Revolving loan for business ventures funds 1 st project
By CHONG W. PYEN
JUL 02 1991
NEWS STAFF REPORTER______________
YPSILANTI - A $100,000 revolving loan for business ventures with favorable repayment terms was established by the Ypsilanti City Council Monday, with the first $75,000 going to a South Side office-retail complex project.
The revolving loan program, tabled last month after some council members demanded more control and information, allocates $60,000 for the Harriet Street Commerce Center with three years of deferred payment and interest rate two points below the prime rate. Also, another $10,000 was promised next year depending on funds being available.
The money comes from the state’s Small City Community Development Block Grant and has been recouped from the previous borrowers, Pioneer Storage Company and La Belle Storage Company at West Industrial Park. The fund will continue to provide loans to future business enterprises as payments come in.
“You can be assured that this program (Harriet) will not only help our city and minorities, but it will be something we as a city will be proud of,” said the Rev. S. L. Roberson, pastor of the Metropolitan Memorial Baptist Church which sponsors the $1.2 million development. The 15,000-square-foot office-retail center will be located at the northeast comer of Harriet and Hamilton streets.
In approving the loan program, the council required that at least 51 percent of the jobs to be created by the Harriet project be set aside for low-to-moderate income city residents. Also, the assets of the development will be used as collateral for the loan.
The project will also be funded with a $250,000 loan from the state Department of Commerce, a $650,000 loan from Bank One Ypsilanti and another $150,000 in private investments.
When the council deferred action on the loan June 3, some council members described the move as the council majority’s retaliation against Councilman Albert Robinson, D-1st Ward, for his opposition against the Ypsilanti Recycling Project’s contract renewal. The Harriet center is in Robinson’s Ward. On Monday, Councilman Peter Murdock, who had urged that the council delay loan approval last month, said the political implication had been over-emphasized in the media. “We wanted a policy to be in place, and the policy we have now is somewhat better,” he said.
Among revisions in the revolving loan policy was the designation of the Economic Development Corp. as a loan review board. The earlier version was to create a separate body to screen loan applications.