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State funding could help clean up Water Street in Ypsilanti, attract developer

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Jorge Avellan
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89.1 WEMU
Water Street Redevelopment Area

The vacant property on Water Street in downtown Ypsilanti has received $4.3 million from the state. The money will cover the costs of cleaning up contamination with the hopes of attracting a developer.

Developing Water Street, a 38-acre property located between Michigan Avenue and the Huron River, has been on the wish list of politicians and residents for years. But the contamination of lead and other industrial chemicals on the site have made it difficult to develop.

The funding was earmarked by State Senator Jeff Irwin in the latest state budget. The 18th District representative says if the contamination is taken care of, it opens the door to numerous possibilities for the city like a public project…

“...or to bring in a developer who can include a whole lot more public amenities and elements that are important to the community because they won’t have to carry that burden of also paying for the environmental costs.”

The City of Ypsilanti tells WEMU they are in contact with a developer for Water Street. However, no formal agreement is in place.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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