One of downtown Ypsilanti's oldest buildings will get a taste of a new life when the Maurer family begins renovating it this spring.
Ypsilanti residents Eric and Karen Maurer, who own Maurer Management & Properties, recently bought the Mack & Mack building at 211-215 W Michigan Ave. and plan to turn it into lofts with ground floor retail space. The Mack & Mack building, at the corner of Michigan and Washington Street, was put up for auction last summer but did not sell. Largely vacant for a number of years, it is one of the last neglected storefronts in downtown Ypsi.
Comprised of three storefronts, the building housed businesses ranging from Mack & Mack Furniture store, a poultry shop, a book store, a hair salon, a gym and an old feed and grain store. The basement even once served as a place where bodies were prepared for burial.
It's now the latest downtown acquisition by the Maurers, who specialize in buying, restoring and renting out historic buildings in Ypsilanti. They own dozens of Victorian mansions converted to apartments and a number of other storefronts in downtown Ypsi, including the old Kresge and Cunningham's buildings.
"Renovating this building is going to be really similar to the way we renovated the Kresge building," Eric Maurer says.
He and his wife plan to turn the second and third floors of the 22,000-square-foot building into 12 lofts while restoring the ground floor retail space. The two-year project will follow the Maurer's simple renovation MO of creating the lofts first, renting them out and then finding a tenant for the ground floor space.
Source: Eric Maurer, co-owner of Maurer Management
Writer: Jon Zemke