Tuesday, May 17, 2022

In support of the 220 N Park development


The proposed development at 220 N Park in Ypsilanti is coming before the Ypsilanti Planning Commission tomorrow, May 18. The meeting is at 7 pm. Here is the zoom link for the meeting. I am in support of this development, for reasons I will go into below. If you support this development, I strongly urge you to call into the Planning Commission tonight and let them know. 

The project is proposed for a 4.5 acre, city-owned parcel near Depot Town sometimes called "the Boys and Girls Club parcel." The proposed project would have 20 1200 sqft duplexes and 36 450-900 sqft cottages for a total of 56 units. In a July 2021 meeting, the developers said they were working to have the houses cost between $120k and $200k. One of the reasons the cost of these homes is so low is that the city currently owns the land and so they can leverage that for lower cost homes. 

I think this is a great development because it helps our city become more sustainable and more equitable. 

220 N Park is just blocks from Depot Town. This is a very walkable area. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, a grocery stores, parks, and shops within a 0.5 mile walk. This will enable residents in this area to live a car free or car light life, reducing CO2 emissions. 

These houses are very reasonably priced. $220k for a 1200 sqft house comes out to ~$183 per sqft. This is a really good deal for new construction with most homes in Ypsi City going for well north of $200 per sqft in the current market. And while $120k for a 450 sq ft house is not as great price per square foot, it is a very low price to become a homeowner. 

If I had a critique of this project, it would be that the development adds too few units. This is such a great location, that I would love to see something with the density of Ann Arbor's upcoming Valhalla Development. Something more like 45 homes per acre, rather than just 12 per acre. This would allow even more new neighbors to live a car-light lifestyle and could allow for subsidized units. 

Nevertheless, I think this is a great development. It offers good housing at a reasonable price in an area that will allow people to live with a lower impact on our planet. I look forward to welcoming these new neighbors to our wonderful city. 

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