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Posted on Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 6:03 a.m.

Ypsilanti Township condemns Liberty Square and orders residents to move

By Tom Perkins

Liberty Square .jpg

Thomas and Carolyn Chadwick say they will refuse to leave the Liberty Square townhouse they own.

Tom Perkins | For

Residents of Ypsilanti Township’s Liberty Square complex have 30 days to vacate their homes.

The township notified owners Tuesday that all properties in the 151-unit complex off Grove Road have been condemned.

Mike Radzik, director of the township's office of community standards, said the buildings have significantly deteriorated, and most of the exteriors are in violation of multiple codes. Among other problems are leaking roofs, mold infestations, a wall hit by a car, broken windows and deteriorating soffits and facades, he said.

“The nuisance needs to be abated by rehabilitation or demolition,” Radzik said. “It cannot continue the way it is. We intend to work cooperatively with every other agency that has a stake in this, but it can’t remain as is.”

Liberty Square 3.jpg

A wall was hit by a car and is deteriorating.

Tom Perkins | For

The township Board of Trustees authorized attorney Doug Winters to take legal action against non-compliant owners. But Radzik said legal action - and efforts to rehabilitate the property - is complicated by the ownership arrangement at the complex.

Each building in Liberty Square has 10 to 12 individually owned townhouses. Radzik estimated the complex at 20 percent occupancy. He said about 3 percent are owner-occupied, while the rest are rental units.

The Washtenaw County Treasurer's Office owns 63 units, which it took over after Grove Park Homes LLC foreclosed on the properties in April. Prior to that, Grove Park Homes owned 81 properties. 

The foreclosed properties will be sold by the county Treasurer’s Office at a public auction in July. 

Grove Park Homes is owned by Glenda Ault, whose husband, Joe Koenig, is an employee of the company. Koenig is the resident agent for the Grove Park Home Improvement Association, the complex’s governing body, which owns 25 units. The bulk of the remaining properties are owned by individuals.

Should the township file a lawsuit, Radzik said it would likely sue the homeowners association and some of the individual owners. The Treasurer's Office could also be named a defendant.

Liberty Square 4.jpg

A building's facade in Liberty Square.

Tom Perkins | For

Koenig said the homeowners association has spent near $200,000 on new roofs in recent years, and the complex has seen significant improvements since he got involved with its management five years ago.

"I'm appalled that the township would do this," Koenig said. "To say we have done nothing is irresponsible on their part. I agree with them that these things need to be done, but the way they are going about it is totally inappropriate."

Radzik said the interiors of the townhouses that the county took over from Grove Park Homes have been stripped of all scrap metal, furnaces and water heaters. A study by the Washtenaw County Office of Community Development estimated rehabilitating the units at a cost of $75,000 to $80,000 each. The assessed value of the properties ranges from $3,000 to $8,000.

Township officials said they don’t believe the homeowners association has the money to bring the townhouses up to code.

Koenig said the county is refusing to pay the $175 per month maintenance fees on its units and alleged the association is owed roughly $35,000.

"With that money we could pay for a lot of new roofs," Koenig said.

Winters said any reasonable solution will be considered, but the township has exhausted all other options.

“We keep running into the same issues,” he said. “We’re moving forward for the health, safety and welfare of the township as a whole. We’ve done all we can do socially, legally and building-wise, and I don’t think the township has left any stone unturned.”

Liberty Square 2.jpg

Liberty Square renter Shantia Brown and other tenants on fixed incomes say 30 days is too few to find affordable housing.

Tom Perkins | For

Carolyn Chadwick is one of the owner-occupants who has lived in Liberty Square for 30 years. She said she partly blames the township for not doing more to remedy the situation earlier, and also blames Koenig for Liberty Square’s current state.

She said Koenig and the homeowners association board’s failure to abide by their own bylaws concerning the properties’ maintenance has been “devastating to the community.”

“I feel I’m a victim of this community,” she said. “The board brought this whole complex down by not following their bylaws.”

Several other residents said they didn't know where they would go and complained 30 days isn't enough time to find a new home. Legal Services of South Central Michigan and other organizations are working with the owners and renters left in the complex to assist with relocation.

Tommy Chadwick, Carolyn Chadwick’s husband, said he simply refuses to leave his home.

“They will have to carry me out of here in handcuffs,” he said.

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



Wed, Aug 11, 2010 : 6 p.m.

We moved to the area recently and I wondered what was going on over there. I didn't realize there were people still living there until I happened to see some cars in the parking lot. I agree that the residents should've been given more notice. What's the latest?


Mon, Jun 21, 2010 : 7:16 a.m.

Parkview and Liberty Square are two different things. Liberty Square is not in Ypsilanti. It is in Ypsilanti Township and the township has it's own government separate from the city of Ypsilanti. Liberty Square is not low-income housing. It was originally something like a condominium complex but most of the owners moved out and began renting out their units. A few of them sold their units to individuals looking to acquire rental properties. So now there are a number of landlords who own one or more of the units in Liberty Square and a very few owners who actually live in their units. Most of these owners would be considered slumlords. They refuse to pay the dues to the association responsible for the upkeep of the grounds and then they also don't do the repairs they are responsible for on the inside of their units. The association is not helping the situation because they keep increasing the fees and then pocketing the money that does get paid.


Sun, Jun 20, 2010 : 2:22 p.m.

sweet 16 your silly how about standing up for rebuilding Ypsilanti or maybe stand up to the owners who have let thier apts run down. There is no slum lord to blame and the city has been supporting this complex for years. The people who live there have just run it into the ground. Go hug a tree or save a whale and let this once great city rebuild


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 5:19 p.m.

Why doesn't somebody call HUD like Pardview did?


Thu, Jun 10, 2010 : 6:20 p.m.

It's time to out the County for the shameful violations of it's own housing codes. We need to gather facts; post everything you know about the County's properties. Could somebody please post the physical addresses of the 63 units owned by the County? Can anyone up-load some photos to Photo Bucket or something similar and post the link? Does anyone know who the mayor (or other Hob-Knob official) who could be shamed by the inexcusable neglect? Is he/she running for re-election any time soon? What's the relationship between the County and the Township? Is the County using the Township to do it's dirty deeds against the residents of Liberty City? Is the County using the Township to do what it could otherwise not accomplish; an taking in violation of the Constitution? How about staging a protest in front of the mayor's office? (with a permit of course) Who does the mayor answer to? The Governor? Who's your Governor? Has any one written him/her or your Congressman? With facts in hand, go to the local news station, Help Me Howard maybe? Come on people, it's time to make a little noise up in here!


Thu, Jun 10, 2010 : 5:42 p.m.

Here's a link to the City of Ypsilanti Citizen Action Center We need to start flooding the site with complaints about the Washtenaw County units; this link will definitely be helpful when drafting a complaint against this shameful Slumlord!


Thu, Jun 10, 2010 : 3:17 p.m.

Yes, it's terrible when slumlords rule the day; to bad the slumlord in this case is Washtenaw County! Washtenaw County took possession of 63 of the Liberty Square units and then effectively abandoned them. Washtenaw County's refusal to maintain the units, and their refusal to pay any of the Association dues in connection with those units, has caused sever financial hardship to the Homeowner's Association. Consequently, the Homeowner's Association lacks the MONEY to perform proper maintainence. How convienent this little unknown fact must be for the Township who is foaming at the mouth to get the entire complex condemed so they can take it for themselves. ~grimacing with hands wringing~ Not so fast Township, not so fast County, the cavalry IS coming and she's got a litte somethin for ya, it's called a subpoena look for it in you mail real soooooon! And you, Ms. Chadwick (former Homeowner Association boardmember),the only reason you bad mouth Koenig is because he outed your conviction for conversion of Association funds to the tune of $8,000. Don't you realize if Koenig loses his fight with Washtenaw County (and indirectly with the Township) you lose too! You ought to be seeking ways to join Koenig in the fight against Washtenaw County; but for their failure to maintain their 63 units, and but for their failure to pay their share of the Association dues; everybody is suffering! Wise up Ms. Chadwick, put your differences behind you and see the greater challenge ahead; in other words -- Shut up and fight! There will be plenty of time to hate each other later.

ronn oneal

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 1:30 p.m.

@Knighteyes I can agree with you on maybe 90% of your comment. The 10% I cant agree with is the rif raf part. Rif Raf is already right next door. Im sure that over half of them are victims of this poor city's way of getting what they want at the cost of people that have families, employment,educated but due to the politics of this city they now face losing the roof over their heads with wife, kids, are now displaced. The crime is committed by visiting family member, and friend's and all because a few (maybe less than 5%) that proberly dont live their give the area a bad name. Now the 95% innocent, Law abidding, Raising the next genaration of leaders and this is the example the city has to offer, and the residents suffer and the commuity stand by and allow this. How many other properties are going to get the same evacuation plan from the community? I leave in PEACE!

ronn oneal

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

Again the residents get burned and the politician's come to pretend to care and sell dreams of a knight in shining armor will give everybody section 8 vouchers when in truth thats impossible because if you take 100 residents from one community ( be it Black or White) My opions is that 2% to 5% wont elgible according to the rule, regulation, and laws. In short, the real deal is that as We as a community, being apart of the conditions; we have to unite and make those that have say so to say so and give them whats needed to end this monkey in the middle games. LOVE ALL!.... TRUST NO POLITCIAN!


Fri, Jun 4, 2010 : 11:49 p.m.

no flamers, its great they are cleaning out eyesores but their agenda is more financial for them. My family has lived in the area for over 60 years, they keep trying to revive the area, keeps going down. Nothing seems to work. My Grandparents lived there before the malls, when down town was the place to be and shop. Its just not going to happen again. I feel sorry for the good people who live in this complex, the ones who own their units. They have 30 days to leave their home, thats not many days. And the rif raf will just move into another area and run it down. They need to crack down on some of the slum lords. The ones who rent to anyone and don't do nothing but collect the rent.


Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 7:06 p.m.

anna hit the nail on the head. I drive by it every day and its not possible to not lose hope just a bit as you drive by. Sounds like a bit much but its true. I hated having to explain to my kids friends parents and make excuses. Why did a place have to become such a blister before the city did something about it. Based on the responses for this article and the one about Gateway, Ypsilanti realy seems to have a chance. As a city we can no longer tolerate these problems. These problems are a drain on our city and should be removed if as a city we are to prosper. Let the people of ypsi vote what to do. I would glady have a tax increase to pay for the removal of these buildings and all the others in Ypsi

Anna Fuqua-Smith

Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 1:33 p.m.

I am originally from Willis and when commuting home from school, would often not want to take Grove Rd. home. Just driving by there made me feel shameful of where I'm from. Although I believe that 30 days is to short of a time for some of these renters/home owners to find housing, it has been embarrassing to take Grove Rd. to Rawsonville when going home to see my family. However, what's important now is that the Township is doing something about it now. Yes, something should have been done a long time ago but we can't undo what hasn't been done... something has to give with this complex and it's about time.


Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 10 a.m.

THANK YOU YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP. I have lived off of Grove Rd for the last 15 years and am always upset every time I drive by this eye sore. Check the crime rates in Ypsi Township and a large percentage come from Liberty Sq., the people who live there have been cited for not having water and electric to the units and robbing with extention cords from units that have electrical. For those who own and live in these units I think they should be re-located at township/property owners expense. I can't believe they really want to live in this rat infested dump. For those on assistance who live there I fault Social Services for allowing children to live in these conditions. But again great move on Townships part. Your message comes through loud and clear CLEAN UP OR MOVE OUT THANKS!THANKS!THANKS

Life in Ypsi

Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 8:52 a.m.

@ af3201sps McKinley? You have to be kidding! They herd all the low income people into one complex. I had the misfortunate of living in a McKinley property in Ann Arbor. I had to endure cockroaches, urine soaked hallways, my apartment being broke into, shootings, gang members and the list goes on.

no flamers!

Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 7:36 a.m.

to knighteyes: I certainly hope the Township and its building inspector have an agenda. If they didn't, we'd be floundering, just like Liberty Square has been since its creation. Their agenda is open and obvious: clear out unsafe, dilapidated, drug- and crime-infested neighborhoods for the benefit of the 99% of law-abiding residents. If we focus on some slight to the current residents (who haven't maintained their property by any reasonable standard), we'll continue to lose neighborhoods to 3rd world status. Why watch our neighborhoods crumble? Let's instead take action and improve the community. Doing nothing at Liberty Square is the worst alternative. Compared to that, anything is better.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 11:44 p.m.

I just love Ypsilanti Township politics. I bet that area is a site for a planned development. Its easy,, condemn it and take it. I know that area has been high on crime for 30 years or more but people live there for a reason, if they could afford to live somewhere else they would. Time to open your eyes, Ypsilanti Township has ran people out of business in order to take their buildings for future developments sites, I don't put nothing past them. The building inspector & township have an agenda.

no flamers!

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 8:39 p.m.

Fantastic news. I've been driving by this disgrace twice a day for 16 years. It is an embarrassment, unsafe, dilapidated, disgraceful. And it gets worse year by year. I'm so thankful our civic leaders stepped up to this issue and made the hard decision rather than put it off another year. Hurray! As to the handful of residents that are mourning the loss of this 3rd world slice of don't know what you are missing...the rest of Washtenaw County is not like this place! Move on and accept change and don't stand in the way of community progress just because you have lived there a long time.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 1:41 p.m.

It's time for the township to include multi-family complex's under the Rental Property Maintenance Ordinance. Let's step up we have been having single family rental homes inspected now for over one year, if the name of safety. Now lets take on the big boys, speak of McKinley here comes the Township of Ypsilanti! I say inspect them all if they are rental properties and make each apartment owners pay the same fees that single family homes will be assessed. No more free ride McKinley! If these inspections are in the name of safety why not start with multiple units? As for "Liberty Square" sounds like prison condition are cleaner and safer.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 1:14 p.m.

You are absolutely correct, Edward Vielmetti. That is precisely where EyeHeartA2's link leads. Now we have a long link and a short link going to the same page. Cheers for choice!


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

I would like to see the time extended for current residents to find new homes. But there should be steps taken to prevent any new tenants moiving into the complex. The units that are now empty should be secured so that they do not become crack shacks and all the drug traffic needs to be cracked down on, pardon the


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 1:03 p.m.

EyeHeartA2, good job exposing who these complainers really are. I could say more about them but...


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 12:59 p.m.

Time for it to go, but 30 days is very short notice for people to find a new home.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 11:22 a.m.

I bought a house one street away from this place nine years ago on the premise that they were tearing it down. I have to kids did not want to bring them up around a place like this. If I would have known it would be nine years before they started this I never would have bought a house near by. Nothing is good about this property. I feel bad for the residents, not because the place is a dump but because someone could allow themselves to except that as a way of life. I know first hand that most of the residents are on govt assistance, though it seems most could work because I hear them most the night yelling and partying. The rest of the area will be better off when its gone for good


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 11:07 a.m.

Sounds Good to me, Bulldozing this place, it is a place of no good. I have been in this place several times, armed security, 4 in a car, drug dealing in almost every building, not to mention the curb appeal,not a good place to visit. Another city, several years ago, had a problem with low income housing complex, Feds,F.B.I., D.E.A., M.S.P., County sheriffs & city police secured the area & processed all individuals in the complex, and their apartments, any criminals,were arrested, any violation of Federal, state, county or city ordinances or laws, were quickly dealt with, and the violators were evicted. If they are eyesores, demolish the buildings, if the problem is criminal activity, arrest & evict.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 10:51 a.m.

These apartments are an eyesore. I moved from there about five years ago... The condition of the neighborhood is getting worse. The apartments on Grove are all boarded up and it just looks uninviting. I can see why the township stripped all their units after purchasing them... to make some money off of them before they knock down the whole hood and start from scratch! Thirty days is long enough when you have some assistance in finding a new spot. The gov't ain't gon' leave you hangin' like that. My suggestion to everyone there is get out and don't look back because it is just an ugly place to call home.

Atticus F.

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 10:28 a.m.

TDW, I'm sure that there are some bad apples there. But on the other hand, it's wrong to assume that everybody there is a bad person. It actually saddens my heart when I see that photo of the woman holding her little girl, faceing eviction, with no place to go.

Atticus F.

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 10:22 a.m.

It seems to me like the decision to condemn every unit in every building was a little hasty. It's obvious that there are some units that are in better condition than others.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 9:54 a.m.

@ronaldduck its already that way

Jeff Renner

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 9:49 a.m.

@ lumberg48108 - "30 days" is plural and requires "are" for agreement. "30 days are too few" would be awkward.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 9:21 a.m.

What's Ypsi Twp going to do with the place after they own it. Their cutting the budget left and right already. They won't find a responsible buyer for it and they can't afford to demolish it. It will just end up sitting empty deteriorating further. The homeless will squat there and drug dealers will move in. There will be vandalism and fires started. It will end up being a bigger hazard and eyesore than it is now.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 8:34 a.m.

Bravo Ypsi Twp.! Condemnation is the only solution for Liberty Square and adjoining property owners. Going forward; it's time for the township to include multi-family complex's under the Rental Property Maintenance Ordinance.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 8:32 a.m.

Good reporting by Mr. Perkins. EyeHeartA2 posted a link indicating that individuals mentioned in the story were in a legal dispute over the association's assessment. Apparently that link was deleted by the moderator. We are also suffering in our own neighborhood due to the percentage of occupants that simply refuse to pay the assessment. This creates a tremendous burden on the rest of the homeowners who continue to maintain the common areas. We are reaching the point that we have to maintain the neighborhood streets as the township and county continue to cut services.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 8:29 a.m.

@ Jeff Renner....can days be short? as in sunlight or hours of the day? 30 days is too few -- reads fine to me


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 8:09 a.m.

I thought a significant part of it was already condemned, from the looks of it. I think that 30 days is plenty of time to find affordable housing, though, admittedly, I don't know what would be affordable for these folks.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 8:08 a.m.

Some family friends lived in this complex about 30 years ago, it was bad then. It has been an eye sore for many years. I agree that 30 days is not enough time.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 7:34 a.m.

@Andy. Low income housing is what got this complex into the situation it's in today. You can build it but people will just live there, not put anything back into it, strip anything they can sell and in a few years you are right back where you started. I lived over that way 25 years ago and this place was a mess of people loitering around drug dealing, etc. Looks like nothing has changed.

Jeff Renner

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 7:13 a.m.

"... 30 days is too few to find affordable housing" needs correction. Maybe "30 days is too short to find affordable housing"?


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 7:04 a.m.

Hard to believe that the Landlords (whom ever they may be) would allow these inhabited units to deteriorate to this level? I had a chance to deliver a summons out there a while back with a process server and was horrified by the conditions, trash everywhere, dead dogs, kids playing in the garbage... it was a third world country. Unbelievable, check it out for yourself!


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 6:53 a.m.

Demolition by Neglect. That place is a mess and is a perfect location for a new high density development that can include a fair percentage of low income housing. @Tommy - feel for you pal. it sucks but they will proceed so just find another place asap and spare yourselves the stress.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 5:35 a.m.

Smart move by Ypsilanti Township. The Ann Arbor News did a story on this complex a couple of years back. The crime in the complex has been a huge problem for years (according to what the AA News stated). It is sad that residents are being forced to move. It would seem to me with the deplorable condition of the buildings as well as the high crime rate that they would want to move. McKinley Properties has advertisements and signs all over town that they will take in residents affected by foreclosure and eviction. If you check out their website they have plenty available and affordable apartments waiting to be rented with little to no security deposit.

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 5:27 a.m.

one word...bulldozer