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Sep 10

On A Mission From G_d

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

Those crazy kids from Joseph Freed and Associates LLC are in the news again. This time they are on the winning end of a judicial ruling recommending that two historic homes in Ann Arbor be demolished as part of their $30M Glen Ann Place project.Joseph Freed was also on the receiving end of some bad publicity in Chicago back in February of 2003 when they knocked down the National-Register-listed Plymouth Hotel to build a Borders bookstore and 37 condominiums. The Plymouth Hotel was built in 1912 and is most famous for being part of Charlie Chaplin’s first movie. It was also the scene for the first night Jake and Elwood Blues spent on Jake’s first night out of jail from Joliet Prison in the “Blues Brothers.” To be fair, the Plymouth Hotel was considered a flophouse and was so close to the tracks for Chicago’s L, the rooms shook when the train went by. Regardless, the National Register is the National Register. [ed. note: Ypsilanti is sorely lacking in NR sites.]

Joseph Freed is also the only legitimate suitor the City of Ypsilanti has for its fabled Water Street Project. Luckily for the City of Ypsilanti, there are no historic structures still standing on the proposed Water Street site. Luckily for Freed and Associates, they won’t have to spend any time in the courts getting the permission to knock those historic buildings down.

In defense of Joseph Freed, do these two buildings really have “historic” value? They were probably built in the 1880s or 1890s. They probably weren’t owned or slept in by anyone too terribly famous. They probably aren’t even the best examples of their style in Ann Arbor. So what’s the big deal?

To be honest, I don’t really care. I don’t live in Ann Arbor, but I appreciate they are trying to increase property tax revenues and increase the number of affordable housing units.

The only thing I care about is seeing this calculator for Water Street filled out correctly.

Once you fill it out, please email it to me, and I’ll compile them all. Please send me your assumptions too.

For what’s it’s worth, I’m assuming $20M in total investment for six calendar years beginning in 2008 and ending in 2013. I’m also assuming that 10% of that investment is commercial, non-homestead with the remaining 90% being owner occupied. ‘ll admit that’s a pretty wild-ass guess, but considering the large amount of rental properties in town, I do not envision seeing a very large number of non-owner-occupied properties in Water Street. It should be pointed out, however, the more non-homestead properties in Water Street, the more tax revenue we’ll be able to collect as part of the Brownsfield TIF capture.

With the Planning Department’s top three priorities being Water Street, Water Street, and Water Street, this exercise should be a breeze.

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