Sunday, June 11, 2017

THE INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE IN YPSILANTI...If you build it, they will come!

By Bob Resch. Purple Walrus Press.

I am a huge movie fan.  One of my favorite sports movie of all time is
FIELD OF DREAMS.  Kevin Costner's character was a dreamer much the
same as Walt Disney.  Both had a dream that was shot down by their
friends.  One had acreage in Iowa. The other in the Orlando, Florida
swamp land.  Both heard a voice in their head.


Since the recent news of the International Village project being
considered for the vacant 38 acres of Water Street in downtown
Ypsilanti, discussions group have gone wild with speculation.

Comments have run the gamut from it would be a good thing for the
community to Oh, my, it's an Asian Invasion, this can't be happening!!
 Displacing locals for foreigners....really?  Some people want a minor
league ballpark, or maybe a solar power field instead.  Will rents go
up?  Will property values go up or down?  Diversity.  Gentrification.
Clawback clauses.  The community interest is reaching a fever pitch.

Whew!!  Let's all step back.  Take a deep breath.  Relax and be happy
that at least someone is showing interest in the property.   For close
to 20 years, Water Street has been sick and lonely.  Shoved to the
side.   Given the cold shoulder.  Shunned.   Now, it has some new
life.  We should embrace it.   Beth Ernat, Director of Community and
Economic Development, sees it as being in line with local and regional
goals.  City Council awaits the 120 day "due diligence" study of the
land by the investment company with cautious optimism. 

I strongly urged Pete Murdock with the City Council to find a way to
delay the Water Street Millage vote in August until November.  Voters
would then know what's going on with International Village.  If the
Village is a go, it would start paying taxes  2020 or 2021 to cover
the bond payments till they were paid off in 2031.  Citizens would
only have to pay the 2.1 millage for a 3 year period until the Village
was up and running.

I am beginning to hear that voice.  It gets louder every day.  I
wonder if members of City Council and the community hear it as


Bob Resch.


  1. Useful background:

  2. This is perfect for that spot, why not? Take what you can get, Ypsi, unless you have a secret developer lined up for the site you're not telling us about...

  3. Ypsi should go into it with its eyes wide open. Get financial guarantees, lease the property, don't sell it. Done right, this could be a powerful economic driver for Ypsi. Done wrong, it could be a financial and social disaster, with an influx of people whose outlook is alien to everything and everyone in Ypsi.

    Also, why isn't this being proposed for Detroit, where surely the land and potential market is much stronger.