Granholm to deliver giant check to Ypsilanti Freighthouse

As I think many of you know, John Dingell and Jennifer Granholm, among others, have been working these past several months to get the rehabilitation of our historic Freighthouse covered by federal stimulus funds. Well, word on the street is that they’ve been successful. According to several reputable sources, Representative Dingell and Governor Granholm will be in Ypsilanti this Friday morning, April 10, to present a very large check, which should be enough to see our beloved Freighthouse brought back up to code and reopened in time for the first train to stop when the Detroit – Ann Arbor line starts running in 2010…. And, I should add, this sum will be in addition to the $100,000 already pledged by the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation… So, please join me in giving a big Ypsilanti Thank You (and, no, that’s not a euphemism for something unspeakably awful) to John Dingell, Jennifer Granholm, the folks at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, and all the members of the Friends group who have worked so hard to make this happen.

This is a good day for Ypsilanti.


[note: I’ve been told the amount of the check, and I’ve confirmed it with my sources, but I don’t want to say it here and ruin the big surprise. I can say, however, with some certainty, that it will be enough to complete the Freighthouse repairs and see it reopened.]

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  1. dp in exile
    Posted April 8, 2009 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Dingell & Ms. Granholm: many thanks to two people who I very rarely say good things about. Seriously, if Mark’s post is correct, thank you for helping to get the Freighthouse open again.

  2. Posted April 8, 2009 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Wow. That is seriously awesome! Yet another reason for me to love Granholm.

  3. Posted April 9, 2009 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Wow! That’s awesome.

  4. Mark H.
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Any info on what kind of public event, if any, is being planned for the delivery of this check by Rep. Dingell and the Governor? When and where?

  5. Mr X
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    What if they raise more money than the need to repair the building? Will they be able to put the funds toward programming or staff?

  6. Zach
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Great news! I have good memories of going here as a kid.

  7. Pete Murdock
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Event Scheduled for 9:30AM on Friday, April 10 at the freight house.


  8. West Cross
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I can hope the check will be both giant in physical size and amount, Price is Right style.

  9. jean
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    This is great news! Mark, add this to your list of community achievements…. The little blog that could.

  10. Meta
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    The total has been announced:

    Michigan Communities Get Economic Boost from $47.3 Million in Transportation Enhancement Funding

    LANSING – Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. today announced that 67 communities in 27 Michigan counties will benefit from a total of $47.3 million in transportation enhancement (TE) funding. This total includes 22 projects funded through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). The funding will complete 176 miles of bike paths and paved shoulders; enhance local roadways in communities statewide with lighting, landscaping, sidewalks, crosswalks and other improvements; preserve a historic bridge and two historic rail facilities. The projects are planned for the 2009 and 2010 construction seasons and will create or retain more than 1,300 jobs.

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

    Transportation enhancement grants enable communities to invest in streetscape improvements, recreational path development and historic structure improvements. Local communities benefit from Recovery Act funding, because no local match is required.

    “We are pleased that our transportation enhancement program for 2009 has been expanded by federal recovery funds that allow us to partner with more cities, townships, villages, and road commissions to make improvements that enrich communities and create jobs” said state Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle.

    The following projects are listed by county:

    Washtenaw County
    The city of Ypsilanti will restore the historic Ypsilanti Freighthouse located in Depot Town. The project will include major structural improvements to the foundation, floor, walls, pilasters, roof and interior mechanical systems. These items, outlined in a Conditional Assessment Report, are required to re-open the 1878 facility, which is planned to serve as a community center, farmers market, café and education center. The budget for this Recovery Act project is $500,000.

  11. Kerri
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Wow, so cool!

  12. Burt Reynolds
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    A someone new to the area, can somebody tell me about the freighhouse. What was it? what is it proposed to be?

  13. Suzie
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    The freighthouse is/was Ypsi’s community meeting-ground. It was (is)(will be) the weekend home of the Ypsi farmer’s market, indoors & out. And it can(could) be rented for community events or private parties. Such as my wedding! ;) As for what the additional plans will be once it’s reopened, hopefully folks from the ‘Friends’ group will chime in.

  14. Posted April 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    We’ve always wanted to play a show there.

  15. Posted April 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

  16. Pat
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree with West Cross. The amount doesn’t concern me as much as the physical size of the actual check …

    Seriously, this is great news.

  17. Bob
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Winter farmers markets, just like they used to be, in the Freighthouse. Hope they happen again!

  18. Kurt A
    Posted April 10, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I just want to point out that the Friends of the Freighthouse and a lot of other people in the city need to be thanked. Without the years of hard work and dedication put in by these folks the Freighthouse would not have been looked at as a worthwhile investment. This money was a direct result of the community coming together and working towards a goal which the politicians acted on as they should have.

  19. Posted April 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m SOOO excited for the return of the Freighthouse. It was so much more to me than just a place to rent — I got my first big red recycling containers there. I danced my first contra dance there. I listened to HOURS of live music in the cafe there. I marveled at the incredible historic pictures there. I learned about compost from Gary Urich there. I did some of my first Ypsi networking there. I swooned over the wildflower gardens there. I attended and later led my first quilt group there (*every* Saturday for 2 years). I attended scads of meetings and concerts there. I performed with Out Loud Chorus there. And I just can’t wait to attend a Black Jake & the Carnies concert there!!!

  20. Elisabeth
    Posted April 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink


  21. Posted April 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Kurt, you are absolutely right.

    Thanks to all the Friends of the Freighthouse!

  22. Posted April 10, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Two quick things…

    One, Kurt says that we should thank the Friends of the Freighthouse – the implication being that I didn’t in my post. If you look at the post again, though, you’ll see that I did… And I linked to their site.

    Two, Jean credits me and the blog for this positive turn of events. And that’s not the case. As far as I know, I had nothing to do with this. I suppose you could give me some credit for the $100K that came from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, as I arranged for them to come to Ypsi and consider the Freighthouse, but, as far as I know, I had nothing to do with this. I don’t imagine all my blog posts hurt, but I don’t think that they really played a part in the decision.

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  1. […] and crossings. And Dearborn, after having built a new station, got their stop. And, here at home, volunteers worked to get our Freighthouse reopened, as discussions began about where we should build the platform. And, for whatever good it did, I […]

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