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Posted on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Restaurant space available on Ypsilanti's West Cross Street after pizzeria closes

By Tom Perkins


College Inn Pizza recently closed and the restaurant space is now available for lease.

Tom Perkins | For

Ypsilanti’s College Inn Pizza has closed after three years, leaving a storefront along the busy West Cross Street corridor near Eastern Michigan University for lease.

Mark Kashem, the property manager, said he is asking around $2,200 per month for the 1,800-square-foot restaurant.

"It’s right by the central campus and already has a lot of the equipment for a restaurant,” Kashem said. “It’s very well maintained. It just needs a little bit of cleaning, and a good idea for it to work.”

The lease price includes a walk-in fridge, freezer, hood system, stove and other equipment needed to get a restaurant going.

The store has been vacant for about three months. Kashem said College Inn’s owners planned to temporarily shut down the business for renovations, then never reopened.

“They kept saying they were renovating and they were saying that they were almost done, but they never came back,” he said.

Kashem said a family member owns the building, at 505 W. Cross St., along with 20 residential properties in Ypsilanti.

Prior to College Inn, the space housed a West Coast Subs.

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the business desk at


Honest Abe

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

When you have to fight your way through a pack of panhandler's, drug dealers, and loiterer's, would you want to go back? Would you want to work there?

Steve McKeen

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

As someone who regularly panhandles in Ypsilanti, that stretch is an awful place to work. To say there are packs of panhandlers there is ridiculous. That stretch is one of the most panhandler-free locations in Ypsilanti.

Honest Abe

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

Anyone on here who knows me, knows I love Ypsilanti. But the businesses on that part of W Cross, do nothing about all the ''negativity' that lingers right outside their doors. Especially Eagles Market!!

Rob Pollard

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

As someone who has driven by this place well over a hundred times, I'm not surprised it closed -- never saw it busy, and never knew what the appeal might be. I mean, the name is generic as it comes: "College Inn Pizza." If it does ring any bells, it just sounds like a Cottage Inn knockoff, whether that was intent or not. That location does not get a ton of foot traffic, so it needed some sort of hook (e.g., deep dish or Neapolitan or brick-oven or local ingredients or something) to cause people to say, "Hey, I should order from there instead of nearby Domnio's or NYPD." But I never saw any marketing (whether it was on campus, or even on the window fronts) that made it look appealing. If you're not operating a well-known franchise (and I'm all for local businesses, but it's harder b/c you don't have national marketing campaigns, a la Subway, to let people know what you're about) you've got to have a hook, like the folks just down the street do at Wurst Bar.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

Last fall I chatted with one of the owners while I waited for my pizza. The place was nice and clean and empty of patrons. She was very concerned that all the loitering on the sidewalk was keeping customers away. And it's hard not to notice the loiterers, what with two liquor stores at the intersection of Cross and Ballard. She said that customers would pass her by than pass through a group of (mostly) young men near the front door.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

@CASH. Completely Agree with your assessment. I remember when Cross St. was 2 way. The business district thrived and the area was quaint. When the state took over all it was concerned about was moving traffic. Making the street 2 way would slow traffic and much of the traffic would stay on I-94 where it belongs.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Yes, worked in Hard to even cross the street from EMU to eat a meal over there. Most people don't. And parking on the left You take your life in your hands trying maneuver into a spot with traffic flying up in the "fastest:"lane.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

Just my opinion: West Cross needs to be a 2 way street. It would slow down traffic. It would connect the businesses across from EMU to Depot Town. It would connect EMU to Depot Town. A one way speedway doesn't bode well for businesses.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

It has been discussed but I never saw the city fight for it. I think it's the missing link between Depot Town and EMU.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

The businesses along West Cross should lobby for the 2 way street even though it is a state trunk line. What you are suggesting Cash is good for the university, for the West Cross businesses, for Depot Town and untimately for downtown as well. This being said, I believe the city should get behind the effort to lobby the state for a 2 way street.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

W. Cross is a state trunk line. Until that changes there will be no two-way traffic.

The Picker

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

Has become a Real Estate Agent ?

Hugh Giariola

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

The pizzas were good and inexpensive, and not just cardboard. Sorry to see them go, I hope there will be a good restaurant there again soon. The new owner bought the place in spring 2012 and seemed like a really nice person trying to establish their business. College Pizza then got broken into and sustained damages and their cash register was stolen last fall. I wonder if that was the turning point for the owner.


Mon, Jul 15, 2013 : 10:25 a.m.

"Mark Kashem, the property manager, said he is asking around $2,200 per month for the 1,800-square-foot restaurant." That's not that bad for a fully equipped restaurant....that's not bad at all. Mediocre location though...which might be why business wasn't great. Still....nothing some proper marketing wouldn't cure...and it's pizza so with delivery your location isn't AS important. A place like that up and running would probably pull in at LEAST a grand a day if they'd spend about a thousand a week on marketing (yes kids....that is how much you need to spend in pizza marketing).