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Old Posted Mar 12, 2017, 9:48 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
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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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