Ypsilanti Citizen News Sidetrack

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

Ypsilanti freighthouse receives $500,000 in federal funds

Initial engineering drawings for the freighthouse have already been made thanks to a gift fro the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. Photo by Brenda Rigdon

Initial engineering drawings for the freighthouse have already been made thanks to a gift fro the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

Granholm to present check Friday morning

By Christine Laughren
Apr. 9, 2009    ·    4:39 p.m.

It’s been four years since the doors of the Ypsilanti freighthouse have been open to the public but thanks to a $500,000 federal grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act doors should be open again by October 2010.

Governor Jennifer Granholm is making a special trip to the city of Ypsilanti Friday to present the $500,000 check to the city and the Friends of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse, a group that has taken over the lease from the city since the facility was closed.

Ypsilanti is one of 67 communities in Michigan to benefit from a total of $47.3 million in transportation enhancement funding according to a release issued by the Governor’s Office today.

“Every minute I have to reprocess (the news),” said Bonnie Penet, co-chair of the FOYF. “Its so overwhelming, we just keep pinching ourselves.”

Penet said the she expects doors to the freighthouse, which was built in 1878, to be open by the time the train stops in Depot Town in 2010, but she said it could be sooner.

Linda French, another member of the friends group and owner of Sidetrack Bar and Grill, said the project would include major structural improvements to the foundation, floors, walls, pillars, roof and interior mechanical systems.

French said the FOYF would continue its lease agreement with the city, which began approximately four years ago, and rent out the space for weddings and other events to make it a sustainable facility. She said the news couldn’t be better for all of Ypsilanti community.

“The corner stone of Ypsilanti was the freighthouse, and to loose that was like losing the sole of Ypsilanti,” she said. “But now that it is going to open again it will become the center of the community once again.”

Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. announced in a release this morning, the funding would complete 176 miles of bike paths and paved shoulders; enhance local roadways in communities statewide with lighting, landscaping, sidewalks, crosswalks and other improvements, in addition to preserving a historic bridge and an additional historic rail facility. The projects will create or retain more than 1,300 jobs according to the release.

“This is a positive step for Michigan’s economy,” Cherry said in the release. “These enhancement projects will create jobs and improve communities so they are more attractive to residents, businesses and visitors.”

This is the second grant the Friends of the Freighthouse have received in the past month. The group was awarded a $103,300 gift from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, from funds Pfizer made to the area as a farewell package following their departure from Ann Arbor.

Penet said that money was used to create biddable architectural and engineering drawings.

The FOYF put out a bid for Requests for Proposals and received two responses. Ohio-based JDI Group was chosen as the low-bidder. Penet said Brenda Rigdon, Ypsilanti resident and architect at JDI Group, would be the lead architect.

“Actually, today the structural engineer was over there taking measurements,” Penet said. “We’re just so thrilled.”

Citizen information
Granholm will speak and present transportation enhancement grant funding at 9:30 a.m. Friday on the north deck of the freighthouse (100 Market Place.) The governor will be joined by Congressman John D. Dingell, D-15th District.

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