Ypsilanti Citizen News Ypsilanti Cycle

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

City eyes Water Street finances

City Planner Richard Murphy discusses Water Street plans with City Council at a special meeting held to discuss the topic Tuesday night. Photo by Dan DuChene

City Planner Richard Murphy discusses Water Street plans with City Council at a special meeting held to discuss the topic Tuesday night.
Dr. Kimberly A. Rice DDS

City looks to whether committee would violate Open Meetings Act, FOIA

By Dan DuChene
Mar. 25, 2009    ·    4:32 a.m.


With the staff in formal discussion with two developers, and two more in the works, City Council met to discuss the Water Street project Tuesday.

Joseph Fazio, an attorney from Miller Canfield representing the city in development negotiations, said, “I’m pleased to report that we’re making pretty good progress.”

Fazio told City Council negotiating has gone to a short list with a proposed fast food restaurant and developer Magellan Properties since the process began in December. He said the city’s contracted real-estate brokerage firm C.B. Richard Ellis is still negotiating with a possible senior housing development and student apartment complex.

With a looming $31.2 million debt on the 38-acre site and the first bond payment coming due in November, Council also heard what these proposed developments would mean for taxable value.

City Planner Richard Murphy laid out what the city could expect to capture from property taxes from these developments using comparisons to others like it from around the city.

With bond payments averaging $1.44 million payment every year until 2031, Murphy estimated the development could repay 28 to 36 percent of the debt and take up about 42 percent of the available space. This would not include any space taken up by roads, infrastructure or publicly owned land.

“We really need to concentrate on density if we’re going to get some pay back,” Mayor Paul Schreiber said at the meeting.

Councilmember Michael Bodary, D-Ward 2, said low-density developments could be placed at the eastern exterior, where the structures would resemble existing buildings.

“I don’t want to pass by something that we can really get,” Bodary said of placing zoning restrictions on Water Street development.

The discussion is a continuation of a conversation had at the March 18 City Council meeting where a zoning plan to encourage dense growth on Water Street was passed on first reading in a split decision.

Earlier in the meeting, Fazio said the zoning will help recruit developers to the project. Additionally, he said infrastructure and demolition discussions from the meeting would help with the process as well, as moving forward in these areas helps give a clearer picture of what Water Street will look like.

Water Street sub-committee
City Manager Ed Koryzno informed City Council staff is looking at the possibility of creating a sub-committee to discuss Water Street.

Koryzno said the committee would likely consist of Schreiber and two other Councilmembers to discuss Water Street issues in more detail. He said specifics about developers would be discussed.

Because of the want to protect a developer’s anonymity, Koryzno said the City Attorney’s Office is looking into whether the committee would fall under the state Open Meetings Act or Freedom of Information Act.

Known as sunshine laws, the OMA and FOIA are designed to allow the public access to government meetings and records. There are exemptions listed in the laws, including discussing lease and purchase negotiations.

“Certainly we will want to maintain the confidentiality of the developers,” Koryzno said. "However, we don’t want to violate either of those public acts.”

Related articles:
Water Street zoning approved
City discusses bright spots for Water Street



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