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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

County approves Ave Maria brownfield

Passing a brownfield plan last night, Washtenaw County got the eventual occupancy of Ave Maria one step closer. Photo by Jim Cavanaugh

Passing a brownfield plan last night, Washtenaw County got the eventual occupancy of Ave Maria one step closer.
Dr. Kimberly A. Rice DDS

By Jim Cavanaugh
Nov. 20, 2008    ·    2:21 a.m.


The presently-vacant Ave Maria University campus, which the school vacated in 2007, is one step closer to having an occupant.

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners amended the SchoolPictures.com brownfield redevelopment plan Wednesday night, unanimously approving a request for tax increment financing and providing eligibility for a Michigan Business Tax credit.

SchoolPictures.com, which purchased the Ave Maria land on 300 W. Forest in July, provides photo services for schools all across the country. The company is currently located in Pittsfield Township on Hogback Road.

Two weeks ago, Skip Cerier, president of SchoolPictures.com, said he was thrilled when his company found a home in Ypsilanti.

“This is the last step,” Cerrier added Wednesday night. “It’s a lengthy process, but it’s been very positive.”

Although he acknowledged the process has taken some time, Cerier noted those he’s worked with have been cooperative.

“The government officials I’ve worked with have all gone out of their way to be helpful,” Cerier said.

The land, which is currently not taxable, will be placed back on the property tax rolls after approximately two years. The land is expected to generate $108,324 in property tax revenue per year.

According to a report issued to the County Board by Director of Planning and Environment Anthony VanDerworp, SchoolPictures.com will create 24-30 new full-time jobs in Ypsilanti within the next two years. Within five years, 80-100 new jobs are expected to be created.

During the last three years, SchoolPictures.com has grown from 7 employees to 41 in their current location, according to Cerier. The company serves over 400 schools.

“Our company is one of the few you’ll hear about that’s in tremendous growth mode,” he said.

In addition to creating new jobs, Cerier also plans on providing internships for Eastern Michigan University students. Cerier said he recently met with Morell Boone, dean of EMU’s college of technology, about internship prospects.

The rehabilitation project Cerier is planning for the land will cost $4.3 million dollars, according to VanDerworp, and will have ‘green’ design elements.

“We’re going to take all of the asbestos out,” Cerier said.

Last month, Ypsilanti City Council voted to approve the brownfield amendment by a vote of 7-0. The plan required approval by City Council before it could be moved on to the County Board.



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