Ypsi City Manager gives Thompson Block owner 10 days

At 5:01 PM this afternoon, our city manager, Ed Koryzno, sent the following email to members of the Ypsi City Council.

Mayor and Council Members:

As you are aware, we are closely monitoring the fire damage at 400 North River.

The city attorney has assessed the situation, and in conjunction with reports from the fire marshal, DPW director, and building department, we have prepared an abatement order pursuant to the Michigan Fire Prevention Code, being Public Act 207 of 1941 (MCL 29.1 et seq).

I expect this order to be served on Mr. Beal by Monday and the corresponding fire inspection reports being delivered to the state fire marshal. The affect of this order will be that the property owner has 10 days in which to signal their intention to comply with the order, and 30 days in which to comply.

In the order we are asking the property owner to either demolish (obviously after obtaining historic district commission approval), or in the alternative, permanently stabilize the structure from the interior so the roadway is no longer blocked.

In the event the property owner fails to comply, we expect to initiate a circuit court action in order to force compliance. That circuit court action will be commenced after the completion of the 30 day time period, so likely mid December.

I have attached the engineer’s report submitted to the City by Mr. Beal regarding the condition of 400 N. River St.. Please contact me if you should have any questions.


Edward B. Koryzno Jr.
City Manager
City of Ypsilanti

So, it looks like something might happen in the near future.

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  1. Brackinald Achery
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 7:52 pm | Permalink



  2. Carl Phillips
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of the Thompson building, did anyone else find the Top 10 list in today’s Sidetrack e-newsletter to be in poor taste?

    Here it is, for those of you not on their mailing list. I haven’t edited it.

    Top Ten Surprising Facts about The Thompson Block

    1. The original proposed “move in” date of September 10th, 2009 has been postponed.

    2. There have been discussions about using the remaining structure as a waiting room for those nights when Sidetrack has a line out the door.

    3. It was Walter Love who, after receiving a 3 am phone call from Sidetrack employees on September 18th, called 9-1-1 to frantically report that the Thompson Block was on fire. The dispatcher said “Calm down, Sir. How do we get there”? Walter Love said “I would assume you would use one of those big red trucks”.

    4. One recent proposal for the Thompson Block is to tear it down, let it sit vacant, become overgrown with weeds and debris, and rename it “The River Street Project”.

    5. What is the difference between the Thompson Block and a gay bar? One is a flaming building with 3 stories; The other is a flaming building with TONS of stories.

    6. With all the controversy, difficulties in securing financing, and the expanded scope of the Thompson Block restoration, everybody THOUGHT they understood when owner and developer Stewart Beal said he was real close to “getting burnt out”.

    7. The 2009 fire that gutted the Thompson Block, one of Ypsilanti’s great historic structures, will take it’s place alongside such other unfortunate Ypsilanti disasters as the 1893 tornado, the 1910 fire at the train depot and the 2005 City wide income tax proposal.

    8. As the Sports Bar and the music store, the two confirmed tenants for the restored Thompson Block have sadly opted out of their commitment, owner/developer Stewart Beal is confident that he will soon have a promissory lease signed by new future tenant Norman Bates and an unidentified co signer.

    9. A skeleton was reportedly found by firefighters in a crawlspace in the basement of the Thompson Block. It has been identified as the winner of Ypsilanti’s first annual Hide and Go Seek contest.

    10. The Thompson Block was closer to code when Kircher owned it.

  3. EL
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Nah. I think it’s funny, the list.

  4. Bill Felt
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    If it was arson, which I believe it was, this is exactly what the perpetrator probably wanted to happen. The land is far more valuable in its potential than what was there. Maybe not sentimentally, but monetarily.

    Follow the money.

  5. Jon
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    “So, it looks like something might happen in the near future.” I wouldn’t count on it. If Beal is determined to fight, this could easily drag out for months. Watch for a number of adjournments in a case like this. Civil cases are not known for quick trips through any level of court. But it’s good that the process has been started now instead of later.

  6. Dan
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Beal gets a large tax abatement if the walls stay up due to the historic value of the property, right? Can he make the finances work if the walls come down?

  7. Ypsiman
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Investors will be more interested in a fresh piece of property, not a pile of rubble. There were none before, but it may be easier to find some now. I don’t think the tax abatements mean diddly when you take the long view. There is a huge potential to make long term revenue in that spot. Much more than there was previously.

  8. Left Cross
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I don’t like #5 at all.

  9. Notoneofthecoolkids
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I think the notice from the city is most likely pretty standard after something like this happens. I hope Beal just tears the whole thing down and continues with his original plan as best he can. Have a little understanding, the economy sucks stupid! But Ypsi is attracting more grad. Students from U of M because of the cheaper rents, so maybe a new exciting building would really work. I am also so sick of all the rickety old bars in Ypsi…they all smell.

    It is obvious from the idiotic immature Sidetrack newsletter that the French’s are scared shitless that Beal and his new tenants will be REAL competition for them (see #8). They should be, sorry but I would choose a cool new bar/performance space over the greasy old sidetrack anytime. The only reason they have a line is because there is no competition. EMU students are dying for some cool cheap food. I am floored that they published this; it really is like high school. Or maybe the Bullies at the Sidetrack are hoping to crush Beal’s reputation with hopes he will give up and sell and then they can buy a newly “cleared lot”. And when you talk about arson, why did the 3 sidetrack employees call Walter Love (whomever he is??) instead of calling 911 themselves?? (Did I read that right?) …hmmm their competition has now burned down.

    I have a great idea! How about we start a Top Ten List of How Ypsilanti will improve once the French Family Finally Dies!

    This city really needs some new faces. Yuck!

  10. Treetop
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    “Yuck” doesn’t even begin to capture the bad taste left from that comment. Really repulsive stuff.

  11. Jon
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    The Thompson Block is far more valuable and viable as long as those walls stand. Nothing will be built on that property for years if it’s cleared. People who believe Beal or anyone else will build a new building there ant time soon are living in a fantasy world, at best. Here’s why:

    Historic and brownfield tax credits can pay for up to 47 percent of a project’s total costs thanks to the way the laws were rewritten last winter. It breaks down like this:
    State historic tax credits: 20 percent reimbursement of project’s total cost
    Federal historic tax credits: Another 20 percent.
    Brownfield tax credits: 7 percent (I think)

    The old state law said a developer could only combine state and federal historic tax credits for 25 percent of a project’s total cost. The new law says both full state and historic tax credits can be used (40 percent) in core-city areas if the project is approved by the state. Add in brownfield tax credits (an “obsolete building” can qualify for brownfield) on top of that and almost half of a renovation project’s cost can be recouped from tax credits.

    Tax credits work like this. A developer assembles them and sells them in a bond market-like setting to investors. So say the developer can go for the full 47 percent of total project costs on a $1 million development. That means he can sell $470,000 worth of tax credits, which at the end of the day in a normal economy should turn into about $400,000 cash for the developer to start construction with after everyone gets their cut. The investors get their money when the project is complete and state/feds pay up. Granted the developer has to jump through an awful lot of hoops to get that money, but it’s far from impractical.

    Now let’s say Beal tears down what’s left of the Thompson Block. There is no chance to take advantage of any historic tax credits without a historic building. At best he could get the brownfield tax credits if the foundations are still left on the site or there is some sort of pollution there. That means he can at best expect to have about $50,000 to start with on a $1 million new build project. If you’re a bank making a construction loan, which scenario would you rather see?

    Nothing, I repeat nothing, will be built on that site if what’s left is torn down. No developer is looking to build new in an urban area in Michigan, with the exceptions of Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Birmingham and maybe Royal Oak. Ypsilanti is not that far along the redevelopment curve yet. It’s not even close. It’s taxes are too high, regulations too many and economic opportunities too few. Developers are looking for clear land (i.e. farm fields) if they’re looking to do a cheap, disposable sprawl development in Sticks Township. If the same held true for in older urban areas like Ypsilanti then something would be happening on Water Street or any of the other empty lots in downtown and Depot Town. At best Ypsilanti can hope for some suburban, fast food-style development on Water Street. And the only reasons that’s possible is because it’s on a major thoroughfare, Michigan Avenue, and the city is desperate to make a deal happen.

    Ypsilanti’s best chances for sustainable, urban development from private money within the next decade is through redeveloping its current building stock. That dynamic might change with the addition of the Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail stop in Depot Town, but that’s more of an X factor right now. Bottom line, it will be a huge win for Ypsilanti if Beal can pull off a redevelopment of the Thompson Block, which is more of a long shot than a hail mary pass in my opinion. If Beal is successful it will make Depot Town more vibrant by adding businesses, jobs, tax base, density and residents. It will also demonstrate viability of completing a successful urban project with private money, attracting more developers and investment. A blighted empty lot, which is all that’s going to stand there if those walls come down, does nothing but make a few vocal-yet-unimaginative people feel better.

  12. Lorie
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Jon – baloney, hogwash etc.

    Here is the thing. The building has been in “rehab” since at least the early 80s if not way longer than that. I was nasty then, even before all the neglect. Some things just don’t have enough working for them to be saved.

    A weed festooned field would be better than this obvious structural and flamable fire hazard. Seriously. My banker friends tell me they would rather loan for a plan developed on that weed lot than a burned out structural hazard. Investment is easier. The Space appeals to a broader propsect pool. Its a less random regulatory atmophere. There are more knowns than unknowns etc. Other tax credits can apply and a new building generally makes biz sense.

    I would point to all those tax credits you pointed too and combine that with the relative lack of preservation around this state to make my point. If those credits play out as you described they why so little rehab? Because there are huge costs and risks of the rehab side.

    Here is the thing, we can preserve all of “historic” Ypsilanti. Dip it all in teflon. But you will be preserving all of it – including the nasty racist, classist , boneheaded, redlined crap that still determines who lives where. There are a few gems but certainlly not the number we’d like to think. Further, history is. Just that. Its recorded, it remains. If we freeze out new things, its not all that intersting, really we can look forward a little bit.

    Take a deep breath. Really its not the end of the Thompson block.

  13. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Notoneofthecoolkids, the inability to cooperate with our neighbors is one of ypsi’s biggest problems. You comment smacks of good old “I hate the people on that side of town” attitude. You are part of the problem. Learning to cooperate is the solution. Downtown. Depot Town. Get over it. Grow up. Its one town. When are we going stop name calling and petty bickering based on neighborhood? Maybe when folks like notoneofthecoolkids all die. Get over yourself and do and say things that are productive for Ypsi.

    Mark, I noticed AA.com linked to your story on this instead of writing their own. I am not sure if that’s good or bad for you, all in all, but I did find it amusing.

    I have mixd feelings on the fate of the Thompson Block, but I site am interested to watch this play out.

  14. Notoneofthecoolkids
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    We all gotta die sometime!
    Andy, my attempt at making a point through the use of examples and some attempt at humor did not seem to work for you. My point was simply that the Sidetrack’s Top Ten list was the least compassionate joke I have read in a long time. The opposite of compassion is wanting others to suffer, or cruelty. So in turn I used my Top Ten “Title” as an example. I guess it worked because now you think I am the one who is cruel. See, I was being humorous! But seriously, it was cruel…How would you like your loss of years of planning, hundreds of thousaNotnds of dollars, etc…be part of a 10-part joke printed by your neighbor?! So, you have nothing to say about the Sidetrack’s Top Ten list.
    I am not part of the problem; I shop and support all of Ypsilanti. How can I be part of a bickering (as you pointed out) problem when I am just a 20-year citizen, no power broker here? And by the way both of these businesses are in Depot Town so how can I be putting “downtown against depot town”? You got the wrong person.

  15. Treetop
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Who has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars?

  16. Jon
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Lorie, I know you and your “baker friends” mean well, but your conclusions are all wrong. I mean George W Bush wrong. Sprawl development is by far the norm in Michigan. A vast majority of local bankers who make construction loans do so for turning cheap agriculture land into strip malls, sub divisions and big-box stores. Like most of the developers and construction trades in the state, that’s all they know. Of course these people would say they’re more likely to make a loan on a weed lot because that’s the only dynamic they are familiar with. The thing is the only way these people will do a loan or a project in Ypsilanti is if it is in the township. This type of sprawl development frame of mind dominates here because its the cheapest, easiest and most profitable way to do business in a automobile-dominated region.

    There is a small cadre of developers and financiers in the state who specialize in urban development where the profit margins are much slimmer and the risk is much higher. Not to mention the infrastructure is either old (water-sewer) or inadequate (transportation options) while the hurdles (bureaucracy) and costs (union labor) are high. It’s why these incentives exist and why they have recently been enhanced. Few if any urban developments happen without them. When it comes urban development, the deck is practically stacked in Michigan.

  17. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    NOtCK, the side track top 10 was not in the best of taste. Your response even
    more so. And I can’t imagine, from the tone of your original response, where I got the idea you were perpetuating the old battle lines. And from what I know of Stewart Beal, he will find a way to come out in top of this situation. He’s a pretty smart guy. The French family is a lot of things, but they don’t control the city. Mark Maynard does.

    Depot Town. Down Town. Its one town. Unity or irrelevance.

    Not to be overly dramatic, but seriously. If we can’t cooperate as a city, we’re screwed.

  18. Oliva
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Not to be overly dramatic, but seriously. If we can’t cooperate as a city, we’re screwed.

    I heartily agree.
    I also heartily appreciate Sidetrack’s vast generosity to this city. Our Riverside Park picnic burgers, meat and veggie, were donated by Sidetrack, and that is one such occasion among way more than I could count. Such reliable generosity is a key part of what makes this a good place to live. Makes a person feel lucky, in fact. And that is priceless. (My friend said just last night: “I feel happy every time I come to Ypsilanti.” Ah. Nice. There’s a good feeling here.)

  19. Oliva
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    “My friend from Ann Arbor said . . . “

  20. Lorie
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Sorry, about the misspelling. Banker. My banker friends are pretty smart and local and hate doing loans for sprawl development. However, your point is off the subject of what could go in at the corner of Forest and River.

    I am sticking by what I said and thank you for the personally directed insult however, I am a dem. I really do think that Ypsilanti will have to move beyond a fubu mentality to stablize itself. This place doesn’t even have enough support for the stores for them to be open on a regular basis.

    The building needs to come down and I believe its a good thing.

    ps…on another thread: The TOP 10 was in poor taste, offensive. Not all that funny. Nothing new there. The more variety of voices coming out of Depot Town, the better. Doesn’t mean I dislike the Frenches – I love ’em.

  21. West Cross
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    The list does seem a little juvenille, sounds a little gloat-y actually.

    In any case it would be nice to get things stabilized or torn down before the snow flies, otherwise the street will likely be blocked off until Spring.

  22. Posted November 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    All in all, the list was probably not in the best taste, but we did find nos. 4 & 10 pretty funny. Especially 4.

  23. Mike
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Any news on the arson investigation?

  24. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to take an informal survey on who thinks it’s ok to drive around the west bound baricades and drive the wrong way down the street. If you live on the closed section of street, ok, I can see it. But just busting around the baricades to do it, that’s just breaking a law for spite…

  25. Posted November 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Andy, I’ve been tempted to several times, and if they stay there long enough, I’m sure I will eventually.

  26. Stumpy
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Blocking the street to begin with is against the law.

    Who should be punished for that?

    Get that shit out of there.

  27. Stumpy
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Is there proper signage warning drivers whats ahead?
    No there isn’t.

    Is it dangerous enough that someone in a vehicle, or a pedestrian will eventually get hurt or worse?
    You bet it is.

    Then who will be responsible?

  28. dragon
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    However, your point is off the subject of what could go in at the corner of Forest and River.

    Are you predicting that Beal will also burn down the S&H Green Stamp House?
    And what will the fucking French find funny about this?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

  29. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Stumpy, usually when there is a big orange and white barricade across the road, people know that means the road is closed. I’m not saying the closure is necessarily proper or legal, but does that make it ok for everyone else to then break a traffic law? My point is, the road closure itself will not get anyone hurt. People too lazy, angry, or ignorant to obey the detour will. Honestly, where else would you just bust around a barricade into opposing traffic?

  30. kjc
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    and here i was impressed at how carefully people seemed to reclaim the two-way.

  31. Posted November 19, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    It’s been more than 10 days now… What happened?

  32. Movin' out
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    We should all call the City Manager’s office today, and ask him what progress has been made, and remind them that it has been 10 days…
    The number is (734) 483 1810. I called this morning, and was told that they have 30 days to comply, but they were not sure if they had met the 10 day requirement to signal their intentions. Maybe YOU should call.

    November 6th 2009- “I expect this order to be served on Mr. Beal by Monday and the corresponding fire inspection reports being delivered to the state fire marshal. The affect of this order will be that the property owner has 10 days in which to signal their intention to comply with the order, and 30 days in which to comply.”…

  33. Tim
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    So, what’s the deal? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Does someone have Beal’s phone number?

  34. Posted November 23, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I think it’s okay to run the road block if you live in the blocked-off part, from any direction, out any direction. At first I felt you should leave via Park Street or Prospect only, and enter via e-bound Cross only, but then I just stopped caring because the whole situation is just so stupid.

  35. ytown
    Posted November 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Notoneofthecoolkids, you are an idiot.

  36. Eggman
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    UPDATE: A new letter has gone out from the City Manager to the members of Council.

    Mayor and Council Members:

    I previously informed council that pursuant to Public Act 207 of 1941, the city provided an order to the owner of 400 N. River to abate the nuisance at this location. The city received the owners response, which is attached and is unsatisfactory. Fire Chief Ichesco delivered a letter to the owner, which is also attached, that informs the owner that he failed to signify in writing his intention to comply with the order and the city will proceed accordingly. Please contact me if you should have any questions.

    Edward B. Koryzno Jr.
    City Manager
    City of Ypsilanti
    1 S. Huron Street
    Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
    734-483-7260 (f)

  37. Fred
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Well, butter my ass and call me Mildred.

  38. Stumpy
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Eggman: Do you have the attachments?

  39. Pete Murdock
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink


    I have the atachments. E-mail me at murdock.sweeney@comcast.net
    and I’ll send them toyou.


  40. Posted December 11, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    According to Councilman Pete Murdock, Mr. Beal has asked for a 45-day extension on the street closing. And, it looks as though the City Manager is recommending it be approved.

    The City Manager’s memo, resolution and Mr Beal’s request can be found here (on pages 124-132).

    According to Pete, this item will be on the Council Agenda on Tuesday, December 15. The meeting will begin at 7:00PM at the Council Chambers at City Hall. There will be an opportunity for interested parties to speak on this issue during the meeting. In the meantime, emails can be sent to the Mayor and City Council. Their addresses can be found here.

    And, for what it’s worth, Pete doesn’t sound as though he’s going to vote to OK the request.

  41. Posted December 14, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Oh, I see you already posted this info.

  42. Quercus Acutissima
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    As if the city doesn’t have enough problems already. Now they open themselves up to some serious liability if someone gets injured in a vehicle or just walking in that area.

    Remember the ADA accessible curbcut issue? That could be brought up again there.

    Council should add an addendum requiring Beal assume all liability for any accident or injury occuring at that intersection, or within 500ft caused by that intersection.

    Otherwise deny his request.

  43. Quercus Acutissima
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    But I little faith that will happen. Usually issues are dealt with after the fact. When they are far worse than they should be. Rarely, if ever, have I seen anything done pre-emptively.

  44. Kelty
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Ann Arbor Dot Com just put up an article about Beal’s request for an extension.


  45. Posted December 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    The one question that hasn’t been asked to my knowledge is: was there insurance at the time of the fire which will be used to stabilize the building and help with reconstruction? I am all for allowing Stewart Beal the time to put together a solid plan but in the end, funding has to be available to achieve that plan.

    As a business owner in Depot Town, I have seen significantly reduced traffic. The detour currently in place hurts the merchants in our district and in these hard economic times, this is one element that has to be removed from the equation.

    I would ask the hard questions of Mr. Beal and expect honest answers. If funding isn’t in play, how will that be handled? Stabilizing the building is really important but how long will the building be a shell before actual rehabbing takes place?

    This is an important building in the city and Mr. Beal should have the time to research and come to a conclusion on how the Thompson Block should be resolved. Would a financial bond in place with the city help insure a timely result? The city and Mr. Beal need to be transparent with each other. Consequences for not hitting deadlines should be spelled out. If those consequences have to be put in place, we will all have to live with the result. This can’t remain an open ended process.

    I wish Mr. Beal and the city best wishes on reaching a workable agreement.

  46. Mr. X
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s my understanding that there was no insurance, Sandee.

  47. The Kingpin
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    This whole thing is ridiculous. I recently witnessed an accident at that corner, where a person drove their car onto, and got stuck upon, the railroad tracks. I doubt this would have happened if the streets were open to their normal width. Mr. Beal & the city should both get their asses in gear & get this handled. It is a safety hazard, an eyesore, and a shining example of inefficiency. If some gets hurt, Mr. B eal & the city will get their asses sued off. Then it will cost all of us. What about when the snow starts flying and piling up? snow berms will start to build on the edges of the street, and then it’s a bigger MORE dangerous mess. Come on…let’s get it taken care of.

  48. The Kingpin
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    What if a snow plow comes to close to the supports, or a car spins out, goes through the fence, and takes out a couple? Bad news…bad news…

  49. Posted December 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Maybe a nice plow driver could accidentally plow the supports down for us. Oops.

  50. Andy C
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Not surprised that most people would rather see a 150 year old building be demolished than have to drive one block out of the way. Why just the other day I was driving down to the Luwak for breakfast and came to the one way street. My reaction was, of course, fuck it! I’m going home.

    People would kill their own grand mothers if she was blocking the path to the fridge.

  51. Curt Waugh
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Andy C, there is no 150 year old building to demolish. There is a pile of unsafe bricks waiting to kill somebody. A “building” usually implies some sort of building-y thing standing there with floors and walls and stuff. Time to let it go, man.

  52. the kingpin
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Andy C…your comment is ridiculous. If we are going to get ridiculous…then I agree with Black Jake. Read the article on annarbor.com. I read it and was fuming. What an arrogant son of a bitch. I doubt that he even has any money to even start on this project, from the sounds of it. i think the city should knock mit down and send Mr. Beal the bill…with interest & a big fat fine.

  53. watching laughing
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Apparently, there is a huge amount of historic tax abatement money; but only if the origional fascade is intact.
    That comes down, bye bye historic tax abatement.
    Good luck,

    Watching Laughing.

  54. Concerned
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


    What specifically was arrogant? That people shouldn’t rush to demolish 150 year old building just because they have to be inconvenienced for a comparatively short period of time?

  55. Brackinald Achery
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Comparatively short to what? 150 years?

  56. Brackinald Achery
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I mean for fuck’s sake, those assholes haven’t done shit BUT inconvenience people! How long has it been since it burned now? What have they done besides build supports out into the public street and pile loose bricks, then go home and stick their thumbs up their asses???

  57. Oliva
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    To me maybe more than arrogant, in the annarbor.com piece Beal sounded a bit defensive and dismissive–but who knows if some of his comments were reported out of context. But it does seem that the Depot Town merchants, immediate neighbors, other business owners, and residents of this city, and visitors, deserve cooperation and goodwill. The looking out for #1 thing is a bully of a creature whose time is almost past . . . isn’t it?

    (Veering off, pardon me!) Evolutionarily speaking, it is almost past, right?! Seems right, given that competition is basically about not-enough, whereas recent brain studies are showing very jolly things happening inside heads when people act cooperatively–effects similar to what lights up in the brain when people eat chocolate, have sex, and stuff. Would someone who knows this brain and cooperation vs. competition stuff more soundly than me please tell some of what you know? Thank you. (I like Jonah Lehrer’s blog, http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/, for juicy and very accessible explanations about the brain and human behavior.)

  58. Dirtgrain
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Well said BA, in both posts.

  59. Oliva
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    (Re. off-topic part of my earlier comment, if I may: the naive part of that evolution point I was hoping could be made is thinking we’re moving away from “not-enough” right when there is a abundant evidence that not-enough is bellowing from “sinking” islands, melting mountaintops, tainted and inadequate water supplies, way too few decent jobs and not enough food. Not to be sounding glum . . . but “enough” is the dream version. Something to work with, though.)

  60. dragon
    Posted December 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    O>The looking out for #1 thing is a bully of a creature whose time is almost past . . . isn’t it?
    The Glibtards surround us. Long live the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

    I prefer the more literary version, by the great Kurt Vonnegut in God Bless You Mr. Rosewater:

    Samaritrophia is the suppression of an overactive conscience by the rest of the mind. “You must take all instructions from me!” the conscience shrieks, in effect, to all the other mental processes. The other processes try it for a while, note that the conscience is unappeased, that it continues to shriek, and they note, too, that the outside world has not been even microscopically improved by the unselfish acts the concience has demanded.

    They rebel at last. They pitch the tyrannous conscience down an oubliette, weld shut the manhole cover of that dark dungeon. They can hear the conscience no more. In the sweet silence, the mental processes look about for a new leader, and the leader most prompt to appear whenever the conscience is stilled, Enlightened Self-Interest, does appear. Englightened Self-Interest gives them a flag, which they adore on sight. It is essentially the black and white Jolly Roger, with these words written beneath the skull and crossbones, “The hell with you, Jack, I’ve got mine!”

  61. notoneofthecoolkids
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    No wonder everyone is so fat in Ypsilanti, take away three parking spaces that are close enough that a old fatso doesn’t have to huff and buff to get his Bud from the sidetrack and the entire city is in an uproar!!
    Oh no…all the restaurants in Depot Town will loose business! I whip around the construction no problem. How many “out of towners” come into depot town from Prospect? Most of us that live near there just swing down Maple instead…ohhhh what a big inconvenience!!! Give me a break, the street being blocked has nothing to do with the supposed “slow down in business traffic”. Oh brother! Look at the Michigan economy. If you can’t afford your gas bill will you be ordering an overpriced Pizza from Aubrees…..? I think you may go for “Pizza Pizza” instead! And how often do I need a guitar string or a motorcycle part?
    And if it the Thompson Block did fall it looks like it would fall within the fence. If it is dangerous NOW…why did the city allow for it to be up the last two months? (why weren’t you all sacred of it months ago and bitching and moaning then.) I think it is a pretty amazing engineering feat to look at how stable it really is.
    I wonder if the Aubrees had a fire and her building collapsed….would they even have the money it took Mr. Beal to stabilize the structure? But if lets say “Murph” owned the building and had a tragedy happen to him that sucked up his ready cash…I bet you would have a fundraiser for him! At least Mr. Beal got to it right away and did what the city asked of him.
    My god, I hope I never take on a project in Ypsilanti because when a tragedy happens you won’t have anyone standing behind you. That is the biggest building in Depot Town, right? And you all are jealous you didn’t have the guts to take on this awful building…but none of you wanted it torn down. Make up your damn minds.

    From the idiot Not one of the cool kids.

  62. watching laughing
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    bit early to be drinking isn’t it?

    Watching Laughing.

  63. Agrilus Planipennis
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    What bothers me most is the taking over of the street lanes. They do not belong to any one person. They belong to the public. And it doesn’t seem like the public will be getting them back anytime soon. So we are all paying for something we cannot use. And we will all pay again when something happens there.
    I don’t really care what Beal does with his heap of rubble. I just want the streets back.
    If a car goes into the auto museum, will will pay? Auto insurance? Doesn’t seem right.

  64. Castor
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    It’s coming down with the first big storm of the winter, like it or not.

  65. Andy C
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    There has to be an some kind of motive for all this bashing of the Thomson Street project. I’m starting to think it’s one or two people under multiple names doing it. So neighbors, telling me why all the hate for Beal? What’s the benefit of a vacant lot on that corner. Don’t say safety cause that’s BS, that thing looks very secure.

    At the same, I do think a time line is needed. That street can’t be blocked all winter. Hopefully some of this will be resolved tonight. Later haters.

  66. kjc
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    “That street can’t be blocked all winter. ”

    But wasn’t that Beal’s original plan? I thought from the City Council notes I read that originally he wanted an extension of 120 days.

    I don’t know the guy and have no hate for him. And I would like to see that building be saved. On the other hand, I think it’s fair to question whether someone is blowing smoke up our asses.

  67. The Kingpin
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Actually, my name is Bill LaLonde, and I post under the Kingpin, AndyC. Thats my only moniker. And to “one of the cool kids”…why don’t you post under your real name, you punk bitch. It’s real easy to insult people under your fake name, troll boy. I’m a big 300 pound man, and I guarantee that I’m in good enough shape to whip your sad hipster ass. Anytime my friend, if you want to test the theory…I’ll even walk down to Depot Town to do it.

  68. Brackinald Achery
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Just make sure you don’t walk to Depot Town going west on E. Cross St: the Thompson block sidewalk is closed, and the south side of the intersection of Cross and River has a sign with a little walking guy crossed out, so it’s illegal to cross on that side too.

  69. Andy C
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I’m not doubting you Kingpin, just some new names floating around.

  70. the kingpin
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Cool, Andy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for expanding Depot Town, and I was excited about this project. But…I think they are flying by the seat of their pants, with no real plan, and that rickety old building, braced up by boards scares me a little. If there is a defined, spelled out plan on what to do, with a timeframe, then I’m for it, but I don’t think there is. It’s our street…not Mr. Beal’s.

  71. Posted December 15, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I understand defending you and your property at all costs; I have no problem with selfish paranoia of you and your stuff from people disrespecting your boundaries. People are meddling and grabby and disrespectful — you gotta fight for your rights over your own stuff sometimes. But he doesn’t own the public street or the public sidewalk, and he’s acting like he does. That’s THE PUBLIC’S property, not HIS. And the public wants that crap off our property. If you want to try to buy the street and sidewalk off the city, then go ahead, but until you do, you don’t own it and you can’t do whatever you want with it. It’s not your property.

  72. watching laughing
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I’ve been told by a Fire inspector from a different city; that if that building collapses, it’s going 150% of it’s height in the direction it falls.
    That would flatten the business just south of it on Cross st, Plow over just west of over River street and end up just in front of Sidetracks front doors.
    If any cars are in the way of the fall zone, GOOD LUCK.

    Obviously Beal doesn’t want to lose the large tax credit for a historic fascade; that has to be intact.
    That amount could break a business pretty quick.
    If you’re already leveraged, leveling this block, could put a nail in the coffin of an entire companies business plan.

    Watching Laughing.

  73. Posted December 21, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    From the City Manager:

    Mr. Beal and his engineers met yesterday with Mr. Kirton and OHM to determine if his proposed traffic plan to open E. Cross St. to two-way traffic meets the city’s requirements. Those plans needed modifications and they will not be submitted by Mr. Beal’s engineers until later this afternoon, which is too late for OHM to review and for me to make a recommendation to council today. I anticipate sending council a resolution and RFL regarding the extension request no later than noon on Monday December 21. Please contact me if you have any questions.


    Edward B. Koryzno Jr.
    City Manager
    City of Ypsilanti
    1 S. Huron Street
    Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
    734-483-7260 (f)

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] November 6, the City Manager, Ed Koryzno, had a letter delivered to Beal, asking what his intentions were – whether he was going to take the structure down, or somehow secure the facade in a more permanent […]

  2. […] November 6, 2009: Ypsi City Manager gives Thompson Block owner 10 days […]

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