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Historic downtown building to become "musical ecosystem" for Ypsilanti's creative community

After nearly 50 years, the historic downtown Ypsilanti building that housed antique store Materials Unlimited has new ownership. That new owner gathered a variety of musicians, artists, and community members to unveil her plans for a music venue that she calls her “love letter for Ypsi”.

A jam session was a fitting end to Friday’s gathering at 2 West Michigan Avenue right next to the Huron River. The tentative name for the three-floor building is “Two West”.

It is still in the planning stages, but this is the core plan for the roughly 17,000 square-foot facility: The main floor will be converted into a live performance and recording studio space. The upstairs will be a VIP lounge and a short-term rental space where artists have the option to stay overnight. And vinyl records will be pressed and sold in the basement.

When people spoke at the gathering, each of them had their own way of saying how this will be an important addition to the city’s musical and creative community.

Jamie Taralunga is the owner putting it all together.

“Essentially it’s a musical ecosystem that will allow musicians and artists, live performers a place to create, learn, teach, press, sell their music.”

With a building constructed in the 1920s, there’s still a brownfield cleanup that needs to take place. Once that is complete, the hope is to open some time in 2024.

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