, because the building is not over with - it can absolutel be rebuilt from where it stands now.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 5 p.m.

I attended last night's meeting and it was mind blowingly bad. First, I should say this: I agree, whole heartedly that the building should come down. Let it go. Its dangerous now - it gets worse with each passing day. The structure looks terrible. That said, the debate/discussion last night was enough to make me hold my head. I found Council members Robb and Murdock to be floundering in circular logic and grandstanding. I remember Mr. Murdock from the 80s...he hasn't changed. Mr. Beal, while emotional and immature, actually held his own nicely and remained composed. He is making a mistake. I respect his work on rental homes in the city but not this particular building. It is unsafe, bring it down. I didn't expect to agree with the Mayor but I did. There are reasonable ways for the City Government to behave. This was not one of those times. And yet, I agree that they should move Mr. Beal along. One thing that did stand out to me was that Councilman Robb waited until the end of the meeting, after Mr. Beal was gone to go on some rant about illegal renters on some street presumably at a home renovated by Mr. Beal. I have question this because he didn't ask the question when Mr. Beal could have defended himself - he chose to do it in a cowardly way and that stunk. I was embarrassed for the my city.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 3:58 p.m.

at the city and the taxpayers' expense


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 3:54 p.m.

While we are at it, lets rebuild the Hindenberg and offer rides out at Willow run Airport. What is eesentially taking place is an attempt to for a private party to not lose as much money


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 3:44 p.m.

Besides the 1848 barracks at Historic Fort Wayne in Detroit, and Ypsilanti's Thompson Block, I am not aware of any other Civil War barracks that exist in Michigan today. I hope the City of Ypsilanti can appreciate the treasure it has in the Thompson Block, and grant Mr. Beal the time he needs.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 3:30 p.m.

Ok so Beal is a slumlord-don't care. Beal treats employees badly-don't care.Beal fixes up bad houses-don't care.This "building"(acctually a few walls)is,as Countykate stated is doomed.Anyone who thinks Beal is doing this for the city,I have a snow ball farm in Arizona for sale


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 2:46 p.m.

Well, Mr. Goldsmith, I supported the Water Street Project and I still think when it was begun it was the right idea. Now, however, the problem is the people who don't want to adapt to the changes of the economic conditions and would rather the land to lie barren unless and until the "right" project comes along. All while we are paying tons of money we don't have for it. Yes, development is needed. But the Thompson Block, as it is now, is a doomed cause. Prior to the fire, I still hoped to see Beal achieve what he said he would do. But, the fire DID happen and it's time to let go of that particular dream. And, while Beal makes promises in order to protect his money, the rest of a vital business district suffers. We are not saying Beal couldn't build something else in that spot. We are saying the Thompson Block is, actually, already gone. As for Beal's age and wealth, well I think he's quite amazing to have achieved what he has already at this young age. But, I also think he's been remarkably lax in fulfilling his responsibilities as a landlord. I don't know if that is due to his age, or if he's just naturally irresponsible. I do know that what @Malorie has said in these comments I have heard repeated by many others. As for his wealth, well, I suspect he might be a bit cash-poor right now, considering that he's been buying up all these properties in both Ypsilanti and Detroit. I might think more highly of him if he had bought less and improved more on the ones he did have.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 2:46 p.m.

Wasn't this place insured? If yes and funds were directed elsewhere it suggests rebuilding is not likely. The owner is likely waiting for the economy to turn not for a construction loan but for a buyer of the vacant lot.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 2:34 p.m.

"The same folks who were bashers of that project seem to be Beal haters too" To clarify, I am not a Beal hater. I was excited to see the sign on the Thompson Block that luxury lofts were coming soon. Never came. I was excited Beal was going to push through with his plan to put dining and shopping in the Thompson Block even though the credit market crashed. Never happened. I was sad for the Thompson Block when it nearly burned to the ground. I was pleased with Beal's passion to restore this building. I was pleased to see a crew there the next morning shoring up the building. After that, nothing. The city has asked for a plan. Apparently his plan is to leave the scaffolding and boards in place until the building simply crumbles to the ground. Maybe it is time to let this thing go. Either way, this is a dumb conversation about a worthless building (besides for its history) and I am done talking about it. Let everyone waste their money in court. It would be cheaper to tear it down.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 2:15 p.m.

@delorean, I think you should read @Malorie's post, wherein she speaks of her personal experience. I have also interviewed Beal employees regarding the state of his properties, as well as speaking with Ypsilanti city officials who have personal knowledge of his properties. As for your other criteria as to whether or not we have the right to comment on this in opposition to your position, yes, I have invested my life's savings and spent many, many years working toward the betterment of Ypsilanti. And yes, I do lay my head on my pillow every night within the Ypsilanti city limits. It IS my city. Now, if I may turn the questions around, is it yours?


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 2:03 p.m.

delorean - What??? You are exgerating and making up facts. Please read my post above. I have LIVED in one of his properties, and I definitely call him a slumlord! The houses get some new used carpet (mine smelled like mold) and then split into rental units to start bringing Beal the $$$.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 1:54 p.m.

At thier website you can take a look at their properties. I have residential selected here.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

@delorean could you please say where some of these saved buildings are? no specfic addresses, maybe a street or block number.When you say "your city " it implies (to me) that you may not know where they are Thanks


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 1:09 p.m.

"You should be BEGGING people like Beal to invest. No wonder people hate politicians" Haha. That's priceless. Seriously need to rip this thing down. it's a one brick thick facade that's barely standing. Just decontruct it, save the bricks, then put them back in the pattern they were in and use them as a facade.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

I HAVE to believe that 98% of you dont have any idea what Stewart Beal has done for your city. He owns over 30 houses that were bought with boards on the windows and used needles and crack pipes on the ground in the yard. Now, every one of them provides housing for people moving to your city, now they are aesthetically pleasing and arent attracting addicts to your city. But, by all means lets only look at the setback Stewart is facing. Has anyone even attempted putting yourself in Stewarts shoes? The Thompson Block building is his dream project for your city. It literally went up in smoke at the hands of an arsonist. The immediate response and skill provided by Stewart Beal to shore the building and make it safe for passer-byers is an accomplishment in and of itself. If Stewart would have demolished the building you would all be complaining that there is another empty lot in your city and how could Stewart have let that historic building go without even trying to salvage it. Im curious how many of you are structural engineers? It must be all of you since you are all saying it is not salvageable and should be torn down! I encourage any of you who have literally invested your lifes savings and lifes work into your city and who also lays his head every night in your city to step forward. @ CountryKate I am wondering what basis you have to call Stewart Beal a slumlord???


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 12:54 p.m.

@ MB111, "The irony here is that a developer wants to preserve a historical structure. in Ann Arbor, he would be canonized but in Ypsi he is demonized." I have seen Roman and Greek ruins that more easily renovated than the Thompson block. There is, honestly, nothing left! If Ypsilanti were smart, they would sell the bricks of the Thompson block on eBay, along with a commemorative Civil War theme and some vintage prints. I'd buy a brick, provided the funds were used to renovate the old train station which still stands!


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 12:43 p.m.

Beal, may have started out with some noble vision for the Thompson block, but now it is time to tear this ugly burnt out ruin down and give someone else a chance to develop the area. This building is history!


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 11:46 a.m.

Beal is already VERY rich. The only group that stands to lose from this are the citizens of Ypsi. TRUTH. IN. NEWS.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 11:42 a.m.

amccauley - Do you? How many? I rented an apartment from Stewart Beal in one of his "historic houses" that he owns on Pearl Street. I could not get them to fix ANYTHING the ENTIRE time I lived there, including the stove/oven which was broken before I moved in. Bums slept in the storage shed out back. My windows/door frames were so warped nothing would completely shut. Lots of water leaks and bugs. My point is the house was deteriorating badly and I never saw anyone from the company do anything to improve even a square inch of that place. In my opinion, the company was only interested in the revenue that was being generated from the rental property with no concern for the tenants at all. [b]Also, in Beal's letter he states how he'll be hiring an attorney instead of masonry workers, etc. but this is straight B.S. as his mother has been the attorney for him and his company for years.[/b]


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 11:30 a.m.

I usually don't side with develpoers but considering the historical time line, ie sat for 10 years empty and Beal was rennovating it during a economic depression and then the fire sets up the 'perfect storm" that has all sides frustrated. Patiance is a virtue and could pan out best for everyone....the bracing in the road is really the issue here plus the now personality conflict....why waste Beals money in court when it could be used on fortifying the structure and remove the bracing??


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 11:24 a.m.

Come on Ypsi, tear it down. It is an eye sore. Is that what we want the people getting off the trains to see?


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

@CountyKate - Thank you! I am proud resident of Ypsilanti and I do not do meth or crack (or anything else for that matter). I am a homeowner and tax-paying citizen and appreciate the diversity Ypsilanti offers. I am all for the revitaliztion of Ypsilanti but the Thompson Block is beyond repair and is an eyesore. It was an eyesore before it caught on fire. Promises to turn this building into something positive for Ypsi are just that - promises. More promises are meaningless at this point.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 10:50 a.m.

I wonder how many of you who support Beal in this have actually driven past the barely-held-together facade that is the remains of the Thompson Block. The fire destroyed everything inside those walls and, due to the intensity of the fire, those remaining bricks are crumbling. There is really nothing left to save except Beal's tax credits. I supported Beal for years, but I have seen him turn into Ypsilanti's latest slum-lord and he has certainly lost my backing because of it. For all of you who say he's trying to improve Ypsilanti, maybe you should look into what's really going on there, as well. What Murdock is trying to protect is the business district of Depot Town, which has taken a severe hit because of the supports blocking the streets in the heart that area. I applaud him for his efforts. And for those of you who are repeating Ypsilanti's reputation of 30 years ago, I suggest you come dine in our fine restaurants, take in a play at the Riverside Arts Center and look at what is really happening to improve Ypsilanti. Beal is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only person to invest in Ypsilanti's future. Like most places in Michigan right now, we are struggling, but there are good things going on, too. To classify us as "a city filled with meth and crack houses, boarded up store fronts and a third world country string of buildings on Cross Street across from EMU" just shows ignorance of the reality.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 10:06 a.m.

@amccauley the problem is he IS'NT doing it or anything else for that matter @Alan Goldsmith Yes a burned out eyesore that sits for years and years really does protect current bussiness in Ypsi ( Depot town )


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 9:41 a.m.

Do you have any idea how many boarded up, abandoned, dilapidated houses (that were being used by druggies and prostitutes) that Stewart Beal has renovated and turned into nice homes? Do you enjoy driving through Ypsi and seeing decay everywhere you look? Stewart is trying to make Ypsi a better place! If Thompson Block can be renovated and turned into something that improves the city and creates jobs and revenue for the city, why not let him do it?


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 9:36 a.m.

@tdw. yes I concur. I live in that area, it is not the "best of the best" but I am drug free and will admit that the shops could use a redo, but the is in the works--we got an MDot grant to improve the appearance of the shops, not sure when this is going ot happen though....


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 9:29 a.m.

The irony here is that a developer wants to preserve a historical structure. in Ann Arbor, he would be canonized but in Ypsi he is demonized.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 9:22 a.m.

tear it down then get us Ann Arbor idiots to pay Ypsilanti a huge chunk of money to turn it in to a "green belt". Ypsilanti gets paid to have a park and Ann Arbor gets to waste some more money, evidently one of our favorite pastimes.;)

Mark O'Brien

Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 9:11 a.m.

It's no longer salvageable. Why sink money into something that is going to be a money pit? I think Beal should just face it that the fire destroyed the building and tear down the remaining facade. It's been over a year, and I think some common sense should come into play and not some field of dreams scheme. Sometimes an ugly old building is just an ugly old building.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 9:04 a.m.

Why would Ypsi residents try to drive away the only guy willing to invest in their town? The "outrage" in these comments is absolutely absurd!


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 8:57 a.m.

I support Beal on this one. Let the boy breathe and give him the resources he needs to improve this place!


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 8:45 a.m.

A city "filled meth" and crack houses? Cross street " third world "? get real and pull the anti-Ypsi head out of the...


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 8:42 a.m.

MCS - Agreed. I suggest to all that you read the letter; it really shows his personality right from the very first line of the letter in bold. Oh how I so strongly dislike him. Also, I don't think he minds going to court as much as he makes it sound; he gets to spend quality time with his mom (she's his attorney).

Mary Catherine Smith

Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 8:29 a.m.

I just read Beal's letter to, and he certainly comes across as a spoiled brat who has temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way. He has had more than enough time to come up with a workable solution to the situation, but keeps stalling. He couldn't get the funding for his luxury lofts before the economic meltdown, and he's not going to find it anytime soon. It's time to let go and tear that eyesore down.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 8:23 a.m.

Frankly, if communities want developers to turn blight into something viable, then they have to put up with things that perhaps they don't like. If you are not going to be thankful, and your bucket of patience is empty, then nothing in your city will change Ypsi. I take it from the article MR. Barr that you would rather not have a redeveloped downtown if it didn't come with a vibrant train car? That is not what I would call a good priority. I certainly don't have the details, but in my drive through Ypsi - I've seen things that deserve much more attention than support beams in the City's right of way. At least it is a sign of progress.

Top Cat

Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 8:16 a.m.

Send in the bulldozers!


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 7:34 a.m.

" Its sad to lose a piece of history" Thats excitably what it is, barely a piece. It's 75% destroyed. Tear it down.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 7:22 a.m.

Ok, so ten years with one developer and then 5 with Beal is reasonable? Based on that logic, you're looking at 2015 for a completion date. Accomodating is one thing, but going overboard is another. Need more examples of recent dragged out developments? Look at Washtenaw and Platt or Jackson Ave and I-94 in Ann Arbor. Take a drive to Saline and check out Lewis and Michigan Ave. These projects aren't going anywhere for years, if ever.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 7:05 a.m.

Enough already, just tear the thing down. It is sad to loose a piece of history, but at a certain point you just have to let things go and look toward the future.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 6:56 a.m.

Beal is acting like a small child. I'm grateful to Murdock for standing up to his prevarications. That shell of a building is an eyesore and needs to be removed.

Steve Hendel

Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 6:46 a.m.

Does this guy ever stop stalling?