Loan boosts hope for Southside shopping center
By PHIL CACKLEY
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
YPSILANTI — A $250,000 state loan announced publicly Friday will go a long way toward making a proposed $1.15 million shopping center a reality on the South Side of Ypsilanti, officials said.
Although developers still have to convince a bank to loan $775,000 for a long-term mortgage on the project, officials said the Michigan Commerce Department community development loan should firm up the financial end of the proposal.
“We view this as a major step,” said state Rep. Kirk Profit, D-Ypsilanti, who announced the state funding at a news conference with local officials.
The Harriet Commerce Center could break ground at the northeast corner of Hamilton and Harriet streets in as little as two months, said David Shipman, an Ann Arbor developer who is helping set the project up.
The 15,000-square-foot shopping center, with a mix of retail and office space, will be built on a site of just under 1 acre. The vacant, boarded-up Northern Lights bar now sits on the site, which is across the street from a vacant 10.8-acre parcel that may be the future location of a new Ypsilanti post office, officials have said.
Metropolitan Memorial Baptist Church is the main supporter of the project. The church formed a private corporation, Metro Commerce Corp., to support the center with $100,000 in equity. Another $50,000 loan is coming from the city of Ypsilanti.
The $250,000 Commerce Department loan will be funneled through the city and must eventually be repaid to the state.