the marketing of ypsilanti’s water street

I noticed a few days ago that the much anticipated “For Sale” sign had gone up on Water Street. And, then, last night, I received the following note from the Mayor:

Parcel-by-Parcel Water Street Marketing

The city has narrowed the marketing scope for the Water Street development. Previously the city searched for one large developer that could plan and build the entire property. Now multiple commercial developers are being sought to build on individual parcels along the Michigan Avenue portion of Water Street. This strategy increases the qualified developer pool while still leaving the door open for one large developer.

In addition to hiring the C. B. Richard Ellis marketing firm, partnering with Washtenaw County planning experts, updating the Water Street web page, and placing “For Sale” signs on the property, the city is:

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  1. Bob Krzewinski
    Posted July 27, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Whatever happens with Water Street, the linear park along the riverbank must stay. Don’t get me wrong, it is in the master plans, but we don’t need a developer coming in demanding they have land all the way to the rivers edge.

    The big thing is that the countywide Border To Border Trail is planned to hug the north shore of the Huron all through the Water Street area. This is a really nice area and when the trail finally goes in, it will be a real plus to the community.

    Bob Krzewinski
    Friends of the Border To Border Trail

  2. Posted July 27, 2008 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    All’s I’m sayin’ is, it pays to advertise.

  3. Posted July 28, 2008 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more Bob. There’s great potential with that trail, and also to connect to Waterworks park. I run through those trails and even though they’re overgrown and neglected, it’s still right on the river. I’m very excited about the border to border trail – keep up the good work!

    Supergay – you’re right! And those old Mel Farr Superstar commercial were so awesome. We need to make sure the mayor wears a sweet cape for the ad though…

  4. Posted July 28, 2008 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    This morning I typed into Google “al gore 10 years” to find more info on Gore’s recent speech. Your blog post comes up as the second-ranked item.

    I think that maybe your blog and those $100/month ads might be the ticket to selling Water Street. That would be about $1,200 a year, right? I think you’d need to also do some SEO work though, something like mentions of “sweet parcel of land along river” or “developer’s dream” or “land for the taking.” I really don’t know what terms big time developers search on, but you get the gist . . .

  5. Dirtgrain
    Posted July 28, 2008 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Instead of parcel, we should call it a “sweet morsel of land along the river” (for advertising purposes–not for Google search term hierarchy).

  6. Derek Foreal
    Posted July 28, 2008 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Ypsilanti figgerheads were caught up in the same greedy mess many others have chosen in the last several years. Your symbolic reference to Mr. Farr is so very close to reality its frightening.

    But too many mistime the market. What made anyone think Ypsi would be different? Why would anyone in Ypsilanti want to be different from what it is?

    Public Policy should avoid get rich gimics, or deals to good to pass up.

    I miss Ypsi Iron and metal. And getting parts from Al Walters. Or the beer drive thru. Thats what we need some more of and now they’re gone.

    The deal is done. Eyes were taken off the ball, instead of a baseball game someone was watching too many late-night real estate investing seminars and listening to their relatives that were investing in mortage hedge funds.

    Too many eggs were placed in one basket. Then we were asked to give up more eggs to fill another basket.

    Hopefully it will lay fallow until the public decides what to do with it. It should be a contiguous park. Motor wheel and bum forest will be next.

    I predict that everyone will be entranced by the next big offer that comes around. Thats when it will really get fucked up.

  7. Karen
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    It’s a shame that Mr. Mayor didn’t respond to this wonderful idea.

  8. Bob
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    April McGrath’s Water Street update:

    Water Street Monthly Report: August 12, 2008

    Respectfully Submitted by April L. McGrath, Director of Administrative Services

    The following is the Water Street Update for the month of August, 2008:

    Amendment of Master Plan:

    The Master Plan amendment for Water Street is currently undergoing review by the County and other neighboring and regional entities, as required by State planning legislation. The County’s Planning Advisory Board will be compiling these comments and providing them to the City prior to the September Planning Commission meeting.

    Zoning Amendments:

    Vetting Process:

    For both Zoning amendments and the vetting process we are waiting for several items before we can start this process. Currently the market study is being completed along with a design vignette that we can show developers. We will be presenting the updated concept to Council for Water Street given the new economy and will work with the City Assessor to apply monetary values to the property. This should be completed by the end of September or beginning of October.

    Continued demolition and remediation of Water Street:

    Please see attached memo regarding status of the EPA Revolving Loan Fund.

    We are also seeking ways to begin demolition of properties that are not eligible for the EPA Revolving Loan Fund. The former State Police Building, Chinese Restaurant, a few pole barns and the Huron Trade Center. The Fire Department is evaluating the possibility of doing live burns for Fire Fighter training on the smaller buildings, which would leave only the hauling costs.

    Also, staff has been working with Recycle Ann Arbor to identify opportunities for deconstructing and resale or recycling of materials from buildings on Water Street. Due to labor costs, deconstruction may or may not be cheaper than demolition and land filling, but could be considered more environmentally desirable at similar cost.

    Marketing of Water Street:

    Staff continues to meet monthly with CBRE to discuss activity on Water Street and general updates. The marketing study has been started and the first draft is ready, it is 127 pages long and CBRE has indicated they want to make sure we have everything we need and to summarize the findings. The final report will ready in the next two weeks.

    CBRE is currently “soft selling” Water Street as we are waiting for our market study. Once that is complete and the design vignette is approved an “Offer Package” will be assembled that will allow for CBRE to have strong materials to show developers. Until then CBRE is seeking out many of the developers we had previously talked with and developers of areas CBRE feels may be viable on the site. I should have more to report in September.

    Signage: Completed.

    Final Action: The “For Sale” signs have been placed on the property. According to CBRE they have had over 10 phone calls inquiring about the property since the signs have been placed.

    General Clean up of the Water Street Site:

    Fence: DPS will have the contaminated area contained by the week of August 11, 2008 and the rental fence will be taken down by the end of the week.

    General Clean-up: City staff will now be facilitating all board ups and clean ups of Water Street on a trial basis. We are currently working on other creative ways to make it look even better (with less money) until we can get more of the buildings down. We are also working to creatively figure out a way to keep people out of the buildings and off the property. Firefighter John Roe is working to weld doors shut and remove glass. We will continually be working on creative ways to address blight and safety in this area.

    State Historic Preservation Offices: No new updates. We are still waiting on word from the MEDC.
    Vacation of Plats: Completed.

    Final Action: A settlement conference was held on June 30, 2008 with Mayor Paul Schreiber, Councilmember Brian Filipiak, and Councilmember Nickels in attendance. A settlement was reached.

    Infrastructure: CBRE will be meeting with OHM to discuss infrastructure costs over the next month. We are currently working on design vignette’s as part of the zoning and vetting process and once that is complete we will have a more accurate picture of potential infrastructure costs.

    DDA Concerns: Completed.

    Final Action: There was a question raised regarding the Ypsilanti DDA’s use of future tax increment financing (TIF) revenues from Water Street. A Development Plan and TIF Plan were approved in 2001, addressing the use of TIF revenues for projects within the Water Street project area. Please see the attached memo dated January 19, 2001, by Jennifer Goulet, past Director of the YDDA, regarding the intent for the TIF capture after that development plan is complete. Hopefully this will address concerns regarding the future use of TIF revenue from development on Water Street.

    Development Updates:

    I am pleased to add this section to the Water Street report. I will report on inquires and any other development action on this site. As of Thursday, August 7, 2008. There are three possible developments that are working with CBRE these include a grocery store, mixed- use residential/retail building, and senior housing. As these or other possibilities continue to move forward I will keep you updated.

    It is important to remember there are many things that need to be completed on Water Street, however, rather than wait until everything is ready CBRE continues to seek developers for our site and work with the developers that have already shown interest. I look forward to sharing more with my September report. If there is anything that I missed or other items you would like to know about or in greater detail please do not hesitate to contact me at or (734) 743-7290.

  9. mark
    Posted December 14, 2008 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    It’s not a done deal yet, as I understand it, but since Steve Pierce is talking about it on his site I don’t suppose there’s any harm in my mentioning that the City is in negotiations with the Aldi grocery store chain to open a location at Water Street… As Steve also mentions, Burger King has expressed interest as well. It’s my understanding, however, that it’s not as far along as the Aldi deal…. As you all know, it would be my preference not to have chain stores in that location, but, given the state of our local economy, and the fact that the Water Street loans are coming due, I’m not going to complain. I may, however, spend a few minutes praying that the Burger King deal falls apart. I can live with a grocery chain, but more fast food is the last thing this city needs.

  10. anthony zora
    Posted March 30, 2017 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    i own a business on mi ave 1530 east mi ave , iam ready to develop if anyone is intersted.

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