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  #441  
Old Posted May 27, 2019, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DetroitSky View Post
Do we know when The Exchange will be fully open yet?
^ I'm not sure, but I can try and find out. I think it is scheduled to be entirely complete in August or September.

Below are some photos from a recent tour of WMU's Richmond Institute for Design + Innovation. This is the new home for the University's new Industrial Design program, which was recently resurrected from the dead. It's a very small, young program (less than 1 year in operation), but the facilities are among the most impressive I have seen, coming from an A & E background. Progressive AE is the Architect on this one; it is an interior remodel of the entire first floor and a portion of the third floor of Central Kohrman Hall. It is a great asset to the area's local manufacturing companies.

























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  #442  
Old Posted May 30, 2019, 3:25 PM
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Advia Credit Union will be relocating its headquarters from Parchment to Oshtemo Township. We first heard about this way back in summer of 2017, so it has taken a long while to get to this point. Site work has begun for what will be a 150,000 SF, three-story structure at 6404 W Main St, near the burgeoning suburban landscape at the intersection of 9th St. and W Main (west of Kalamazoo city proper).

It will be quite a difference from what was there previously. Good news for Osthemo, bad news for Parchment. I don't know what will become of their current office building - it could still serve as decent office space for something, but businesses aren't exactly flocking to Parchment these days.

Quote:
Advia Credit Union builds new headquarters in Oshtemo Township
Dylan Goetz | MLive
May 29, 2019

OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, MI -- Advia Credit Union is expecting to move into a new corporate headquarters in Oshtemo Township in early 2021, and work has already begun on the site where the building will eventually stand. The 150,000-square-foot headquarters will be located at 6404 W. Main St. in Kalamazoo. The credit union’s current headquarters is located at 550 S. Riverview Drive in Parchment. The facility will be a three-story building and include a full-service branch for credit union members, an ATM and a deposit box, according to a news release from the Advia Credit Union...

Source: MLive | Courtesy Advia Credit Union

By the way, Bronson held its groundbreaking ceremony for the new 5-story cancer pavilion a few weeks ago, on May 9. Once The Exchange and 400 Rose are done, this will likely be the largest thing under construction in the downtown area for a while.


Source: Facebook (Diekema Hamann

Last edited by deja vu; May 30, 2019 at 3:58 PM.
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  #443  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2019, 1:50 PM
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The new Portage Northern Middle School is close to done (opening this Fall for classes). The old Middle School, soon to be demolished, will be replaced with new parking configurations. Demo of that structure will begin after classes end in mid-June.









A few steps behind Portage Northern MS is Portage Central MS, which follows a very similar floor plan (just different finish colors) and will be complete and open for classes next year. Both of these projects are part of a $144 million bond vote that also includes new athletic fields and natatoriums at both campuses, as well as renovations to Portage West Middle School.








Images Source: MLive

These are nice-looking schools. They will be among the most up-to-date and well-equipped middle-school educational facilities in the state.

Quote:
New middle school, football stadium near completion in Portage
Kayla Miller | MLive
May 28, 2019

PORTAGE, MI -- The demolition of Portage North Middle School will begin in June as district-wide improvements continue for the district. Superintendent Mark Bielang said the projects funded by $144 million in bonds passed by voters in 2015 are both on schedule and within budget. The bonds funded the construction of two new middle school buildings, two new athletic stadiums and a major renovation of the district’s third middle school, as well as two new swimming pools housed in natatoriums...
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  #444  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2019, 2:32 PM
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Happy June. A few photos from walking around town yesterday in the rain.

100 E Water St


400 Rose










Bronson Labs




The Exchange


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  #445  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2019, 12:18 AM
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Nice update, thanks!
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  #446  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2019, 12:01 AM
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I walked around WMU's campus today. The last remnants of McCracken Hall are quickly being erased from the landscape. This is all to make way for the new student center.















And wow, the new South Neighborhood student housing project is a lot further along than I thought. Roughly half of the building is framed up right now.













Separately, Mayor Hopewell gave his final State of the City address Thursday night, in the still-under-construction Exchange building. He will not be running for reelection, after 12 years serving in this role. Bobby leaves the city in a better state than when he started, and he will be widely missed as mayor. If you have any interest, you can listen to the full 45 minute address at the link below - lots of good points about affordable housing, construction, development, infrastructure, and community engagement, among other things.

Quote:
The State Of Kalamazoo: A "Perfectly Imperfect City"
Andrew Robins | WMUK
June 13, 2019
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  #447  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2019, 9:09 PM
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Not new, but here are a few more photos from that walk around Western's main campus on Friday.

Richmond Center for Visual Arts




Fountain Plaza (Richmond Center and Miller Auditorium in the backgrounds)




Sprau Tower




Sangren Hall




The Oaklands (a Bed and Breakfast on-campus)


Faunce Student Services Building


Haenicke Hall
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  #448  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2019, 9:35 PM
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An update on some of the other projects happening around town, which I have not been documenting yet.

1. Interior demo work and some site utility work has clearly begun at the former Rose Street Market Building (former former Masonic Temple Building). This will become the Hilton Garden Inn. A debris chute is seen at the rear of the building. The parking area will eventually (hopefully) give way to a new Home2 Suites.





2. Bronson Cancer Pavilion site work and foundations are in progress. Not too much to look at yet.







3. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is farther along than I had thought.









4. And some early site work has also begun for what will be The Creamery. Again, not much to see yet, but encouraging to witness signs of this moving forward. This corner could soon look quite different, after being vacant for decades.



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  #449  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2019, 9:54 PM
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In Battle Creek -

Firekeepers Casino held a groundbreaking for a second hotel tower. It will be pretty transforming for the property when complete in 2020. By the rendering, I think it will look pretty sharp.

Quote:
FireKeepers Casino Hotel breaks ground for second hotel tower
Dylan Goetz | MLive
June 17, 2019

BATTLE CREEK, MI -- FireKeepers Casino Hotel broke ground on the construction of a second hotel tower and new amenities in Battle Creek Monday. The new hotel tower adds 203 hotel rooms, 14 suites, a restaurant, table game areas and a VIP lounge, according to a Monday, June 17, news release from FireKeepers.

“Our focus from day one was to design a second hotel tower with the upscale, vibrant yet fun and friendly approach which has made our first tower such a big success,” CEO Kathy George said in a statement...

Image Source: WBCK NewsTalk | Courtesy JSJ Architecture

And new brewery "Handmap Brewing" is coming soon to downtown Battle Creek. The fact that a brewery was coming was announced last year, but the name has been kept secret until recently.

Quote:
Battle Creek natives return home to open Handmap Brewing
MiBiz Staff
June 11, 2019

BATTLE CREEK — The latest brewery to receive a $200,000 incentive from Battle Creek Unlimited Inc. has been identified publicly for the first time. Handmap Brewing LLC will occupy ground-floor space in the historic Record Box redevelopment at 15 Carlyle Street, according to a statement. Founded by Battle Creek natives Chris McCleary and Jenniver Brown, Handmap Brewing plans to brew beer on site and offer a small menu. Crews currently are building out the taproom, which is slated to open in fall 2019 and employ about 12 people...
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  #450  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2019, 6:07 PM
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Now that state funding has been received, this new housing project at the Harrison Street roundabout might hopefully get going soon. The article mentions that construction could begin this fall. Of small note, previous renderings showed 4 stories, but the current one shows five. Interestingly though, the unit count has not changed between the two. Everything else looks exactly the same - just added a floor.

Quote:
$15M affordable housing complex in Kalamazoo gets state funding
Brad Devereaux | MLive
June 24, 2019

KALAMAZOO, MI — A new 80-unit apartment complex in Kalamazoo that includes plans for units offered below market rate has received state funding. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority announced on June 18 that $1,118,500 was awarded to developers Nickel Spitters, LLC and NOMI II, LLC, for a development planned at 615 Harrison Circle. The proposed project calls for new construction of a five-story building with 80 apartment units and a commercial space on the first floor. Four of the units will be two-bedroom units, and 76 will be one-bedroom units...
Current (Summer 2019)

Source: MLive | Courtesy NOMI

From Fall 2018

Source: MLive | Courtesy NOMI
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  #451  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2019, 12:25 AM
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Battle Creek's Heritage Tower (a.k.a. The Milton) as photographed yesterday.











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  #452  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 2:55 PM
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I have not visited downtown Battle Creek in many years. I think a surprising majority of Kalamazooans would be in a similar situation. For only being 20 miles apart, there does not seem to be a lot of overlap between these two similar-sized population centers (Kalamazoo 's ~74,000 vs. Battle Creek's ~52,000). If you consider the two MSA's, there's a bit more disparity (Kalamazoo is about 2 1/2 times greater - ~335,000 vs. ~136,000 in Bttle Creek). But both cities share an abundance of similarities - both anchored by a few key entities, both situated along the Kalamazoo River, both settled around 1830, both feature unique downtown settings, and some great architecture, and both are trying (and, I would argue, succeeding) to maintain vibrancy, relevance, and a sense of identity in the post-industrial landscape. Battle Creek and Kalamazoo both receive more than their fair share of negativity. True, both cities are challenged by persistent issues of economic disparity and homelessness, but they are fighting back.

Anyway, here are some more photos from my walk around Battle Creek - not all new construction (although some of it is). Really just a mix of things - there's a lot I did not get to. I thought about posting this in the photos section, but I wanted to keep it tied to the overall development thread, since it gives greater context for a city probably not too many outside of Michigan are familiar with.

Kellogg's office building, with 21-story Battle Creek Tower beyond (built 1930-1931)


Kellogg's Headquarters Building




Shipping container shops, corner of McCamley and Hamblin


Wave Square, corner of McCamley and Michigan


Other views of Battle Creek Tower




Recently demolished buildings (see before here)


Former Arcadia Brewing Company space


Inside




This vacant beauty is at the corner of Michigan and Carlyle


Battle Creek River through downtown


Central Field House, a pretty cool throwback basketball arena (here's an inside shot)


The former Battle Creek Sanitarium, now part of the Federal Complex since the 1950's






Kellogg Manor, housing the Battle Creek Housing Commission


This long-vacant art deco building at the corner of Van Buren and Washington was once The Hart Hotel


Seventh Day Adventist Temple, on Washington


McCamley Park
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  #453  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 3:12 PM
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(Part 2)



The Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center. This building underwent a pretty major transformation from its original purpose, which was the ill-fated Kellogg's Cereal City tourist trap, which was built in the 1990's to recreate a (fake) factory tour experience after the real factory tours ended in the 1980s. I remember going there once as a kid with my dad.


Other views of Kellogg's HQ




This building on Carlyle will be the future home of the recently-announced Handmap Brewing.


And this building, at the corer of McCamley and Michigan, will be the future home of New Holland Brewing's Battle Creek satellite.






Just a few buildings over from future New Holland, there are plans for this space to be converted to an inddor climbing gym.


This interesting facade is adjacent to the under-remodeling heritage Tower.


The W.K. Kellogg Foundation building


Mill Race Park, across the street from the Foundation. The waterfall effect is cool, and quite loud.










Battle Creek Enquirer Offices


First Baptist Church


First United Methodist Church, with Sojourner Truth memorial in foreground. Sojourner Truth was born a slave in New York, but Battle Creek eventually became her adopted home after she gained her freedom and left New York to join the Seventh Day Adventist Church and become a leading abolitionist.

Unique 6-story, wedge-shaped building at S Monroe.


McCamley Plaza Hotel, which is undergoing a multi-million dollar remodeling and rebranding. It will soon be a Doubletree by Hilton.
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  #454  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2019, 11:09 PM
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Nice pics.

I LOVE that waterfall and the surrounding stone. Beautiful.
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  #455  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2019, 1:42 AM
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Great photos. It’s a shame how many buildings downtown Battle Creek has lost. It used to be much more dense and Battle Creek Tower and The Milton weren’t so dominating.

The building where the indoor rock climbing gym is planned was originally a JC Penney and was a common design. I’m glad to see a unique attraction going there.
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  #456  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2019, 1:52 PM
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Great photos. It’s a shame how many buildings downtown Battle Creek has lost. It used to be much more dense and Battle Creek Tower and The Milton weren’t so dominating.

The building where the indoor rock climbing gym is planned was originally a JC Penney and was a common design. I’m glad to see a unique attraction going there.
I feel the same way about Kalamazoo sometimes. I remember reading a statistic somewhere that Kzoo lost something like 45% of its pre-WW2 building stock, beginning in the 1950's and through the 1980's. Much of that was to create surface parking and because industries were shutting down. Just a smaller version of the same challenge that covered the whole nation. The biggest difference I noticed between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo while walking around was how empty the roads and sidewalks of Battle Creek were. Granted, it was the middle of a work day, but I barely saw a single pedestrian. You can see in the photos I barely captured half a dozen other passers-by in the shots.
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  #457  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2019, 2:40 PM
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Thanks for the updates and the photos. I really like that area and have several friends (urban planning minded folks) who have moved there in recent years and love it.

I'm from the Tri-Cities and have always been jealous of how much better things seemed in the Kalamazoo area than Saginaw. I'm not sure what the economic forces are - perhaps that GM did not up and leave like much of the I-75 corridor. Midland has always had Dow and retains a sense of otherness due to the influx of money and Texans. They've always kept an arm's length from Bay City and Saginaw, to their detriment I think, but if that place's lights ever go out it's game over for Midland.

Kalamazoo and BC may have suffered a lot, but for some reason their methods of revitalization seem to be more thoughtful. I'm sure the colleges have something to do with Kalamazoo's success, too, though.

I went to school in Lansing and really had a good time at first but as I aged out of the college scene and went on to live there for years afterwords my heart really broke when I started to understand how the development community and the planning folks worked in that community. If I could do it all over again, I'd probably have gone to Kalamazoo College or Western. I have a lot of hope for Southwest Michigan communities and it makes me really happy to see the west side of the state doing so well in general.
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  #458  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2019, 6:03 PM
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Happy to share. WMU, K-College, and KVCC have definitely helped Kalamazoo build and retain vibrancy and a downtown culture. Besides these institutions, I think its major employers, which are all health related in some way (Bronson and Borgess Hospitals, Stryker, Pfizer, Zoetis) really help stabilize things. Throw in several big industry manufacturers like FabriKal, Landscape Forms, and Rubbermaid, and Kalamazoo has secured a pretty strong base from which to grow. Battle Creek has suffered a lot as we know from Kellogg losing jobs, and all of the major industries in the area shifting production to other states / countries. Battle Creek needs to reinvent itself and it knows it and it has been trying to. There's great urban planning initiatives in both cities.
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  #459  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2019, 6:43 PM
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Photos from a building tour of The Exchange from a few days ago. The first floor commercial spaces are expected to be done late July. Chemical Bank will be the anchor tenant, and the first tenant to move in. Apartment move ins could begin end of August.

Lobby






Trash Chute


7th Floor (will be rentable commercial office space)


Michigan Ave sidewalk build-out




Legs at work


You can see where they patched the floor after the concrete pumps were removed.


You can also see how the column layout allows for the potential of a common corridor down the center of the space.


Great view of the Kalamazoo Building signage from the 7th floor roof deck.


I still think this is one of the best views of the downtown Kalamazoo Mall.


You can see 100 E Water St. under construction in the distance with its crane.


15th Floor (more leasable office space)




Interesting view of the courthouse roof. I learned that those enclosures were originally utilized for outdoor time for inmates that were held in a small prison. The cells and warden's apartment were located on the top floor of the building. It's mostly prosecutor's offices up there now. But notice the girl playing on the roof...?


She was literally dancing. What the heck?? Must be someone's daughter who works in the building.


Bronson Park. Top left you can see the 400 Rose apartment block under construction.








Some of the residential units.
















This studio has a great panorama window.






Soon to be filled with eager new residents!
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  #460  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2019, 1:59 AM
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Another great tour! I'm in Chicago currently and I'll be heading back to Detroit tomorrow. I think I'll stop in Kalamazoo on the way. I haven't been downtown since before The Exchange began construction. Looking forward to see the impact it's had on the skyline.
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