Depot Town was established in the late 1830s. The majority of the buildings were constructed in the 1850s and 1880s. In the early years it had a flour mill, a large framers store, a fire department, a clothing store and even some paved streets. In 1839 Mark Norris opened the first hotel called the Western Hotel.
Tunnels that were built for water drainage that passed beneath the railroad and ran between the Thompson block played a role in the underground railroad from 1841-1860. Escaped slaves would use them as a hiding place. They would hide there during the day and would ride boats down the Huron River during the night. A man named Leonard Chase a known abolitionist would allow them to hid in his home right outside of town.
During the American Civil War the Norris Block was used as barracks by two regiments: the fourteenth michigan infantry regiment in early 1862 and the twenty seventh Michigan infantry regiment in 1863. This block later became known as Thompson Block.
Local Businesses We Love
This town is filled with a wide variety of shops and unique businesses. Here you will find: Antique stores, tattoo parlors, a record shop, a fly fishing store, a farmers market, a massage therapy office and even Russian ballet instruction classes.
In june of 2014 the restaurant Maiz Mexican Cantina opened and became a local favorite.
Another local business is the Ypsilanti Food Co-op which was established in 1975. It moved into the old Mills works building in the 1980s. Not only can you buy groceries there, you can also purchase sandwiches, salads, soups and fresh bread from the River street bakery next door.
The River street bakery is one of the only places in Washtenaw county that uses an only wood- fired brick oven for commercial use that was built by hand in 1989.
The people of Depot town can be best described as down- to -earth with an authentic vibe. There are many different types of people who live here with many creatives including musicians, artists, writers, and bloggers. One local describes Depot Town as being “the Brooklyn to Ann Arbor's Manhattan.”
The Homes & Architecture
Depot Town’s architectural style is mostly characterized by turn-of-the-century Victorian farm houses and Tudor-style homes. Keeping with this vintage, you will find many homes with spacious wrap-around decks complete with vibrantly-painted spindles and many more charming features present in exterior trim.
Ypsilanti’s Historic Depot Town is regulated by the Historic District Committee, which meets at the city hall downtown. The HDC works to preserve Ypsilanti’s historic resources by mandating a process for homeowners to submit proposed changes to their home’s exteriors via application for the HDC to review. While homeowners must follow this additional approval process (which is separate and in addition to the city’s building department requirements), the HDC helps keep Depot Town flavorful and vibrant which helps to insulate homeowners’ property values.
As of September 2016, Here are the year-to-date averages for Historic Depot Town.
$168,833 Average sale price
1,675 Average above-grade sq footage
$101.66 Average $/sf
75 Average Days on Market (DOM)
28% change in average from prior year-over-year