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Posted on Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

$1.2M Family Dollar: Purchase agreement talks under way for land on Ypsilanti's Water Street

By Katrease Stafford


Purchase agreement talks between the city and Core Resources must be completed by March 10.

Courtesy City of Ypsilanti

Discussions between the city of Ypsilanti and a developer, who will bring one of the nation's largest retail discount chains to the long-vacant Water Street property, are progressing well, City Planner Teresa Gillotti says.

"We've been in regular communications with Core Resources, who does the development for Family Dollar," Gillotti said. "We're working through the purchase agreement and some changes to the site plan, which is going well."

The store will be approximately 8,320 square feet and on the northeast corner of the Water Street site, at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Park Street.

The Ypsilanti City Council voted 4-1 on Nov. 21 to approve a letter of intent from Core Resources, Inc., on behalf of its client Family Dollar Stores of Michigan, to purchase 1.25 acres of the 38-acre Water Street site. Mayor Paul Schreiber and Council Member Susan Moeller were absent from the meeting.

The property is owned by the city and Core will pay $210,000 to purchase the land.The property was removed from the market for three months, after the development agreement was signed Dec. 10.

"The next steps will be the purchase agreement, which is the actual point of transferring property," Gillotti said. "We would have a closing. ... At that point, the city is saying we're in and Core is saying we're in."

Those 90 days will be up March 10 and all of the final details of the purchase agreement must be hammered out by then. The agreement would then go before council before the end of February or early March.

When council considers the agreement, a public hearing will be held at that meeting. For every potential sale on the Water Street property, a public hearing will be held to keep the public involved in the project, Gillotti said.

"It will be important for community members to speak and make their opinions known," Gillotti said. "If we get through the purchase agreement, then we get to construction if the deal goes through."

Family Dollar is hoping to have construction started by the spring or early summer of this year and completed by late summer. Family Dollar will invest at least $800,000, not including land cost, in the construction and development of the property. The overall investment could exceed $1.2 million.

The taxable value for the property is expected to be between $350,000 and $500,000, and should generate about $30,000 in taxes.

The store will employ between eight and 10 people, some of whom will be part-time employees.

The city has long sought development possibilities for the Water Street. The city started acquiring parcels of the Water Street property in 2001, with the expectation that it would quickly attract mixed-use development.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 11:46 p.m.

I don't think that land would be big enough for a awl-mart however I agree we need a better one :D


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 11:46 p.m.

A store of some value is better than barrand land that had horrible looking buildings...Would you rather have a dollar store, or broken down buildings?


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

I am reading a lot of haters, but Family dollar put up the money. I grew up in the country, so I don't even understand people dictating, what a person does with property. The city had it up for sale, and Family dollar bought it. It will eliminate some of the blight there, and generate tax revenue. For all of you, that are too good for a dollar store; move to Ann Arbor, and pay 5000 a year in property taxes. You can shop at one of those over priced grocery stores. Maybe the people here should embrace Family Dollar, they have a lot of money, and might do some community work. I personally, would love to see that old baseball field back by the river renovated.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 3 a.m.

"I grew up in the country, so I don't even understand people dictating, what a person does with property." Because the people of Ypsi technically own this property. That gives them just as much of a right to complain when other proposals for the property are shot down and then they finally accept one for a dollar store. And take a look at what the normal person in Ypsi pays in property taxes for homes that are worth less than those in A2 or in the township. You must not be a property owner in Ypsi.

Charley Sullivan

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

After a long dry spell, you sometimes feel the need to date the first one who shows some interest. But it doesn't mean it's a good match. Right now, it's better off left alone longer, honestly.

dading dont delete me bro

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

they'll be lining up to get in there...


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 11:45 p.m.

Good to read development is taking place soon on Water Street! It's a start!


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 6:59 p.m.

There is a Dollar Store less than a mile from that site. Ridiculous over-saturation.


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 3:16 p.m.

Well, hopefully it will fail and we'll get left with a blighted shell of a low-quality-built store.

Margaret Leary

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

The County Parks and Recreation Commission is working with the City and others on a possible East County Recreation Center to be located on the west end of the Water Street site. WCPARC will also build a new section of the Border to Border Trail along this site. A more comprehensive plan is underway, and taking advantage of the natural feature, the Huron River, is part of that plan. Ms. Stafford has covered this elsewhere in, there have been several public meetings about it, and coverage of WCPARC in the is available.

Katrease Stafford

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 8:16 p.m.

Thanks, Margaret. Here's a link to some previous coverage on the proposed Eastside Recreation Center. County officials said the center will serve as an economic driver and "anchor" for the Water Street property:


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

The City of Ypsilanti is in desperate need for help. It would have been nice to see the City encourage a mixed use development in this area. Some retail, some recreation along the Huron River, possibly some residential. Since this is so near the downtown, it would be a great extension and possibly encourage redevelopment of other nearby districts.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 5:28 p.m.

I think when this is built I can travel East to West and have a Family Dollar store not more than one mile from each freeway exit from Rawsonville Road to Us-23. This place is like the retail equivalent to Tim Horton's footprint.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

What a HUGE disappointment this is, for all of us who thought the Ypsi civic leaders would do something right and celebrate the Huron River, the city's best asset. Because of this, Ypsi will not progress for the next 50 years. What a major opportunity just flushed down the toilet.


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

I so totally agree. There goes the neighborhood. I guess we can say bye bye to the Rec Dept theory?


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

A bit dramatic, but, I agree. Pretty sad.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

C'mon... where are all the people who think we should hold out for Whole Foods, or Saks Fifth Avenue?

Steven Taylor

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 1:54 a.m.

Neither of those places are what ypsi can afford or need. While I see your humor/sarcasm in the statement. It would absolutely decimate the Ypsi Food Co-op just down river street a stones throw away.

Jonathan Blutarsky

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

There are no one who think we should hold out for Whole Foods, or Saks Fifth Avenue. There are plenty who think it should be put to better use though.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

How about a Plum Markup


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

Perhaps this question has been asked before...has the city asked for or received any help from the federal government in regards to develop the Water Street project?


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 11:04 a.m.

Thank you murph :)


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

The city has a pretty good track record of securing funding for necessary work on the site. As just one example, the city secured $600,000 in EPA brownfield cleanup funds in 2009 to remove contaminated building materials and soil from the site -- arsenic, PCBs, trichlorethelyne and assorted other good stuff. There are other examples, but this was the one I could most quickly find docs for. While things like this may not be the high-visibility vertical construction that we all want to see, they do remove barriers and costs from the development process.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

For all the Dollar Store whiners.......You shell out 1.2 mil and you can build anything you like


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

They are only paying $210k for the land. Not very helpful with a multi-million dollar debt on the property. And especially considering this may likely scare away other future developers who don't want to invest in nice looking housing next to a dollar-garbage store. I sure wouldn't want to live next to one.

Steven Taylor

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 1:53 a.m.

Only problem, is it doesn't eat up any sort of portion of the sunk cost to the city for having purchased the property having done reclamation etc... 1 acre or so out of 38 is still a small portion that doesn't solve the city's woes.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

Maybe Groundcover News can set up a distribution center there next, along with a liquor store.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

Ypsilanti is really setting the tone for its vision of downtown: A dollar store.