Luxury lofts, commercial space listed for lease at Ypsilanti's Thompson Block
Courtesy Stewart Beal
The Thompson Block property in Ypsilanti has officially been listed. Leases and letters of intent for 16 luxury lofts and about 14,000 square feet of commercial space will be accepted over the next three months.
"Everything is going really well so far," said Howard Hanna real estate agent Tyler Weston, who listed the property Friday. "We've been approached by six different business owners. Even without advertising we've gotten quite a lot of interest. We have three people interested in loft space."
The 148-year-old Depot Town building is owned by Stewart Beal, who said he expects a $4 million investment to redevelop the property.
The 16 lofts are each priced at about $12 per square foot and will range in size, with the largest being around 1,110 square feet. Weston said monthly rates will range from less than $800 up to around $1,300.
Leases will be available within the next three months for the loft space, Weston said.
The commercial space will be priced at $16 per square foot. According to the listing, the commercial spaces range from 1,100 square feet up to the entire 14,000-square-foot commercial space.
Construction is slated to begin in late 2013 or early 2014 and work is expected to be completed with a certificate of occupancy by early 2015.
Weston said he's spoken with people who have expressed interest in a small amount of commercial space, as well as those who are interested in the full amount.
"We’ve been in talks with both of those," Weston said. "At this point, the space is still very open and anyone can pretty much come in with their imagination. We're looking to get 100 percent of space committed before September. As the space is delineated, those things will kind of weave themselves out."
Weston said letters of intent will go out for the commercial space in the next three months. Actual leases won't be available for the commercial space until a later date, at which point deposits will be made.
The people expressing interest were trying to find space for retail stores, a bar, restaurants, a fitness studio and office space, Weston said.
Weston said he's "fairly confident" the entire property will be redeveloped and fully leased.
"In terms of our lending ability to get loans, we're looking pretty good on that front," he said. "If all the other things go as planned, we shouldn't have any problems getting loans and moving forward."
Weston said he's been in discussions with parties who expressed interest prior to the Sept. 23, 2009 fire that gutted the entire building.
Courtesy Stewart Beal
Developers have established a new LLC, Thompson Block Partners LLC, to move the project forward. The building's previous owner, Historic Equities Fund 1 LLC, has been rolled into a new investment vehicle. To create more space for the new plans, Beal said the LLC purchased the property at 107 E. Cross St., previously owned by jailed landlord David Kircher, which is behind Thompson Block.
Beal is looking to combine the property with Thompson Block to create one parcel.
Beal and the city reached a consent agreement in August 2010 that gave Beal three years to complete the exterior envelope of the building, including a roof, walls and all openings sealed with at least temporary doors and windows.
Beal has until Sept. 1 to complete these renovations and so far, 10 of the 11 requirements outlined have been completed. However, Beal is in the process of working with the city to obtain a one-year extension on putting a roof on the building.
Beal will have to formally go before the City Council to ask for an extension on the consent agreement, which he says allows for additional negotiation. If council doesn't approve the extension, Beal said it would then go back to mediation.
Beal is also still in the process of applying for a facade grant from the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority and a short-term bridge loan, or potentially longer-term financing and other financing mechanisms. He also is going to re-apply for an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act Exemption in the name of the new investment group. The exemption would freeze the property's taxes at its current rate for 12 years.
"We want this to be our community's project," Weston said. "This has a lot more to do with Ypsilanti and Depot Town and we want to reflect the awesome things we have (here in the community)."