Owner Jamie Taralunga describes her vision for the building at 2 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti as a "musical ecosystem." She hopes to turn the space Materials Unlimited occupied for nearly 50 years
into a performance venue and a place for local creatives to teach, learn, collaborate, and even press their own records, similar to Third Man Records
"This story is about the community and the vision and the impact this concept will have on the community, on musicians, and on Ypsi," Taralunga says.
She says she feels personally "offended" that she didn't know more about local bands from the triangle of Ann Arbor, Ypsi, and Detroit, and thought they deserved better marketing. Taralunga says that, for nearly a year, she traveled those three communities, researching by listening to local musicians and learning about the local music scene before buying the downtown building. She's been seeking input on how to shape the vision for the space from community members as well as from movers and shakers in the southeast Michigan music scene, including Noah Kaplan of Leon Speakers
, Broc Barnes of Third Man Records, and Steve Osburn of Oz Music
Taralunga says she looked at one other building but knew it wasn't quite right.
"But as soon as I found out that this building was for sale, I immediately knew it had to be here," she says.
Taralunga plans to spend much of 2023 renovating the space in several phases, and making it completely accessible to people with disabilities. The building will include small teaching spaces and larger spaces for groups to practice and perform. Pieces by local artists will fill the walls.
Taralunga doesn't expect interior renovations to be complete until early 2024, but hopes to host some outdoor events this summer. You can keep tabs on the venue's progress on Instagram
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She joined Concentrate as a news writer in early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at email@example.com.
Photos by Sarah Rigg.