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Old Posted Mar 12, 2017, 9:48 PM
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KALAMAZOO / PORTAGE / BATTLE CREEK | Development Thread

Updated November 21, 2020

This thread is for general development in the Kalamazoo-Portage-Battle Creek CSA. It will primarily focus on larger-scale developments in these three cities, but smaller developments within these cities and located throughout Kalamazoo & Calhoun Counties may also be included. Currently available census data (as of 2015) puts the CSA population estimate for the region at about 503,000, making it the fourth largest CSA in Michigan (after Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Lansing) and making it the 151st largest CSA in the country.

Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo County Population - 2019 estimate: 265,000
Kalamazoo City Population - 2019 estimate: 76,200

Kalamazoo is the largest city in Southwest Michigan, and it is situated equidistant between Chicago and Detroit (about 140 miles from each). Due to its location, it grew quickly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as a transportation and industrial hub. Today, the city punches above its weight class as a hub for arts, culture, industry, and education. It is home to over a dozen breweries, the most famous of these being Bell’s Brewery. Kalamazoo is characterized by more than 20 distinct neighborhoods, and the city is remarkably diverse for a place of its size. It is home to the Kalamazoo Promise, a pioneering program which offers reduced / free college tuition for students who enroll in Kalamazoo Public Schools. Kalamazoo's two hospitals - Bronson and Borgess - both rank among the best in the country in many categories. It is a college town - Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College all have their campuses in Kalamazoo.


Downtown aerial drone footage, September 23, 2020 (source: Instagram | @whiskeyalphadelta)

Portage

Portage City Population - 2019 estimate: 49,500

Portage is Kalamazoo's neighbor to the immediate south. It is characterized by more suburban development and higher income levels, as well as a great public school system and a popular network of parks. Portage is home to some big players in the biomedical / pharmaceutical world, including Stryker, Pfizer, and Zoetis. I-94 crosses E-W through the northern portion of the city, and The Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport, while technically within Kalamazoo's city limits, is more geographically associated within Portage. Due to local zoning, the nearby airport, and the abundance of land, Portage doesn't have a real skyline to speak of. It is more characterized by corporate parks, detached homes, and strip developments. It is growing at a faster rate than Kalamazoo.


950 Trade Center Way, Portage (source: AVB)

Battle Creek

Calhoun County Population - 2019 estimate: 134,200
Battle Creek City Population - 2019 estimate: 51,500

Battle Creek is the largest city in Calhoun County, and the third largest city in Michigan in terms of land area. Of the three principal cities in the CSA, Battle Creek is the only one with a shrinking population right now. Some of this may be due to recent losses in the manufacturing sector, although the city has been making many efforts to stabilize & diversify its local economy. Battle Creek is no-doubt most well-known for being the global headquarters of Kellogg. Today, Kellogg is still a big presence / employer in the city, but not the largest. Battle Creek is home to the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center (partially housed in the former Kellogg Sanitarium), the Battle Creek VA Medical Center, and Fort Custer (Michigan - Army National Guard Training Center). WMU's renowned College of Aviation is also based in Battle Creek. Firekeepers Casino is in nearby Emmett Charter Township.


Heritage Tower (aka The Milton), June 24, 2019 (source: my own photo)

Last edited by deja vu; Nov 22, 2020 at 3:51 AM.
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Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 12:12 AM
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Project Rundown

Updated November 22, 2020

Below, you will find the current rundown of significant projects proposed, under construction, and recently completed in the Kalamazoo-Portage-Battle Creek CSA. Projects are arranged by location, in order of construction cost, and only those projects with an estimated construction cost of $5 million and higher are included here (with a few exceptions). Projects with a cost of less than $5 million are included in the general thread posts. In cases where construction cost is withheld / not publicly available, my own "scale-of-magnitude" guesses included (and should not be taken as fact).

Kalamazoo

Graphic Packaging International Expansion (new paperboard manufacturing facilities), under construction ($600 million)

Source: My Own Photo

Kalamazoo Public Schools 2018 Bond Projects, multi-phased, under construction ($97 million)

Pictured here is the new KPS transportation Building
Source: LinkedIn | Tower Pinkster

Kalamazoo County Downtown Justice Facility, preconstruction ($90 million)

Source: MLive | Courtesy Tower Pinkster

180 E. Water St. Mixed-Use, under construction ($70 million)

Source: My Own Photo

WMU Arcadia Flats Student Housing, under construction ($62 million)

Source: WMU

Bronson Cancer Center / Sardone Pavilion, under construction ($60 million)

Source: My Own Photo

The Exchange - 15 Story, Mixed-Use High-rise, completed 2020 ($53 million)

Source: Instagram | Byce & Associates, Inc. / Jason Keen + Co Photography and Fran Dwight Photography

Revel Creek Independent Senior Living Apartments, proposed ($50 million)

Source: MLive | Courtesy Heritage Community of Kalamazoo

Bronson Primary Care Medical Office Buildings (x7 - throughout Kalamazoo & surrounding areas), completed 2020 (~ $50 million)

Pictured here is the primary care building on West Main in Oshtemo Township. All seven buildings have near-identical architecture.
Source: My Own Photo

Parkway Flats Development, completed 2019 (~ 50 million?)

Source: Kendall Property Group

WMU New Student Center & Dining Facility, under construction ($45 million)

Source: WMU

Hilton Garden Inn & Home2 Suites Hotels, under construction ($43 million)

Source: MLive | Courtesy PlazaCorp

WMU Dunbar Hall Renovation, proposed ($40 million)

Source: WMU

Advia Credit Union Headquarters, under construction (~ $35 million?)

Source: My Own Photo

400 Rose Apartments, Phase 1, completed 2020 ($24 million)

Source: AVB

Bronson Ambulatory Surgery Center, proposed ($21 million)

Source: Bronson

Ascension Borgess Cancer Center, proposed ($20 million)

Source: MLive | Ascension Borgess

400 Rose Apartments, Phase 2, preconstruction (~$20 million?)

Source: City of Kalamazoo Site Plan Review

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Building, completed 2019 ($20 million)

Source: MiBiz (Courtesy Photo)

Kalamazoo County Department of Health & Human Services Building (restoration of former Illinois Envelope Co. Building), completed 2019 (~ $20 million?)

Source: My Own Photo

Bronson Clinical Laboratory, competed 2020 (~ $20 million?)

Source: Instagram | Tower Pinkster

The Creamery Mixed-Use, under construction ($15 million)

Source: LinkedIn | Byce & Associates

Harrison Circle Apartments, under construction ($15 million)

Source: AVB

Rose Street Senior Living, proposed (~ $15 million?)


Source: City of Kalamazoo Site Plan Review


Kalamazoo College Natatorium, under construction ($13 million)

Source: Tower Pinkster

Drive & Shine Car Care Center, completed 2019 ($10 million)

Source: Facebook | Drive & Shine

Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries - New Women’s and Children’s Shelter, under construction ($10 million)

Source: MLive | Joel Bissel

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo, proposed (~ $10 million?)

Source: City of Kalamazoo - Planning Commission

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety - New Station 2, proposed (~ $10 million?)

Source: City of Kalamazoo

Cork Street Road Diet / Redesign, completed 2020 ($6.5 million)

Source: MLive | City of Kalamazoo

Peregrine 100 Apartments, completed 2019 (~ $6 million)

Source: Peregrine Company

Gilmore Apartments, completed 2019 (~ $6 million?)

Source: My Own Photo

Gilmore Car Museum "American Muscle" Showcase Building, proposed ($5 million)

Source: Schley Nelson Architects

Charles & Lynn Zhang Animal Care & Resource Center, completed 2020 ($5 million)

Source: Instagram | Byce & Associates

Kalamazoo County Animal Services facility, completed 2019 ($5 million)

Source: Kalamazoo County

WMU Business Technology Research Park - Phase 2 Infrastructure, completed 2020 ($5 million)

Source: WMU

The Jabez Project, Mixed-Use Apartment Complex, proposed (~ $5 million?)

Source: Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering, Inc.

615 Holdings Apartment Complex, under construction ($4 million)

Source: GRBJ

City Life Recreation Center of Kalamazoo Youth for Christ, under construction ($3 million)

Source: WWMT | Troy Truxton

Haymarket Plaza, under construction ($125,000)

Source: Patronicity | Treystar

Portage

Pfizer New Aseptic Facility, proposed ($465 Million)

Source: Crain's Detroit | Courtesy Pfizer

Stryker Instruments - Global R&D Center, completed 2020 ($154 million)

Source: Instagram | Tower Pinkster

Portage Public Schools 2015 Bond Projects, multi-phased, under construction ($144 Million)

Pictured here: the new Portage North Middle School, completed 2019
Source: C2AE

Project Spartan / FedEx Distribution Center, completed 2020 ($27 million)

Source: WWMT

Portage Senior Center, preconstruction ($11 million)

Source: Portage Senior Center

City of Portage Fire Station No. 2 Replacement, completed 2020 ($6 million)

Source: MLive | City of Portage

Battle Creek

150 S. McCamly St. (former Ralston Purina Co.) Mixed-use Redevelopment, proposed (~ $50 million?)

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Firekeepers Casino Tower II Development, under construction (~ $40 million?)

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer | Firekeepers Casino

The Milton (aka Heritage Tower) Restoration / Conversion, Completed 2020 ($36 million)

Source: My Own Photo

WMU Aviation Education College Addition and Renovation ($22 million)

Source: OxBlue

Sophia Square Apartments / 85 W. Michigan Ave. (former site of Shrank's Cafeteria), proposed 50-unit, seven-story midrise (~ $14 million?)

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Industrial Partners USA - Speculative Warehouse Space, under construction ($11 million)

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer | Courtesy BCU

17 W. Michigan Ave. (formerly the Hamblin Opera House), proposed 30-unit apartment conversion (~ $7 million)

Source: Emporis

McCamly Plaza Hotel Renovation / Conversion to DoubleTree by Hilton, preconstruction ($4 million?)

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer| Alyssa Keown

Vicksburg

The Mill at Vicksburg Restoration / Mixed-Use Redevelopment, under construction ($80 million)

Source: Second Wave Media | Courtesy The Mill at Vicksburg

Last edited by deja vu; Nov 22, 2020 at 4:53 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 2:14 AM
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Nice rundown.
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Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 3:35 PM
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Thanks. I will keep expanding it, and hopefully get out and take some photos of my own once the deep freeze ends.

Here's an interesting little project that just wrapped up downtown:

Quote:
Walnut & Park coffee shop to open in downtown Kalamazoo
Al Jones, via MLive
March 02, 2017

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Walnut & Park is the name of a new coffee shop and cafe that is set to open Monday, March 6, in downtown Kalamazoo.

Located at 322 W. Walnut St. (the corner of Walnut & Park), the business is a project of the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program and will put to work men and women who are participants in KPEP's culinary arts program.
KPEP is a private nonprofit residential and outpatient rehabilitation program that serves state and federal criminal offenders, probationers and parolees.

...


Image: Walnut & Park Coffee Shop Exterior
Image Source: MLive

Last edited by deja vu; Jun 9, 2017 at 11:22 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 16, 2017, 1:58 AM
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2017_03_15 Walking Tour

I took a brief walk after work today to try and capture some recent development. Because it was so bitterly cold, it quickly turned into more of a driving tour than a walking tour. Anyway, below are some random photos of current projects under construction in Kalamazoo and Portage, along with a few recently-completed projects. While walking and driving, I saw several projects that I forgot to include in the original project rundown, so I will be updating that shortly.

Please forgive the low image quality; I took these photos on my crappy iPhone 4, and it was getting near dusk, and I was in motion for most of them. But, enough excuses!

The Foundry
600 E. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo
(Phase 1, Under Construction)





The People's Food Co-op of Kalamazoo
507 Harrison St, Kalamazoo
(Opened 2011)



Old Douglass Community Center Building
NW corner of N. Pitcher and E. Ransom Streets, Kalamazoo

Not development, but hopefully being restored and repurposed soon.



Here's the same structure, in the 1960s:


Image Source: http://www.migenweb.org/kalamazoo/views.htm

Ministry with Community
440 N. Church St.
(Completed 2016)





This wonderful old Art Deco structure is right next door to the mothballed Old Douglass Community Center Building, and across the street from the new Ministry with Community.



New RX Optical Headquarters
S. Park St, Kalamazoo
(Under Construction)







New Family Health Center
Alcott St. - Edison Neighborhood, Kalamazoo
(Under Construction)





Portage Memory Care Living Facility
710 E. Centre Ave, Portage
(Under Construction)




Last edited by deja vu; Jul 25, 2020 at 6:43 PM. Reason: fixed photo links
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Old Posted Mar 16, 2017, 2:45 AM
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Kalamazoo is perhaps just a tad more exciting than Battle Creek. But looking at those pics--typical Michigan.
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Old Posted Mar 16, 2017, 4:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
Kalamazoo is perhaps just a tad more exciting than Battle Creek. But looking at those pics--typical Michigan.
Battle Creek...I need to explore there more. For being so close to each other, I feel like the two cities have very different characters. I thought about including Battle Creek in this new development thread, but then I thought it might be too much, at least to start with...

There is some bland infill around here, to be sure, but on the whole, it is exciting to see Kalamazoo's downtown slowly becoming denser, while lots of fringe areas (including several brownfield sites) are seeing renewed efforts at revitalization.
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Old Posted Mar 16, 2017, 4:13 AM
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Updates have been made to the list of active projects at the top of this thread. Updates include:

New project listing & information for:
  • The Foundry - Phase 1
  • New Family Health Center Clinic
  • New RX Optical Headquarters Building

Additionally, all photos have been resized for consistency, and several more photos of active projects have been added.
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Old Posted Mar 17, 2017, 10:12 PM
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Updated Project Rundown

I've updated the project rundown to include some more recently completed development. Because this forum is less than one week old, it wasn't around to capture all of these great projects when they were being built. That said, since they are part of the bigger story of development that has been happening here in recent years, I'm including them here for the record.

Completed projects that have been added are as listed below. Scroll to the top post to see images and more info for each. Much more to come.
  • Arcadia Brewing Company / Arcadia Ales
  • Borgess Brain and Spine Institute
  • Bronson Advanced Radiology - Diagnostics Lab and Imaging Center
  • Bronson Commons - New Post-Acute Care Facility
  • Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan - Glowing Embers Council Program & Training Center
  • HARK Orchids, L.P. New Company Headquarters
  • KVCC / Bronson Healthy Living Campus - Food Innovation Building
  • Linden Grove Middle School - Kalamazoo Public Schools
  • Midlink Business Park - a massive business park conversion with over 1.6 million of SF in just two buildings
  • Miller Canfield New Office Building
  • Orrin B. Hayes Mercedes Benz Dealership
  • Stryker Corporate Headquarters
  • Stryker Instruments - Renovations to (2) of its buildings
  • Washington Writers’ Academy - Kalamazoo Public Schools
  • Western Michigan University - Richmond Center for Visual Arts
  • Western Michigan University - Valley Dining Center
  • Western Michigan University - Western View Apartments
  • Western Michigan University - WMed Innovation Center
  • 750 Trade Centre
  • 950 Trade Centre

Last edited by deja vu; Mar 18, 2017 at 3:55 AM.
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2017, 4:01 AM
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Article about a recent tax break that Stryker received.

Quote:
Stryker Instruments wins tax break from Portage for $154 million development
By Tom Haroldson | Special to MLive
March 15, 2017

PORTAGE, MI - Stryker Instruments has won a Portage tax break for its proposed $154 million research and development facility, and could begin construction in May with a completion anticipated by August 2019.
 
The Public Act 198 tax break for the 485,000 square foot facility at 6520 Portage Road was unanimously approved Tuesday by the Portage City Council. The company expects to retain 966 jobs and create an additional 105.

...

Last edited by deja vu; Jun 9, 2017 at 11:24 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2017, 2:27 PM
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Jack White bought George Nelson’s Kalamazoo midcentury time capsule

Not exactly development-related news, but still an interesting story related to architecture. Kalamazoo has a lot of prominent examples of mid-century architecture, including an atypically large amount of Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes. However, I did not know about the George Nelson-designed Kirkpatrick House until I saw this article. At one time, George Nelson was the Director of Design for the Herman Miller furniture company. His studio had a heavy influence on furniture design during the 20th century.

Quote:
Jack White bought George Nelson’s Kalamazoo midcentury time capsule
By Lauren Ro, Curbed
via Realtor, The New Yorker
March 17, 2017

When this incredibly restored home by George Nelson first came on the market in Kalamazoo, Michigan last summer, we were awed by its beauty and more than a little envious about its eventual owner—especially since the home was offered at a screaming deal of $450,000.

Now we’ve come to learn that the lucky owner of the 1958-built house is none other than Jack White, rock musician extraordinaire, formerly of the White Stripes, and a native of Detroit...









Images Source: Curbed

Last edited by deja vu; Jul 25, 2020 at 6:54 PM. Reason: fixed photo links
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Old Posted Mar 22, 2017, 7:13 PM
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Kalamazoo Gazette Building - Demolition Progress Update

On a work break this morning, I walked around the site of the ongoing demolition of the former Kalamazoo Gazette building. Lots of activity, and demolition has progressed to the final portion of building to be removed. Ironically, this final area that is being demolished is actually the newest addition to the complex, having opened in 2004. The original building was designed by Albert Kahn and completed in 1925, with two other additions built in 1941 and 1968. Only the 1925 and 1941 portions will remain to be repurposed by Bronson Healthcare Group, as its downtown footprint expands.

All photos below are my own.

View from S. Burdick St:


View from John St:


View from John St:


That tower is not long for this world:


View from NE Corner of E Lovell St. and Henrietta St:


Close-up of Upper Ceiling:


Close-up of tower:


View from NW Corner of E Lovell St. and Henrietta St:

Last edited by deja vu; Jul 25, 2020 at 6:46 PM. Reason: fixed photo links
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Old Posted Mar 22, 2017, 7:27 PM
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Kalamazoo Gazette Building - Clock Demolition Photos

Related to the previous post, I found some neat photos which show the process of removing the large clocks that were previously attached to the tower. Photo credit goes to Carly Geraci, at MLive. You can view more of photos, and read the accompanying article, here.




















Last edited by deja vu; Jul 25, 2020 at 6:48 PM. Reason: fixed photo links
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2017, 9:21 PM
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WMU East Campus pulled from National Register of Historic Places

WMU East Campus pulled from National Register of Historic Places

An interesting article was just released regarding the recent demolition (decimation?) that took place on Prospect Hill, the home of the original campus of Western Michigan University. Originally known as the Western State Normal School. In 2013 - 2014, three historic buildings were demolished (North Hall, West Hall, and the Speech & Hearing Building) and another was greatly altered (East Hall) to prepare for the creation of a new Alumni Center, which opened in 2015 in the remains of East Hall, and which is now referred to as Heritage Hall.

Quote:
WMU East Campus pulled from National Register of Historic Places
By Malachi Barrett, via MLive
March 22, 2017

KALAMAZOO, MI -- What was once called the "Acropolis of Kalamazoo" is no longer deemed worthy of historic recognition after renovations to Western Michigan University's East Campus. East Hall, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and Western State Normal School Historic District, added in 1990, were stripped of their historic status by the National Park Service, effective March 7.

....
The project was controversial when it happened, and now, the NPS has revoked National Register status for the University's East Campus. This marks the first time ever in the history of the State Historic Preservation Review Board that a physical site visit was conducted by SHPRB to determine whether or not a listed property / area should remain listed after alterations were made. It seems like a blow, but the University's reaction to the news seemed rather nonchalant.

Images below are courtesy of WMU Archives and Regional History Collection, via MLive, unless noted otherwise. The article follows after the images.

East Hall, shortly after it opened in 1905:


East Hall, after the north and south wings were added, in 1908 and 1909:


The WMU Inclined Trolley, to access Prospect Hill from below (I had no idea until now that Kalamazoo had its own incline of sorts, at one time):


Two aerial views of Prospect Hill, showing the early WMU campus:




A similar aerial view from the recent past, when demolition was complete. The partially-demolished East Hall stands alone in the middle of the cleared area:

Image Source: Google Maps

WMU West Hall Demolition, June 2013:

Image Source: Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette, file

WMU Speech and Hearing Building Demolition, July 2013:

Image Source: Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette, file

WMU East Hall Demolition of South Wing, July 2014:



Image Source: Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette, file

Protester's graffiti at the construction site, in September 2014:

Image Source: Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette, file

Heritage Hall Alumni Center / Former East Hall as it looks today:

Image Source: Tower Pinkster

Read the Full Article, and see some pretty great historic photos, here.

Last edited by deja vu; Jul 25, 2020 at 7:11 PM. Reason: fixed photo links
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Old Posted Mar 24, 2017, 12:08 AM
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Why on earth would they do that?!

Fucking idiots, WMU can go to hell.
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Old Posted Mar 24, 2017, 3:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The North One View Post
Why on earth would they do that?!

Fucking idiots, WMU can go to hell.
Someone usually makes the argument that money is a factor - too expensive to maintain, too expensive to repurpose... Or that a structure can't be brought into communion with the expressed future goals of an organization. Those reasons usually sound like half-truths, excuses to explain away the most obvious of conclusions that good buildings and good spaces should be celebrated and preserved whenever possible.

It's fortunate that Kalamazoo has an active historic commission, and from what I know, a pretty good track record at repurposing and preserving historic structures. It's just too bad that this one got away. The original campus really projected the 'city on a hill' aesthetic that so many universities embodied. That cohesive massing of buildings around a central quad is now mainly a parking lot. At least one small part of it remains.
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Old Posted Mar 25, 2017, 4:47 AM
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$2M PlazaCorp redevelopment to create 30 jobs in downtown Kalamazoo

$2M PlazaCorp redevelopment to create 30 jobs in downtown Kalamazoo
By Malachi Barrett, via MLive
March 23, 2017

Quote:
KALAMAZOO, MI -- An affiliate of PlazaCorp intends to invest $2 million to redevelop a contaminated manufacturing site in downtown Kalamazoo.

PS 383 LLC bought two parcels at 381 and 383 South Pitcher Street in January 2016. According to county documents, it plans to clean up contaminates at the brownfield site then renovate an existing building to lease to an unnamed automotive performance shop and create office space for up to four tenants.

...

Last edited by deja vu; Jun 9, 2017 at 11:32 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 25, 2017, 3:26 PM
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Kalamazoo County Population Data for 2016

According to the recently released US Census Data for county-wide population changes between 2010 and 2016, Kalamazoo County faired well. The population increased from 250,331 in 2010 to 261,654 in 2016 - a gain of about 11,323 persons, or about 4.3% growth since 2010. This puts Kalamazoo in with the 35 of 83 Michigan counties that are going against the statewide trend of population decline. It's great news for the area, and a strong indicator of the healthy economy in southwest Michigan.


Image Source: MLive

Another interesting thing that I observed, looking at the above graph portrayal of population change since 1900, Kalamazoo County has not once experienced a decline in population at the county level, for each decade when Census data was recorded. To put it another way, the growth in the county has trended positively for at least the past 116 years of US census data recording. At a glance, I count only four other counties in the entire State that can make this claim.
  • Kent County - home of Grand Rapids (current peak population 642,173)
  • Muskegon County - Home of Muskegon (current peak population 173,408)
  • Oakland County - Detroit Metro area (current peak population 1,243,970)
  • Ottawa County - home of Holland & Grand Haven (current peak population 282,250)
This might not mean much, taken over the course of 100+ years of data, but I find it very interesting that four of the five counties that have never had a population decline when measured by the decade since 1900 are located in western / southwestern Michigan. Oakland County is the only exception.

You can see the charts and data for each county at this MLive article:

How every Michigan county's population has changed over the past 100 years

Last edited by deja vu; May 25, 2017 at 9:45 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 26, 2017, 2:07 PM
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New assistant city manager to focus on Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence

It's not every day that the City of Kalamazoo creates a new administrative position in the planning department.


Quote:
New assistant city manager to focus on Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence
By Malachi Barrett, via Mlive
March 21, 2017

KALAMAZOO, MI --  City Manager Jim Ritsema announced meetings focused on Kalamazoo's use of $10 million in donations from local philanthropists, and a new administrative position dedicated to the Foundation for Excellence. 

Commissioners will meet at a 6 p.m. work session on March 27 to discuss ending generational poverty and increasing youth development opportunities with $10 million earmarked for "aspirational projects." Ritsema also announced a meeting at 6 p.m. on April 10 focused on the Foundation for Excellence, which includes a permanent endowment fund the city seeks to use to sustain an initial $70.3 million donation after three years. The April meeting will also discuss projects and programs identified through the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 master planning process.

...


Image Source: MLive
You can link to the full article here.

Last edited by deja vu; Jun 9, 2017 at 11:33 PM.
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Old Posted Mar 27, 2017, 1:18 PM
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Oberon Day 2017!

Happy Oberon Day!
March 27, 2017


Image Source: MLive

For those who don't know, today is basically an official holiday in Kalamazoo, marking the release of the 2017 batch of Bell's most popular craft beer - Oberon (as well as the less-official start of spring around here). Tapping parties began at midnight around the city, state, and even other parts of the country / globe. The tapping at Bell's Eccentric Café, the center of the Bell's universe, was a few minutes ago, at 9:00AM, EST (which is where many of my less responsible but certainly happier coworkers are right now).

To compliment your Oberon, you can always stop by Sweetwater's Donut Mill, open 24/7, and grab an Oberon-Inspired donut. They frankly look gross to me, but I've never tried one, so I shouldn't judge.


Image: Oberon Donuts, at Sweetwaters Donut Mill
Image Source: John Gonzalez, via Twitter

If you're wondering how this is at all development related, Bell's has invested tens of millions of dollars into both its downtown location and its main brewing facilities in nearby Comstock in recent years, and has basically had everything to do with catalyzing the craft beer movement in this region.
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