Real estate company aims to create housing for median-income Ypsi residents, restore historic homes

When real-estate company Yarrow launched in 2021, co-founders Dylan and Jake Cinti had a vision of restoring and maintaining some of Ypsilanti’s historic buildings while also providing housing that was attainable to the Ypsi community. 

"We’re focusing on providing quality, amenity-rich spaces for people who are making salaries around the median income of Ypsi," says Dylan Cinti, who says he's taken a "boots on the ground" approach to Yarrow’s properties. His brother Jake is currently based in New York. 

"We’re thinking about hourly workers, the nurses, teachers, and social workers – the people who really contribute, in my opinion, the most to a community, and have been pushed out of places like Ann Arbor," he adds.

Dylan Cinti says he’s seen a gradual shift in Ann Arbor, where he grew up, as high housing costs have prompted residents to move. That change ultimately led to Yarrow’s launch in Ypsi. Dylan Cinti hopes to preserve and support the city's close-knit community by restoring 19th- and 20th-century homes and marketing them to Ypsi locals.

"The great thing about Ypsi is its character and its charm that is entirely its own," Dylan Cinti says. "Our challenge as a business is how we can support that while at the same time improving the quality of life."

While providing housing is Yarrow’s main goal, Dylan Cinti has also been supporting local business owners and entrepreneurs by offering advertising spotlights through Yarrow’s social media, and providing space and help for pop-up events such as a recent gallery showing with the up-and-coming Bloom Studio. After several Ypsi businesses have closed over the past year, Dylan Cinti hopes that Yarrow can get more folks excited about the idea of putting down roots in the city.

"If 30 years from now, we choose to sell our buildings, we feel that by bringing folks to Ypsi we are adding value to these buildings, and that’s where we want to see a return," Dylan Cinti says. "If we support Ypsi, we benefit from that."

While there is a financial incentive to the business, Dylan Cinti says the brothers' goal isn’t to "build personal wealth as quickly as possible," but to support the Ypsi community and further bolster existing efforts to improve Ypsi for residents and visitors alike. Even the business’s name, a reference to a Michigan native flower known for being hardy, is a way to decentralize the Cintis and focus on community work and partnerships.

"A lot of real estate companies use the last name of the person whose property it is, and we knew immediately we didn’t want to do that," Dylan Cinti says. "We wanted to focus on what we can do that is additive, that supports the growth that is already happening with this community."

To learn more about Yarrow and the Cintis' work in the Ypsi community, visit the company's website or Facebook page.

"I would love to be a part of driving the city forward by doing promotional content for small businesses, doing art shows, events, whatever I can do to play the role that makes sense," Cinti says. "We want folks to love where they live with the walls that you’re within, and love where they live with the community that you’re in."

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.

Photo courtesy of Dylan Cinti.
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