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

No Burger King on Water Street

Photo by Dan DuChene

Ypsilanti residents address City Council Tuesday night to express concerns about an offer to build a Burger King on the Water Street Project. City Council unanimously rejected the plan.
Krispy Krunchy Chicken

Ypsilanti City Council unanimously rejects purchase offer

By Dan DuChene
Apr. 21, 2010    ·    8:21 a.m.

The plan to build a Burger King on the Water Street Project was unanimously rejected by Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday.

The final decision came after City Council had discussed the matter in two prior meetings held throughout the past two months and a public hearing just before the vote Tuesday.

City Council first heard details of the $400,000 purchase offer from Indiana-based Bravokilo in March. The plan would use an acre of property on the Water Street Project's northeast corner to construct a new Burger King drive-thru restaurant.

Bravokilo owns 115 Burger King and 48 Chili's restaurants in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. The company owns the Burger King on Michigan Avenue, east of Ecorse Road, in Ypsilanti Township.

A dozen audience members spoke on the matter during the meeting Tuesday, mostly against the plan. Most spoke of wanting mixed-use, urban development that would generate more tax revenue to help pay for the $31.2 million debt the city has racked up acquiring all of the property on the 38-acre site.

The city has begun paying off the debt, with bond payments averaging $1.44 million a year until the debt is scheduled to be paid off in 2031.

The Burger King would have generated approximately $29,000 a year in city tax revenue, or 2.01 percent of the revenue needed to repay the Water Street Project's annual bond payment. It would occupy approximately 2.63 percent of the Water Street Project's property.

Other complaints aired about building the property included the development's inability to attract the desired construction on the site, the type of employment and wages offered by fast-food restaurants, the possibility of moving the restaurant from another location on Michigan Avenue creating another vacant fast-food restaurant in the area, trash accumulating in the area to do the disposable containers and wrappers and the impact of fast-food restaurants on residents' health.

James Fitzpatrick, vice president of development for Indiana-based Bravokilo, also addressed City Council during the public hearing, after turning down an opportunity to make a statement before the hearing.

“We felt that we could somehow jump-start this project,” Fitzpatrick said.

He said his company has been interested in building a store on the site for more than ten years, before the city embarked on the Water Street Project. He said the company backed off attempting acquire the land after the project began, but made an offer when City Council voted to allow the site to be sold off in parcels.

Fitzpatrick countered statements about the types of jobs the Burger King offers. He said 63 percent of the company's employees are above the age of 18 and 38 percent of the company's managers are promoted from within. He said their employees make, on average, 16 percent more money than the minimum wage.

Finally, he said the company had estimated spending up to $1.5 million on building the restaurant.

After City Council's vote, Fitzpatrick left the meeting and refused to comment on the matter.

Two councilmembers—Trudy Swanson-Winston, D-Ward 1, and Michael Bodary, D-Ward 2—had spoken in favor of approving the plan at the meeting held earlier in the month. Both said they changed their opinion after hearing overwhelming opposition from constituents in their ward.

After the vote was taken, Mayor Paul Schreiber recommended City Council adopt a formal plan for Water Street, whether it be the plan produced by the Ypsilanti Planning Commission, which was passed on first reading by City Council last year but was never considered for the second vote needed for adoption.

Related articles
Ypsilanti City Council to decide on Water Street offer
Water Street zoning approved

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