Water Street disappears from City’s Website

January 1, 2007 by  
Filed under News

City plans to bring project clean-up in-house

(January 1, 2007) All traces of the City’s struggling Water Street project have disappeared from the City of Ypsilanti’s website.

For over three years there was a link on the right side of the City’s website that took the reader to documents about Water Street including the always changing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), design plans, project updates, Brownfield plan, amended development agreement, schedules, and tax and bond information.

The City announced in early December that the second developer chosen by the city had backed out of the project leaving the city with an ever growing mountain of debt and no immediate prospects. A week later, city officials pulled all Water Street information from the city’s website.

City officials are now saying that they will bring the development in house by first finishing the clean-up of the property. The City is estimating that it will cost $1.5 million dollars to remove the rest of the buildings and they want to complete that work in 2007.

Consultants familiar with the project believe the city is under estimating the true clean-up costs. Biltmore, which was the first developer chosen by the city, had wanted the city to clean the property before they began development. At that time, Biltmore and city consultants had estimated that it could be as much as $10 million to complete the clean-up and build the infrastructure including roads and sewers. However, the design and number of units ultimately built will greatly impact the final infrastructure costs for roads and sewers.

In comparing similar Brownfield projects from around the state, a rough estimate on the costs of clean-up is about $100,000 per acre or an estimated $3.8 million for the 38 acre Water Street site. At a minimum, the City is likely under-estimating the costs to demolish the remaining the buildings and remove the contamination by at least $2 million.

Links for the proposed City Income Tax, which was tabled by City Council in August 2005 are still on the city’s website.

You can use Archive.org to find old documents from the City’s website about Water Street.

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