EMU, City of Ypsilanti work for mutual benefit with College Place Project
YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University and the City of Ypsilanti are joining forces in an effort to secure state and federal funding to improve Cross Street between Huron Street and Summit Avenue, the area adjacent to Pease Auditorium, and the overall border area between the city and the University.
“We want to continue to be good neighbors and work in ways that are mutually beneficial to the progress of EMU and the city,” said Dr. John Fallon, president of EMU.
The city and EMU signed a letter of understanding in August in an effort to lay the foundation to secure support from the Michigan Department of Transportation for the changes.
The City of Ypsilanti will gain additional parking spaces in the downtown area by leasing the North Washington Street lot near the bus depot. The city would assume responsibility for future maintenance. The city would be free to collect fees for parking in this lot except for seven spaces that will be designated for EMU staff parking.
In return for the parking, the city will lease to EMU, College Place from Cross Street to Forest Avenue. This will allow that portion of the project to be converted to a pedestrian mall. In addition, EMU is looking at different parking configurations for the southeast part of campus that is mutually beneficial to the city and the University. Perrin Street will become a two way street.
Both leases are for 99 years.
According to Steve Holda, interim director of finance for EMU, the project would begin in spring 2007 if everything is approved and goes as planned.
“It’s exciting to be working with the city on a project that is consistent with our concept plan approved by our board,” said Holda. “We think this will have significant impact on our campus and the city.”
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.