Thursday, August 11, 2016


Thursday morning it was brought to my attention that there are problems at the senior Towne Centre Place apartment building in downtown Ypsilanti. Towne Centre Place is a senior living apartment building located at 401 West Michigan Avenue. The issues I was informed about are in regard to serious elevator and air conditioning problems in the building. I was also informed of a meeting taking place Friday morning at 11 am regarding the issues in the building. The meeting is to be held in the buildings cafeteria.

I was told that I should contact Ypsilanti Meals On Wheels for more information regarding the elevator and air conditioning problems at the apartment building. I put in a call this morning to Meals On Wheels. The person who answered the phone stated that they didn't feel comfortable talking to the media about it and told me to call later and speak to the Director of Ypsilanti Meals On Wheels. When I called back I was told that the director left a note saying I should be referred to the City or the Ypsilanti Housing Commission.

Well from here the plot thickens. I spoke to someone at the Housing Commission who referred me to the Building department. I eventually spoke to an Ordinance Officer at the building Dept, but he referred me a department called Internal Issues or something similar to that. Obviously, its not easy to speak to anyone about the alleged issue at the senior building. I eventually ended up at the same place I began with in the phone tree.

I then contacted Jeff Linton who is the media relations person for Forest City, which is the company that manages Town Center Plaza. Linton knew nothing of any problems at the senior building here in Ypsilanti, though he said he would look into it and get in touch with me. Not holding my breath.

The last person I contacted was a gentleman in the leasing office at Town Center Plaza. He refused to make a comment.

Thursday afternoon I went over to Town Center Place and spoke to a resident of the complex in the parking lot who wished to remain anonymous. The resident told me that there are roaches and bedbugs in the building. The resident source also stated to me that half of the air conditioners are not working in the laundry room and some of the air conditioners are not working in the apartments. The resident also told me that the freight elevators were not working The resident also informed me of the meeting regarding the matters Friday morning at 11am. I was told that Legal Aid will be present for the meeting.

It certainly seems clear that something is not right here, and that seniors and residents with disabilities are having to face problems they should not be having to accept. Stay tuned for updates regarding this issue.

Jeff Brown
Purple Walrus Press.

Senior Town Center Place in Ypsilanti. Purple Walrus Press.


  1. Interesting how the left hand does know what right hand is doing! It is definitely TRUE about the problems...for 6 weeks the elevators have not worked...Towne Center is going to have a lawsuit on their time the EMTs cannot get to someone!!! Thanks for covering this!!

  2. I am a resident of Towne Centre Place. It is DEFINITELY TRUE about the problems and conditions here. The larger freight elevator has basically been shut down for 5-6 weeks and the passenger elevator has a sign that says "2 people at a time" then there is another picture of a power chair and the caption under that is "1 at a time". This building has 11 floors and 170 apartments. Sometimes we wait for up to 30 minutes to either go down or come up on the elevator, that is when it works! It is nothing for the small elevator to bread down 4-5 hours a day leaving people trapped in a elevator that is not air conditioned or has no circulation in it. It can be down for up to 4 hours which leaves people either stranded in the lobby, which is not air conditioned and crawling with roaches or you are stuck in your apartment and can't get down. It has caused serious problems with people that need medications delivered or medial attention as many of those people can not climb up all the stairs ( in a stairwell that is not air condition and very hot and humid). Channel 7 has been here twice and they were given the run around just like you were and not even wanted on the property. This is no way for anyone let alone handicapped seniors to have to live especially when Forest City is a 10 BILLION dollar company. They have posted a sign on all the floors Friday telling the tenants that they will be working on the elevators Sat. 8/13 and Sun. 8/14 and "hopefully if everything goes as expected" the elevators will be operational on Monday. Sounds like the time they told us that they ordered a new generator and it would be fixed ahead of time by that Fri. but when Friday came and went they then told us that the generator didn't work meanwhile the one elevator is only working part time. This is the problem, sure maybe they can get these elevators operational by Monday and that would be wonderful, but they are 40 years old. Even the Otis repairman has said that they aren't safe and need to be replaced. This repair is just a band aid and this problem will be happening again unless they have a plan for the near future to replace them one at a time. We pay our rent every month and if we don't we get evicted, but what do we get for doing that? Elevators that are broke down more than they work. Something isn't right with this picture! If you care to get an idea how many times these elevators break down you can go to the Ypsi Fire Dept. and ask for their log on the times they come over here. When Channel 7 did that Kim Russel was told that Ypsi had already reached out to other Departments in the area because if there were a fire with these conditions they would need help getting people out of the building safely. The calls to the Fire Department have lessened greatly in the past couple of weeks because our maintenance man has put his number in the elevator asking people to call him if they are stuck and Otis is here all day and part of the evening to get people out. I sure hope that SOMEONE will see the problem here and either put pressure on Forest City or sue them to make this a enjoyable place to live again.

    Thank you for all your help

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