Hamilton Crossing is a 144-unit apartment complex located at the corner of Hamilton Street and Harriet Street, about four blocks south of downtown Ypsilanti. The development, halfway completed as of mid-2012, is a renamed $16 million overhaul of the former Parkview Apartments.
The redevelopment is both emotionally and statistically significant for the community: in addition to the property's high-visibility location at Ypsilanti's main I-94 interchange, Parkview accounted for a full 10% of the vacant housing recorded in the City of Ypsilanti by the 2010 Census.
596 S Hamilton St Ypsilanti, MI 48197-5434 (734) 485-3335
Property management: http://www.mhmltd.com/detail?property_id=126
Originally built around 1970, Parkview was a privately-owned affordable housing complex that fell into catastrophe by the early 2000s. The non-profit ownership company failed to pay about $1 million in water and sewer bills, leading to intervention by HUD, who held a mortgage on the property and took possession to prevent foreclosure by the water authority. Several years of legal wrangling followed, with the owners attempting to regain control of the property while HUD attempted to sell it. HUD agreed to sell the property to a City-backed partnership of the Ypsilanti Housing Commission and Chesapeake Properties, but backed out in favor of a private sale after a Bush administration regulation forbade sales of properties for less than appraised value. The tenants filed suit to block that sale, after the buyer was identified as a New York City property owner with a reputation for maintenance code violations.
After years of back and forth between the various parties, including Federal legislative intervention by Rep. John Dingell, an agreement was reached in early 2010, under which HUD would, finally, sell the property to the YHC / Chesapeake partnership, as well as provide some funding to undertake rehabilitation of the complex, by this point suffering from 7 years of legal limbo on top of the pre-existing neglect.
In the news
- AnnArbor.com, 25 April 2011: Work set to begin on $16 million housing project renovation in Ypsilanti
Chesapeake will receive $5.7 million — approximately $40,000 per unit — in an immediate HUD Up-Front grant that will be split between the project’s two phases. The Washtenaw County Office of Community Development is contributing an additional $500,000 in grants, including $460,000 for the first phase and $40,000 for the second phase. The project’s second phase, which is getting underway first, is also funded by $988,000 in federal tax credits made available through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
- Ypsilanti Housing Commission to purchase, June 2010
The long process of rehabilitating Parkview Apartments took another significant step forward this week when the Ypsilanti City Council agreed to allow the Ypsilanti Housing Commission to purchase and operate the 144-unit housing project.
- Settlement reached, June 2010
HUD will transfer ownership of the property to the Ypsilanti Housing Commission under the agreement, which brings to a close six years of litigation over the complex’s fate. Baltimore-based Chesapeake Community Advisors Inc. will invest an estimated $12 million to renovate the complex into a mixed low- and middle-income community.
- Court orders HUD action on Parkview Apartments in Ypsilanti, Dan Meisler for AnnArbor.com, October 2009
A judge's ruling has pushed the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development into talks with representatives from the city of Ypsilanti and tenants at Parkview Apartments to settle a years-long dispute over the future of the mostly empty complex on South Hamilton Street.