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Posted on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Work to restart on 400-home development lost to foreclosure in 2007

By Tom Perkins

The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees saw a sight that has been rare over the last several years: a developer seeking approval to build new homes.

The representative from Bingham Farms-based S.R. Jacobson Development Corp. is looking to pick up on a development that was started in 2002 but lost in tax foreclosure in 2007.

The company is now the master developer at the Lakewood Farms development south of Textile between Tuttle Hill and Bunton Roads.

"We’re pretty excited about having you start back up and building homes in the township,” township Clerk Karen Lovejoy-Roe said.

The request comes as single-family home construction permits in Washtenaw County rose 35 percent last year to 315.

The Lakewood Farms project’s first phase will include 72 new single family homes, of which three are already presold. In total, it calls for around 400 units, including 130 duplexes, 97 villas, 116 single family homes and 72 attached condos.


The Lakewood development was begun in 2002 but never completed

Tom Perkins | For

Manny Kianicky, S.R. Jacobson’s vice-president, said a builder is ready to pull building permits and start construction on the presold homes and models, but it could take several years before the first phase is built out.

As for the rest of the project, Kianicky said the S.R. Jacobson still needs to find builders and see the market improve — especially for duplexes — so it will be longer before those phases are started and completed.

“We’re picking up the pieces after everything has been dormant for five to six years with the intent of being the master developer and seeing this project completed over the next several years,” he told the board, which unanimously approved the development agreement.

Kianicky said the company has purchased 13 partially completed developments, which make more financial sense than starting completely new projects.

"There are market realities directing what developers need to do, which is absorb the existing lots in the marketplace," he said. "We have to be very careful in our selection, and do our due diligence."

The single-family homes will list for around $200,000. Smaller homes will be built around 1,500-square-feet, while the largest will be 2,600-square-feet. The lots are approximately 60 feet by 140 feet.

The 255-acre development includes 90 acres of lakes and water and 80 acres of preserved open space.

Some of the infrastructure is already in place, including water and sewer lines and roads, though the lines were never activated. Kianicky said the company has been working with the township and the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority to clean the systems and get them back in working order.

The developer is also installing gas, electric lines and phone lines.

The township approved site plans for the two phases of the project that were presented by the original developer, Burton-Katzman, in 2002 and 2006, respectively. The company lost the property to foreclosure in 2007 and nothing has been done since.

S.R. Jacobson purchased the property in 2011 and the township reapproved the site plans in May of 2012.

S.R. Jacobson has hired Alllen-Edwin Homes to build the first phase. Kianicky said he is hopeful that will lead to other builders signing on to the project.

“The market is slowly improving. But the momentum makes a great difference and now that we have Edwin Allen we can attract other builders,” he said.

"We’re glad you’re coming back," township attorney Doug Winters said. "There was a time when there was not a meeting that went by when we didn’t have a developer here."

Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter for



Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

As a private home inspector, I am sometimes hired to inspect new construction (by savvy home buyers). I have to say that in the past, there were many homes that had serious glaring issues that still were approved by the Ypsi Township building authority. Once the people moved in, the builders often refused to fix these issues for the owners, the builders saying that it was approved by the municipal inspectors. These are problems like upside down floor trusses, missing flashing, over inch wide gaps at brick sills at windows, and so much more. I seemed to find more of these building code violations and unacceptable quality issues in Ypsi township than in other Washtenaw county municipalities. I hope the municipal inspectors do a better job this time around of protecting the housing stock and the buyers of new construction.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

BobbyJohn, Thanks for your frank assessment of the situation. People are at the mercy of these inspectors and should remember that they are not working for the potential homeowner. The question though, might be....WHO are they really working for? But your comments can really help home buyers....even with a brand new home, have it inspected by someone working for you!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 4:48 p.m.

If you go to that area on Google maps (Tuttle Hill, SE of Textile) you can see where a lot of roads were put in but there is a large patch without any names. I have driven past there and it is really weird to drive past all these streets that are barricaded. I am sure the people that bought in that area when the construction was going on will be very happy.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

This adds to the "in-fill" mentioned in previous articles. The developers are getting enough interest to build in existing developments (roads & utilities are "in") but not enough to start a new development. We're seeing the same thing in Lohr Lakes and Legacy Heights (around Textile and Lohr/Maple). There is one home under construction in Lohr and probably eight in Legacy. Not great news but it's a step in a better direction.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

I think Tuttle and Bunton Rds both are North & South rds while Textile runs East & west..


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

Will somebody just make sure they are following the Ordinances? And Please do not issue CO's without a rear deck being built, especially any homes built on a walkout basement!

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

Wow, this is good news for that community, and it's true: new residential construction is returning to parts of the county. We're seeing activity in subdivisions where construction was stagnant for years and developers - both regional and national - are re-entering the Washtenaw County market. The low housing inventory is probably helping that.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:56 p.m.

Thanks Tom, but I don't think this is related. This parcel was involved in the school rezoning and at the time seemed to be included in their suit against the township. This parcel is east of South Pointe Charter....a vacant parcel between it and the school on the southeast corner of Geddes and Ridge. Here is what I found from a year ago when the school was an issue....see the last part where a subdivision is plotted and mentioned. Be interested to hear what you find out. Thank you! Cash

Tom Perkins

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

Cash, Superior Township's offices are closed, but this link might have an explanation in it. I'll have to verify that it's the same property.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

Lizzy Alfs 7:30 AM on 2/18/2013 "new residential construction is returning to parts of the county... ...The low housing inventory is probably helping that." Housing inventory has nothing to do with it... the whole point is to build and sell as fast as possible to either A new home owners or some other property holder who plans to resell for profit. If inventory/vacancy was the sole driver, then there would not be so many huge student housing projects in Ann Arbor... When was the last time students were complaining that they couldnt find a place to live?


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

Yeah its good news... the depressed housing market needs more homes to help make prices fall even faster so homes are more affordable and people who already own them become more under water.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 1:01 p.m.

What is going on with the HUGE rezoning signs just east of the South Pointe Charter school on Geddes? I can't read the entire sign from the road but it does carry the name of the land owner Robert Schultz. Is this being zoned for a subdivision? Kind of odd when no more housing start ups are happening at the Pulte property a few miles west on Geddes. Can you get the scoop for us? It's Superior Township.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

oh joy, more homes in an already failing market. #stillwaitingforhomevaluetorebound


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:57 a.m.

dading..Dude read the article after you have your morning coffee.They are going to build the homes that are already pre-paid.Then they have to see the market improve before they start building other homes

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.



Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

I think you mean east of Tuttle Hill ( seeing there is no south of Tuttle Hill.It runs north to south )

Tom Perkins

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

Thanks for pointing out the error. The sentence has been corrected.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

romuloid....yep I forgot to mention Hill and Bunton run north to south.Textile runs east to west.If it is where I think is its between Tuttle Hill and Bunton south of textile and north of Bemis


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

That's right: East of Tuttle Hill, south of Textile, and west of Bunton.