Monday, September 18, 2017

Ypsilanti City Council holds special meeting for purpose of International Village & affordability discussion Monday evening September 18.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 Ypsilanti City Council held a special meeting Monday evening September 18 to discuss The International Village Development and affordable housing in Ypsilanti. The meeting was held at the Ypsilanti Freight house in Ypsilanti's Depot Town.

Ypsilanti City Council members listened to different perspectives relating to The International Village development on Water Street property. However, it was the HRC (Human Relations Commission) that drew the most attention at the beginning of Monday night's meeting, as several HRC members spoke out strongly against the new International Village development that would be built on the Water Street property. The HRC feels that The International Village will contribute to lack of affordability and gentrification in the city of Ypsilanti.

HRC member Amber Fellows came to the podium stating that she was not interested in catering to "international elites" who, in her opinion, would inhabit The International Village.

During the audience participation segment of the meeting several community members stated that The International Village would be extremely positive for the city sighting that there are opportunities for affordable in Ypsilanti currently. One resident who spoke made the point that International Village is not creating gentrification because there is nobody currently living on the vacant Water Street property, therefore, no one is being pushed out.

Approximately 150 to 200 people attended the City Council meeting at the Ypsi Freight house Monday night and it was obvious that residents on both sides of the fence are passionate about the issue of what is best for the city of Ypsilanti.

There will be another City Council meeting Tuesday night at the Ypsilanti Freight house. The agenda for Tuesday's 7 pm regular meeting will include a  review of the status of the 120 day Due Diligence Feasibility study, according to City Council member Beth Bashert. Further, the developer of the International Village will be in attendance.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Members of audience hold signs that read, Whose City? Our City!


  1. International elites *will* inhabit International Village, as stated by the City Council: EB-5 visas require a $500,000 investment at minimum.

    Several people present vocally supported the project, but the overwhelming majority clearly urged for delay or rejection of the project as it stands.

    The idea that this isn't gentrification because it's an empty lot relies on a simplistic, literal definition of displacement, ignoring broader forces in the housing market and elsewhere.

    This is disingenuous, poor reporting.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Video of the entire meeting:

    3. Don't blame the reporter dude, he clearly wrote "one resident who spoke made the point..." So we know that EB-5 funding is the mechanism for this development, but my new question is: is it right to assume that wealthy foreigners would actually be the main inhabitants of this development? Do we actually know that? Lots of NIMBY feelings coming out before we even understand the ramifications here.

    4. I appreciate your comment, Ross.


    5. Never mind to my question above. Just did a lot more digging to read past city council actions and statements towards this project. They, for the most part, have been forcefully against including any requirements of affordable housing for this project. It appears a no-strings-attached open invite for whatever kind of project the developers want to build. Meanwhile our mayor and council are on a free sightseeing trip to China as I type this, getting wined and dined by the developers. Yuck.