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

Last Updated: July 03, 2017

Mall City. K-Zoo. Celery City. Paper City. The Zoo. The Bedding Plant Capitol of the World... This place has a lot of nicknames, a lot of character, and a LOT of development going on for a place of its size. The economy is growing in Kalamazoo, and in an effort to celebrate this development, all general construction located in and around the Kalamazoo-Portage Metropolitan Statistical Area will be included.


Image: Downtown Kalamazoo, as viewed from Arcadia Creek Festival Place
Image Source: Wikipedia

Brief Background:

Kalamazoo is a unique city in Southwest Michigan. It is situated equidistant between Chicago and Detroit (less than 150 miles from each). The city holds its own as a hub for arts, culture, industry, and education, not to mention the many breweries and dining establishments frequented by locals and visitors. Likely the most famous of these is Bell’s Brewery and Eccentric Café. Kalamazoo is characterized by more than 20 distinct neighborhoods, many with active neighborhood associations. The city is remarkably diverse for a place of its size. It was settled around 1829 by westward-migrating white settlers. It was later incorporated as a village in 1843, and it eventually became a city in 1884. Before white settlement, the land was home to the Potawatomi Nation. Prior to that, Natives of the Hopewell civilization called the land home.


Image: Kalamazoo Satellite View
Image Source: Google Maps (April 01, 2017)


Image: Kalamazoo Neighborhoods Map
Image Source:Wikipedia

Populations:

As f the 2016 census numbers, the City of Kalamazoo has a population of around 76,000, and it is the largest city in Southwest Michigan. When combined with the neighboring city of Portage located immediately to its south, which has a population of about 48,500, the Kalamazoo-Portage Metropolitan Statistical Area anchors a population of about 335,000 persons. Add to this the population center of nearby Battle Creek, and the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek-Portage CSA ranks / ties for third in the state of Michigan, coming in at around 524,000 (source: Wikipedia). Both Kalamazoo and Portage are growing slowly but steadily, and every municipality in the county experienced growth on some level between 2010 and 2016:



Industry:

The area has a strong manufacturing history. Some historic industries included paper, stoves, automobiles, musical instruments, cigars, fishing gear (Shakespeare), and celery. Kalamazoo is where Gibson Guitars was founded, and it is where the Checker Cab was manufactured by Checker Motors Company. Today, the Kalamazoo-Portage area manufacturing scene has evolved to more high-tech and healthcare-related specialties, and it is also still host to a lot of plant nurseries and greenhouses. It is home to Fortune 500 company Stryker Corporation, a medical technologies leader. Other prominent businesses invested in the area include:

• Fabri-Kal (thermoformed packaging)
• Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet designs (outdoor kitchen equipment)
• Parker Hannifin (hydraulic components)
• Pfizer Corporation (ranks among the world’s largest Pharmaceutical businesses)
• Zoetis (world's largest producer of animal medicines)
• Eaton Corporation (Power Management / Distribution)
• Bell’s Brewery (Beer Brewing / Distribution)


Image: Gibson Inc. Interior, 1936
Image Source: KPL

Arts / Culture:

There are not many cities the size of Kalamazoo that can boast such a diversity of culture. The area has many museums, performance venues, organizations, and events dedicated to the arts. Perhaps most well-known is the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, hosted in the city each year by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation. This weeks-long event attracts talent and visitors from around the world. The Kalamazoo Civic Theater has been active as a community theater ensemble since 1929. Also not to be overlooked is the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the third largest symphony orchestra in the state, with a nearly 100-year history.


Image: Bell's Eccentric Café Interior
Image Source:Crain's Detroit

Healthcare:

Kalamazoo is home to two large hospitals - Bronson Healthcare and Borgess
Health. Both have roots dating to the nineteenth century, and both hold a large influence on development in the area. The city is also home to the Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Hospital, the largest mental health institution in the state, housed in a Kirkbride-planned building.


Image: Bronson Atrium by night
Image Source: CSM Group

Higher Education:

Kalamazoo is home to three large institutions of higher education: Western Michigan University, a public research university founded in 1903 with a student body around 24,000; Kalamazoo College, a private liberal arts college founded in 1833, with a much smaller student body of around 1,400; and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a 2-year community college system founded in 1966 and serving a student body of around 10,000. All three of these schools have a lot to do with the economic growth and diversity in the city.

Development - Historic:

Development-wise, Kalamazoo has had its fair share in the history of larger development trends. The city is home to what can be considered the worlds’ first modern, outdoor shopping mall, designed by Victor Gruen in the 1950s. It is still very much a part of the thriving downtown business area today.


Image: The Kalamazoo Mall, circa 1960s
Image Source: MI Genweb

The city has been a leader in historic preservation and adaptive reuse. It has one of the most active Historic Preservation Commissions in the state, and it is the smallest city in the state that manages to maintain this full-time department, dedicated to promoting historic preservation. Because of this, Kalamazoo boasts a variety of well-preserved structures from every architectural style from the 1830s on, especially Art Deco. That said, Kalamazoo was also witness to 'urban renewal' efforts beginning in the 1960s, like so many other cities. The Kalamazoo Center project meant demolition for historic structures that didn't fit the 'modern' identity that developers were striving to achieve.


Image: Kalamazoo Center, renovated and known now as The Radisson Plaza Hotel, was at the center of Kalamazoo's urban renewal efforts.
Image Source: Byce Associates

Kalamazoo also played host to several historically significant planned communities, two of which were spearheaded by citizens that enlisted the design efforts of Frank Lloyd Wright. These two Usonian communities, one in the Kalamazoo Winchell neighborhood (Parkwyn Village) and the other near Galesburg (The Acres / Galesburg Country Homes), are to this day some of the few planned communities designed by Wright that were actually built and continue to thrive.


Image: An early proposal for the Parkwyn Village community, indicating Wright's design for circular lots (which was ultimately not accepted by the FHA).
Image Source: Parkwyn Village Association

Development - Today:

So much exciting development is happening today in the greater Kalamazoo area, and it is certainly worthy of having its own development thread. Below is a list of some current projects and development-related news for both Kalamazoo and Portage, Michigan. Since this is a new thread, information for significant developments that have been recently completed is also provided, to give a better picture of just how much change there has been in recent times. Updates will be made periodically; projects listed below are meant to be a good start – but if there are projects you know of that are missing from this thread, please let the group know!

All original image sources credited.

Kalamazoo - Current Projects Under Construction:a

Westgate - Phase 1

Construction Cost: $100 Million
Location: Maple Hill Drive (North of West Main St, East of US 131)
Involved Parties: AVB, Inc. (Developer)
Status: Site Clearing is underway
Summary: A large, 140-acre development, to include several big box store sites, four restaurant sites (likely national-chain), and three hotel sites, two of which have been claimed by a Holiday Inn & Suites and a Holiday Inn Express.

Image: Developer's Plan
Image Source:MLive

The Corner@Drake

Construction Cost:$70 Million
Location: Northwest corner of Stadium Drive and Drake Road
Involved Parties: Costco, Field & Stream (Anchor Tenants), Consumers Credit Union, AVB, Inc. (CM)
Status: Under Construction, Multiple Phases Complete
Summary: A large shopping plaza, anchored by Costco and Field & Stream. Outlying buildings are under construction currently, for leasable retail and restaurant spaces.


Image: Developer Plan
Image Source: AVB, Inc

The Exchange Building

Construction Cost: $53 Million
Location: 151 W. Michigan Ave (SE corner of W. Michigan and Rose)
Involved Parties: PlazaCorp, Phoenix Properties, Chemical Bank, Byce Engineering & Architecture, Orion Construction
Status: Under Construction
Summary: A 15-story, 340,000 SF mixed-use tower that broke ground this Spring. Completion expected in 2018.


Image Source: MLive

The Foundry - Phase 1

Construction Cost: $10 million
Location: 600 E. Michigan Ave.
Involved Parties: Treystar (Developer), CSM Group (CM)
Status: Under Construction
Summary: Phase 1 is a 35,000 SF development on a brownfield redevelopment site, to include a 6,000 SF restaurant and office space for up to 200 people. Project also includes an extension of Harrison Street south, past Michigan Avenue, to eventually connect to S. Pitcher Street.


Image: Artist's Conceptual Rendering, The Foundry, Phase 1

Consumers Credit Union Headquarters

Construction Cost: Unknown / Withheld
Location: 7200 Elm Valley Drive
Involved Parties: HOK (Design Architect), Bosch Architecture (Local Consulting Firm), AVB, Inc. (CM), Consumers Credit Union
Status: Under Construction
Summary: New corporate headqua­­­rters on a 22-acre site with natural setting. The 89,000 SF, three-story building represents a significant expansion and upgrade from current facilities on Stadium Drive. Also included is a new 108,00 SF parking deck.


Image Source: EventBrite

The Shoppes on Westnedge

Construction Cost: $9.4 Million
Location: Former Hardings Market, Howard Street and S. Westnedge
Involved Parties: City of Kalamazoo, Park Street Market
Status: Under Construction
Summary: With the assistance of funding from the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, a new grocery store is planned to open in 2019 at the former location of a Hardings Market. Up to four additional stores and a space for a farmers market and food trucks are also in the planning stages.


Image: Construction progress as of 6/18/17
Image Source: My own photo

New RX Optical Laboratories Inc. New Corporate Headquarters Building

Construction Cost: $6 million
Location: 1700 S. Park St
Involved Parties: RX Optical
Status: Under Construction
Summary: A new 22,000 SF administrative space to house the 69-year-old Kalamazoo-based company, which has over 50 locations in Michigan and Indiana.


Image: Project Rendering
Image Source: MiBiz

Peregrine 100 - Phase 1

Construction Cost: $5 Million
Location: Corner of W. Michigan Ave. and S. Burdick St.
Involved Parties: Peregrine Realty (Tom Huff, Owner)
Status: Under Construction
Summary: Residential and commercial mixed-use development in the ld National Bank and Trust Building (PNC Bank more recently). Phase 1 includes 12 luxury residential units, Phase 2 will include more units and development of the vacant, historic 8,000 SF former bank space, which at one time was the home of First National Bank of Kalamazoo. Amenities to include indoor parking, rooftop terrace, and some units with 40 ft high ceilings.


Image Source: My own photo

Delta Hotel by Marriott - Conversion

Construction Cost: $4 Million
Location: US-131 and Stadium Drive
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo Hotel Group LLC (Owner), Delta Hotels by Marriott (Property Management)
Status: Under Construction
Summary: Renovation of an existing Holiday Inn hotel and rehabilitation of the adjacent, 24,000 SF former Holiday Lanes bowling alley into a conference center.


Image: The existing hotel, with empty bowling alley towards the top.
Image Source: Google Maps

East End Roundabout

Construction Cost: $1.9 Million
Location: Intersection of Gull, Harrison and Ransom streets
Involved Parties: Wightman & Associates (Engineer), City of Kalamazoo
Status: Under Construction
Summary: In May 2017, the City Commission approved plans to construct a roundabout at this busy intersection on the east end of downtown, with the goal of improving vehicular flow while decreasing pedestrian and cyclist-related dangers.


Image Source: MLive / Wightman & Associates

Kalamazoo Commons Apartment Conversion

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 165-219 E South St.
Involved Parties: Ramp 3 LLC, Meyer C. Weiner Co.
Status: Under Construction
Summary: Conversion of 17,000 SF of retail space into (8) 1-3 bedroom apartments.


Image Source: Al Jones | MLive

Borgess Behavioral Crisis Center

Construction Cost: $1.5 Million
Location: 1521 Gull Road
Involved Parties: Borgess Health
Status: Under Construction
Summary: A 2,500 SF, 8 bedroom suite, designed to accommodate E.R. patients with mental or behavioral problems. To be located adjacent to the existing Trauma & Emergency Center.


Image Source: MLive | Courtesy Borgess Health

Congregation of Saint Joseph - New Nazareth Center

Construction Cost: Unknown ($1.5 Million?)
Location: 3709 Nazareth Road
Involved Parties: Congregation of Saint Joseph
Status: Under Construction
Summary: The Kalamazoo Congregation of Saint Joseph (a group of Catholic nuns) is constructing a new 124,000 SF, 2-story center to house their aging and diminishing population. It is located behind their current mother house, of the which the future remains uncertain. The campus that houses the sisters was originally the home of Nazareth College, which closed in 1992.


Image: The new center under construction in April 2017


Image: The existing mother house
Images Source: My own photos

Trinity Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church Mixed Use Conversion

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 117 W. North St.
Involved Parties: Nelson Nave, AIA (Architect), Catalina Holdings LLC (Developer)
Status: Under Construction
Summary: A vacant church on the North Side will be converted into three apartments and office space for a dental practice. The church was constructed in 1924.


Image Source: MLive

Latitude 42 - Oshtemo Township

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: US 131 and West Main
Involved Parties: Progressive AE (Architect), Latitude 42
Status: Under Construction
Summary: A popular brewpub that opened its doors a few years ago in Portage is constructing a second location in Oshtemo Township, just west of Kalamazoo city limits. Expected completion is October/early November 2017. 


Image Source: Mlive (Courtesy of Oshtemo Township)

Wightman Associates, Inc. - New Kalamazoo Office

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: Downtown / north side
Involved Parties: Wightman & Associaates, Inc. (Architect)
Status: Under Construction
Summary: The Architecture & Engineering firm of Wightman & Associates, Inc. was founded in 1949. It is currently in the process of relocating its Portage office to downtown Kalamazoo, in a renovated structure.

(No image available)

Ronin Artisan Ales

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 505 E. Kalamazoo Ave
Involved Parties: Justin Guisinger and Shane Van Liere (Owners / Founders)
Status: Under Construction
Summary: A new microbrewery, planned to be open by October 2017 in a vacant section of a building also occupied by Black Owl Cafe, The Final Clue and Symphony Financial Services.


Image Source: MLive

Water Street Coffee - Sprinkle Road

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: near the Sprinkle Rd / I-94 Interchange
Involved Parties: Water Street Coffee
Status Under Construction
Summary: Water Street Coffee Joint, which is held in much greater esteem than Starbucks by many Kalamazooans, will be opening its fifth location this summer on the busy South Sprinkle Road. Although it is going to just be a tiny drive through along this busy arterial road, it is a positive addition for that area, and a sign of increased pace of development near the Sprinkle Rd / I-94 area.


Image Source: MLive

Kalamazoo – Proposed Projects:

Arcadia Commons West

Construction Cost: At least $150 - $200 million, including $80 million County Courthouse Building
Location: Downtown Kalamazoo West End, Four Blocks @ Cooley / Eleanor Sts.
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo County, City of Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University, PlazaCorp (Developer)
Status: Proposed
Summary: A redevelopment plan for four long-vacant blocks to catalyze development in the west end of downtown. Work will include a new courthouse building, private commercial development, and Western Michigan University development.


Image: Map of proposed development
Image Source: Wood TV

Allied Paper Superfund Cleanup and Redevelopment

Construction Cost: Unknown (likely tens of millions)
Location: Area bounded by Alcott, Reed, Portage, and Burdick
Involved Parties: City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, EPA
Status: Proposed
Summary: In Fall of 2016, the EPA approved a (controversial) cleanup plan for the former Bryant / Allied Paper Mill site, referred to as "The Hybrid". Under this plan, PCB contaminants in a landfill will all be moved to one area of the site, away from Portage Creek, and then capped. The plan is that this will free up about 20 acres of cleared land for new development. Several earlier proposals calling for complete removal of all contaminants was deemed too costly to do, at a price tag of around $180 million.


Image Source: City of Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department

Construction Cost: $15.7 Million
Location: 400 Bryant St
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo County, PlazaCorp (Developer / Property Owner)
Status: Proposed
Summary: In June 2017, the County Health Department confirmed its plans to relocate its primary facilities to the former Illinois Envelope Company Building, located within the Allied Paper Superfund Site. The existing 3-story masonry building is listed on the National Register, and is approximately 45,500 SF. It is expected to be fully renovated by February, 2018. The County will utilize the building on long-term lease from PlazaCorp.


Image Source: Wikipedia

Rose Street Market / Boutique Hotel

Construction Cost: Unknown ($10 - $20 million?)
Location: 303 N Rose St
Involved Parties: PlazaCorp (Developer)
Status: Proposed
Summary: Planned conversion of the former Rose Street Market Banquet Center (originally the Masonic Hall) into a new Boutique Hotel, including a new addition.


Image Source: My own photo

WMU Student Center / Waldo Library Expansion

Construction Cost: Unknown ($5 - 10 Million?)
Location: Western Michigan University Main Campus
Involved Parties: Perkins + Will (Architect), WMU
Status: Proposed / In Design
Summary: Demolition of a portion of McCracken Hall is currently underway to make room for a new student center, that will potentially include an expansion to the Waldo Library as well. The project is in planning stages, with the goal of creating a new integrated learning and activity hub on campus. Plan is expected to be publically displayed towards the end of June.


Image Source: Google Maps

Kalamazoo Human Society - New Crucial Care and Resource Center for Animals

Construction Cost: $5 Million
Location: River Street & I-94 Business Loop (Comstock Township)
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo Humane Society, Kingscott Associates, Inc. (Architect)
Status: Proposed / In Design
Summary: This proposed center would replace the local Humane Society's current home with a much larger facility, equipped to handle more animals and growing services. The move would give the society a 15-acre site for future expansion, compared to the current 1/4-acre site.


Image Source: KAI

Heritage / Gibson Guitar Factory

Construction Cost: Unknown ($2 - 3 Million?)
Location: 225 Parsons Street
Involved Parties: Heritage Guitar
Status: Proposed / In Design
Summary: No public details yet. Work will possibly include conversion of the original factory space into a brewpub and guitar museum, as well as an outdoor beer garden, on kalamazoo's north side.


Image Source: My own photo

302 Academy Street

Construction Cost: Unknown ($2 - 3 Million?)
Location: 302 Academy Street
Involved Parties: Byce & Associates (Architects / Engineers)
Status: Proposed / Conceptual
Summary: If built, this project would convert a vacant church structure and provide a new 5-story addition for new residential lofts and office space that would face Bronson Park. The existing historic church structure that dates to the 1800s would be preserved.


Image Source: Byce & Associates


Trade Joe's

Construction Cost: Unknown ($1 - 2 Million?)
Location: The Corner @ Drake Development
Involved Parties: Trader Joe's (Rumored) AVB, Inc. (Developer)
Status: Rumored
Summary: No public details yet. It is rumored that Trader Joe's may join the other new retail establishments at this large development in the west end of Kalamazoo.


Image: Typical Trader Joe's (Fort Lauderdale example)
Image Source: Fortune.com

The Stamped Robin

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 128 Portage Street
Involved Parties: Emily Deering and Matt Caruso (Owners)
Status: Proposed / In Permitting
Summary: This new venue will offer rotating specialty cocktails and wine selections, along with lighter food options. It is expected to seat 55 to 85 patrons, including outdoor seating on a small patio.


Image: Future location of The Stamped Robin, far left of the three story building, close to the parking deck
Image Source: My own photo

Kalamazoo – Recently Completed Projects:

Sprinkle Road Tap House

Construction Cost: $750,000 - $1 Million
Location: 5001 Circle Park Drive
Involved Parties: Millennium Restaurant Group
Status: Completed May, 2017
Summary: This 4,500 SF full-service restaurant and bar will be the third of its kind for Millennium Restaurant Group's family of local Tap House venues. The restaurant is attached to the recently completed Zeigler's Motor Sports on Sprinkle Road.


Image Source: MLive | Courtesy Millennium Restaurant Group

Pho on the Block (P.O.T.B.)

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 1301 Portage St.
Involved Parties: POTB
Status: Completed May, 2017
Summary: A modern Vietnamese fusion restaurant, constructed with the help of a community grant. Located in a restored block of the Washington Square area of the Edison neighborhood, south of downtown.


Image Source: Mark Bugnaski | MLive

Firehouse Subs

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 1750 South Drake Road
Involved Parties: Firehouse Subs, AVB (Developer)
Status: Completed May, 2017
Summary: The first Firehouse Subs in the Kalamazoo area, part of "The Corner @ Drake" development. The chain was founded by firefighters and is based out of Jacksonville, Florida.


Image Source: WKFR

Kalamazoo Mall Plaza Conversion

Construction Cost: $3 Million
Location: 157 S Kalamazoo Mall
Involved Parties: The Vernon Group LLC (Property Manager)
Status: Completed Spring, 2017
Summary: Conversion of a 4-story structure to mixed use with 22 high-end loft apartments. The renovation retains two retail shops on the ground floor facing the mall. Private parking is provided in the basement and a portion of the first floor, and commercial space also remains in a portion of the basement and the second floor. New balconies were added facing the mall.


Image Source: My own photo

New Family Health Center Clinic

Construction Cost: $15 million
Location: Alcott St. - Edison Neighborhood
Involved Parties: Family Health Center, CSM Group (CM), Eckert Wordell (Architect)
Status: Completed April 2017
Summary: A new 50,000 SF health care clinic geared towards providing health services to residents on the city's south side. The Family Health Center partnered with the City of Kalamazoo to build the clinic on a brownfield redevelopment site at the location of the former Allied Paper Company.


Image Source: MLive / Rick Chambers & Associates, LLC

Demolition of Former Kalamazoo Gazette Building

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 401 S. Burdick St.
Involved Parties: Bronson Healthcare Group, CSM Group (CM)
Status: Demolition completed April 2017
Summary: Demolition of more than half of the 131,000 SF+ structure that was formerly the home of the Kalamazoo Gazette. The property was bought by Bronson Healthcare Group in 2015 with goals to increase its downtown Kalamazoo footprint. The original portion of the structure was built in 1925 and was designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn. This portion is being preserved. New construction will include lab space and other functions.


Image: Former Kalamazoo Gazette Building, undergoing demolition (photo date 3/22/17)
Image Source: My own photo

Kelvin & Company

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 232 E Michigan Ave
Involved Parties: Kelvin & Company
Status: Completed Spring, 2017
Summary: Kalamazoo's first fast-service BBQ restaurant, featuring Urban BBQ & Casual Meats.


Image Source: Google Maps

Walnut & Park Coffee Shop

Construction Cost: $500,000
Location: 322 W. Walnut St.
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo KPEP
Status: Completed March, 2017
Summary: A new 1,300 SF coffee shop and cafe; part of the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program that will offer solid employment for men and women who are participants in KPEP's culinary arts program.


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

Zeigler Motorsports Dealership & Entertainment Facility

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 5001 Park Circle Drive
Involved Parties: Zeigler Motorsports, Millennium Restaurant Group
Status: Completed March, 2017
Summary: A new 50-acre facility, featuring a 30-ft mountain and waterfall, birch trees, a 300 sq-ft. video wall, 36 motorcycles suspended from the ceiling, and a Tap House Restaurant & Bar, further solidifying Zeigler's standing as one of the largest motorsports dealers in the nation.


Image: New Zeigler Motorsports Showroom
Image Source: PR Web

Fuze Kitchen & Bar

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 214 E Michigan Ave
Involved Parties: Fuze Kitchen & Bar
Status: Completed Winter 2016 / 2017
Summary: A new dining venue in downtown Kalamazoo that features an open kitchen and bar, evolving seasonal menus, fresh ingredients, and a funky atmosphere.


Image Source: Fuzekzoo.com

Nova Virtual Reality Arcade

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 806 S Westnedge Ave (Vine Neighborhood)
Involved Parties: Nova VR
Status: Completed December, 2016

Summary: Interior fit-out of an existing structure to house a new virtual reality arcade in the eclectic Vine Neighborhood.


Image: Exterior View, along S. Westnedge
Image Source: MLive


Kalamazoo County Criminal Justice Complex / Family Court Building

Construction Cost: $24 million
Location: 1536 Gull Road
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo County, HOK / Tower Pinkster (Architect), AVB (CM)
Status: Completed Winter, 2016
Summary: A new three-story, 82,000 SF Criminal Justice Complex built to consolidate all family court functions for the entire county.


Image: Criminal Justice Complex, Exterior
Image Source: AVB, Inc

Family & Children Services Expansion

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 1608 Lake St.
Involved Parties: Family & Children Services, Kingscott Associates (Architect), Miller-Davis (CM)
Status: Completed November, 2016
Summary: Two-story, 14,000 SF addition to Family & Children Services' Kalamazoo facility, marking the largest building project in the organization's 100+ year history. Family & Children Services provides services in youth development and counseling for children and families. The new addition is dedicated to services that support foster children and their foster families.


Image: Family & Children Services - Exterior - Front
Image Source: KAI

Kalamazoo College Fitness and Wellness Center

Construction Cost: $8.7 Million
Location: Corner of Catherine and Academy Sts.
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo College, TMP Architecture, Owen-Ames-Kimball (CM)
Status: Completed October 2016
Summary: Two-story, 33,000 SF facility that was a renovation / addition to an existing building - dedicated to campus health and wellness.


Image: Front Entrance
Image Source: OAK

KVCC Culinary Arts and Allied Health Building

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 418 E Walnut St
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Bronson Healthcare Group, DEQ, EPA, Tower Pinkster (Architect), CSM Group (CM)
Status: Completed Fall, 2016
Summary: Part of the KVCC / Bronson Healthy Living Campus Development. A 75,000 SF building to house Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s new Food and Health Studies programs.


Image: Exterior View of the new building
Image Source: Tower Pinkster /

KVCC Food Innovation Building

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 418 E Walnut St
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Bronson Healthcare Group, DEQ, EPA, Tower Pinkster (Architect), CSM Group (CM)
Status: Completed Fall, 2016
Summary: One of three buildings within the new Bronson Healthy Living Campus development in downtown Kalamazoo, the new 16,500 SF Food Innovation Building responds to the rising trend of simulation within the academic environment and promotes wellness while increasing community access to healthy food and nutrition.


Image: KVCC Food Innovation Building exterior
Image Source: Tower Pinkster

Bell's Brewery Expansion

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: Comstock
Involved Parties: Bell's Brewery Inc, Byce & Associates (Architects / Engineers), Walbridge (CM)
Status: Completed Fall, 2016
Summary: Multiple phased projects to expand facilities. The most recent project included a $50 million, 200,000 SF facility expansion to add a new packaging / bottling hall, a warehouse logistics center, a point-of-sale warehouse, new offices and employee areas, an 800 barrel fermentation addition, and a Two Hearted fermentation addition . The expansion allowed production to increase from 800,000 barrels per year to 1,000,000 barrels.


Image: Exterior View
Image Source: Byce

The Depot

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 300 E Water Street
Involved Parties: PlazaCorp, Hopcat, Cherry Tree Financial, Maru Sushi
Status: Completed Fall, 2016
Summary: Project involved the restoration of a 1920's-era train depot to create over 13,000 SF of space for a financial institution and two restaurants, including the 11th HopCat location with over 100 beers on tap.


Image: The Depot, Exterior

Milwood Elementary School Renovations / Additions

Construction Cost: $5.5 Million
Location: 3400 Lovers Lane
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo Public Schools, Tower Pinkster (Architect), CSM Group (CM)
Status: Completed Fall, 2016
Summary: Updates and addition to Milwood Elementary, including 39,365 SF in renovations and 26,700 SF in additions.


Image: Milwood Elementary School, exterior
Image Source: Tower Pinkster

Western Michigan University Valley Dining Center

Construction Cost: $36 Million
Location: 4717 Campus Drive (Main Campus)
Involved Parties: Western Michigan University, Bakergroup / SGJJR Architects
Status: Completed Fall, 2016
Summary: 61,000 SF facility featuring 9 micro restaurants with seating capacity for 1,000.


Image Source: MLive

Consumers Energy Solar Gardens, WMU Business Technology & Research Park

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 4601 Campus Drive (Parkview Campus)
Involved Parties: Western Michigan University, Consumers Energy
Status: Completed August, 2016
Summary: 8.5 acres, 1-megawatt solar power plant at Western's BTR Park. This marks Consumers' second large-scale solar project in Michigan, the first being a 3-megawatt plant at Grand Valley State University that opened in April.


Image Source: MLive

Walbridge Common Apartments

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 714 Walbridge St. (River's Edge Neighborhood)
Involved Parties: NoMi (Developers)
Status: Completed Summer, 2016
Summary: 48 apartments and a restaurant in a renovated, 34,000 SF warehouse built in 1924, located in the northeast Kalamazoo River’s Edge District.


Image Source: River's Edge District

Western Michigan University WMed Innovation Center

Construction Cost: $12.5 Million
Location: 4717 Campus Drive (Parkview Campus)
Involved Parties: Western Michigan University, URS Corp. (Architect), AVB, Inc. (CM)
Status: Completed 2016
Summary: Located on Western's Parkview Campus, this 69,000 SF building is designed to be an incubator for ventures in life science, technology, and engineering. Estimated construction cost was $12.5 million.


Image: Exterior view
Image Source: AVB, Inc.

Western Michigan University - Heritage Hall Alumni Center / Former East Hall Renovation

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: WMU East Campus, Prospect Hill
Involved Parties: Western Michigan University, Tower Pinkster (Architect), Hopkins Burns Design Studio, Ann Arbor (Preservation Architect)
Status: Completed Fall, 2015
Summary: This structure, one of the original of the university, was designed by John Charles Olmsted and Fredrick Law Olmsted Jr. (sons of famous landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted Sr) and constructed in 1903. The repurposing of the building into an Alumni Center involved partial demolition of two wing additions, as well as demolition of several surrounding structures, also original to the campus (West Hall, Speech and Hearing Building, and North Hall). bout 34,000 SF of the structure was retained.


Image Source: Tower Pinkster

2700 West - Student Housing

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location 2700 W Michigan Ave.
Involved Parties: Byce & Associates (Architect / Engineer), Cornerstone Construction Management (CM), Main Street Properties (Property Manager)
Status: Completed August, 2015
Summary: A 4 story, 62,000 SF, student-oriented apartment complex with ground floor retail. Features 35 apartment units and intends to establish a sense of place by creating a street wall presence.


Image Source: Byce & Associates

Principle Food & Drink

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 230 S Kalamazoo Mall
Involved Parties: Principle Food & Drink
Status: Completed August, 2015
Summary: Founded to promote ingredients from the local farm community with craft cocktails in a comfortable space downtown.


Image Source: Principlekzoo.com

Landscape Forms - Powder Coat Finishing Facility

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: Midlink Office Park
Involved Parties: Landscape Forms, Eckert Wordell (Architect)
Status: Completed 2015
Summary: 166,000 SF renovation to create a new powder coat finishing facility, offices, and employee space for this industry leader in site furnishings and outdoor LED lighting.


Image: Employee Break Area
Image Source: Eckert Wordell

Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: Bronson Healthy Living Campus
Involved Parties: City of Kalamazoo, Bronson Healthcare Group, Eckert Wordell (Architect)
Status: Completed 2015
Summary: 17,000 SF facility, part of the new Bronson Healthy Living Campus, where guiding principles address issues of nutrition, mental and physical health, sustainability, and social concerns.


Image Source: Eckert Wordell

Montessori School of the Kalamazoo Area

Construction Cost: $1 Million
Location: 750 Howard St
Involved Parties: Diekema Hamman (Architect), AVB, Inc. (CM),
Status: Completed September, 2014
Summary: Renovation & addition to the existing Montessori school in Kalamazoo.


Image Source: Diekema Hamman

Norbridge Building

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 510 E. Butler Ct. (River's Edge Neighborhood)
Involved Parties: NoMi (Developer)
Status: Completed 2014
Summary: Norbridge was completed in 2014 as a multi-use building featuring one 8,000 square foot office space and five loft style apartments. Part of the larger reinvestment occurring in the east end.


Image Source: River's Edge District


Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

Construction Cost: $57.5 Million
Location: 300 Portage St
Involved Parties: Western Michigan University, The S/L/A/M Collaborative (Architect), Walbridge (CM)
Status: Completed 2014
Summary: Renovation and addition to a former pharmaceutical research building downtown, 350,000 SF project to create a new home for WMU's School of Medicine.


Image: Exterior, Night
Image Source: Architect Magazine

Peregrine Plaza

Construction Cost: Unkown
Location: 336 S Kalamazoo Mall (Corner of E South St & South Burdick St)
Involved Parties: Peregrine Properties, MLive, Various Tenants
Status: Completed 2014
Summary: A mixed use renovation & development to bring commercial space and 14 residential units to the heart of downtown. The first floor is the new home of the Kalamazoo Gazette / MLive, along with an art gallery, a yoga center, and other retail establishments.


Image: Pergrine Plaza Exterior
Image Source: Peregrine Company

Washington Writers' Academy

Construction Cost: $10.7 Million
Location: 1919 Portage Rd
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo Public Schools, Tower Pinkster (Architect), CSM Group (CM)
Status: Completed 2014
Summary: Construction of a new K-5 school building that integrates parts of the historic original structure into the new design.


Image: Exterior View
Image Source: CSM Group


Orrin B. Hayes Mercedes Benz Dealership

Construction Cost: $1.2 Million
Location: 543 W Michigan Ave
Involved Parties: Orrin B. Hayes, AVB, Inc. (CM)
Status: Completed 2014
Summary: A new 5,000 SF showroom anchors this project, which included extensive renovations to an existing building.


Image: New Showroom, exterior
Image Source: AVB, Inc,

Arcadia Brewing Company / Arcadia Ales

Construction Cost: $3.2 Million
Location: 701 E Michigan Ave
Involved Parties: Arcadia Brewing Company, AVB, Inc. (CM)
Status: Completed Spring 2014
Summary: Arcadia Ales opened a new 30,000 SF facility capable of producing up to 21,000 barrels a year in 2014. The facility features a full commercial kitchen and open concept restaurant and bar with outdoor seating. It is adjacent to the Kalamazoo River; kayakers can take their kayak right up to the river's edge, and dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area.


Image; Exterior by night
Image Source: AVB, Inc.

Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership

Construction Cost: $5 Million
Location: Academy St, Kalamazoo College
Involved Parties: Kalamazoo College, Miller-Davis (CM), Studio Gang (Architect)
Status: Completed 2014
Summary: This 10,000 SF hub for advancing social justice packs a lot of design into a small area. The Center was developed to promote and sustain leaders in the fields of human rights and social justice, and features 'wood masonry' technology to create a low-tech, high-performance exterior façade.


Image Source: Studio Gang

HARK Orchids, L.P. New Company Headquarters

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 5301 Park Circle Dr.
Involved Parties: Hark Orchids, L.P., CSM Group (CM)
Status: Completed July, 2013
Summary: A new 35,000 SF headquarters in the Midlink Business Park for Hark Orchids, a company established in 1904 that deals in the hybridization, cultivation, and propagation of orchids.


Image: HARK Orchids Exterior
Image Source: CSM Group

Radisson Plaza Hotel Renovations

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 100 W. Michigan Ave.
Involved Parties: Radisson, Eckert-Wordell (Architect)
Status: Completed 2012
Summary: Project included a full redesign of the lobby and registration areas, as well as renovations to guest rooms and event areas for downtown's premier hotel.


Image: Radisson Registration Lobby
Image Source: Eckert Wordell

Family Health Center of Kalamazoo - Expanded Flagship Location

Construction Cost: $8.3 Million
Location: Patterson St - Northside Neighborhood
Involved Parties: Bronson Healthcare, CSM Group (CM)
Status: Completed 2012
Summary: A 41,000 SF expansion of its existing facility, this project allowed FHC to double the number of patients it treats each year.


Image: Exterior by night
Image Source: CSM Group

Last edited by deja vu; Sep 13, 2017 at 3:30 AM. Reason: Content Update, photo links repaired
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Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 12:12 AM
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PORTAGE Developments

Last Updated: July 03, 2017

The City of Portage, just south of Kalamazoo and not to be outdone by its neighbor to the north, is experiencing something of a boom itself in new construction in all sectors. Portage, achieved $65 million in new construction value for 2015-2016. For the first half of 2016-2017 alone, new construction is valued at $57.5 million (Source: The Portager, February 2017)
Portage is a far more suburban City than Kalamazoo, and it currently growing at a rate of about twice that of Kalamazoo. It’s current population as of 2016 is estimated at 48,500. It is home to several giants in the medical technologies and pharmaceutical world, including Pfizer, Stryker, and Zoetis. Below is a satellite aerial view of Portage:


Source: Google Earth

Portage - Current Projects Under Construction:

Pfizer Expansions

Construction Cost: $146.3 Million
Location: Pfizer Portage Manufacturing Complex, Corner of Portage and Romence Rds
Involved Parties: Pfizer Inc., City of Portage
Status: Under Construction
Summary: Work is underway on the first part of Pfizer's expansion plan; a large, 98,000 SF warehouse addition at the north end of Building 41 (estimated construction cost $41 million).


Image: The new cold-storage warehouse, as seen from Romence Road on 6/10/17.
Image Source: My own photo


Image: The Pfizer Campus in Portage
Image Source:MLive

Portage Public Schools 2015 Bond Projects

Construction Cost: $144 Million
Location: Various Locations throughout the City of Portage
Involved Parties: Portage Public Schools, C2AE / Stantec (Architect), Owen Ames Kimball (CM)
Status: Phase 1 Under Construction (Central HS Natatorium & Northern Stadium / Athletic Fields)
Summary: In November, 2015, residents of Portage voted to approve two bond proposals, totaling $144 million. Work will include:
  • Portage Central HS - New Natatorium – Spring 2018
  • Portage Northern HS - New Stadium – Summer 2018
  • New Portage North Middle School – Fall 2019
  • Portage Central HS - New Stadium – Fall 2019
  • Portage Northern HS – New Natatorium – Summer 2020
  • New Portage Central Middle School – Fall 2020
  • West Middle School Improvements – Fall 2020


Image: Construction progress at Central High School natatorium as of 6/10/17
Image Source: My own photo


Image: New Portage Central Middle School Rendering
Image Source: Portage Public Schools (Courtesy Stantec / C2ae)

Stryker Corporate Campus & Manufacturing / Research & Development Expansion

Construction Cost: $154.5 Million
Location: 4100 E. Milham Ave., on 288 acres of land zoned industrial and bordered by Portage Road, East Milham Avenue and Ramona Avenue
Involved Parties: Stryker Corporation, Christman Constructors, Inc. (CM)
Status: Under Construction
Summary: Development of an existing brownfield site into a new corporate campus, including a 485,000 SF R&D facility. Will create an estimated 105+ new jobs over three years and relocate an additional 900+ employees to the central campus.


Image: Rendering of the new facility
Image Source:
MLive

Trade Centre III

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 650 Trade Centre Way
Involved Parties: H & G L.L.C. (Developers)
Status: Under Construction
Summary: A new five-story office building, currently under construction near I-94 and S. Westnedge Ave. The office building is situated between two previously-constructed office buildings and the new Hilton Homewood Suites hotel. A height variance was approved by the city, allowing the developers to add an extra story to the earlier designs, which called for just four floors. The larger planned development also includes the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, completed in 2013.


Image: Construction progress as of 06/05/2017
Image Source: My own photo

Portage Memory Care

Construction Cost: Unknown ($1 - 2 Million?)
Location: 710 E Centre Avenue
Involved Parties: Woodland Terrace
Status: Under Construction
Summary: A new 32,000 SF Memory Care Living Facility along Centre Avenue in Portage.


Image: Construction update photo - June 10, 2017
Image Source: My own photo

Rykse & Co. Market and Eatery

Construction Cost: Unknown ($1 - 2 Million?)
Location: 6909 West Q Avenue, Texas Township
Involved Parties: Bosch Architecture, Ryan Rykse (Owner)
Status: Under Construction
Summary: Technically located in Texas Township, this will be a new fast-casual establishment in a growing area, The 2-story restaurant will offer quick and healthy food options, with room for up to 125 Patrons, including an outdoor terrace. A spin off of the existing restaurant / bakery located on Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo.


Image Source: Al Jones | MLive

Arbor Financial Credit Union

Construction Cost: Unknown (< $1 Million?)
Location: Corner of Centre Avenue and Oakland Drive
Involved Parties: Arbor Financial Credit Union
Status: Under Construction
Summary: One of dozens of new credit unions popping up around town, once complete, Arbor FCU will move from its current location across the street. Expected completion date Fall 2017.


image Source: My own photo, construction progress as of 6/10/17

Portage - Proposed Projects:

Vicksburg Mill Redevelopment

Construction Cost: $50 Million
Location: W Avenue, Vicksburg
Involved Parties: Byce & Associates (Architect / Engineer), Paper City Development, LLC (Owner / Developer)
Status: Proposed / Master Planning

This is technically in the Village of Vicksburg, but close enough to Portage and interesting enough to include here. The proposal includes repurposing the long-vacant Lee Paper Mill as a mixed-use 'life style destination'. Planned uses will include a brewery, restaurant and taproom (Phase 1), retail center, craft food and beverage production facility, offices, artist studios and residences.


Image Source: Byce & Associates

CentrePort Commons

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: SE Corner of Centre Avenue and Portage Road
Involved Parties: Treystar (Developer), Fifth Third Bank (Potential Tenant)
Status: Proposed
Summary: A proposed mixed-use project featuring retail, restaurant, and office space on an 8 acre corner lot near Pfizer and Stryker facilities.

(No Image Available)

HomeGoods Inc.

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 5050 S. Westnedge Ave.
Involved Parties: HomeGoods Inc., Hinman Co. (Developer)
Status: Proposed
Summary: A 19,000 SF addition to house for Framingham, Mass.-based HomeGoods Inc. in the Westnedge@Kilgore shopping plaza. Nearby tenants include Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, Lowe's, and Earth Fare


Image Source: MLive

Portage - Recently Completed Projects:

Chipotle

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 5964 South Westnedge Avenue
Involved Parties: Chipotle
Status: Completed May, 2017
Summary: This is the second Chipotle in the Kalamazoo area, and the first for Portage. A vacant storefront was renovated for the new restaurant.


Image Source: KzooKids

Story Point Senior Living Community

Construction Cost: $18 Million
Location: 3951 West Milham Avenue
Involved Parties: Senior Village Management, Triple M Investments (Developer)
Status: Completed Spring 2017
Summary: Story Point has 18+ communities in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana for independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Their newest community just opened in Portage. This 181,000 SF facility has four neighborhood wings totaling 122 independent living units and 36 assisted living/memory care units. The property is also home to the historic Van Riper homestead, which is the oldest remaining residential structure in the city. No official plans are in place for what to do with the homestead.


Image Source: My own photo

Chick-fil-A Portage

Construction Cost: Unkown
Location: 6202 S Westnedge Ave
Involved Parties: Chick-fil-A
Status: Completed February, 2017
Summary: When people start camping out the day before for a change to win a year's supply of free meals, and when the police have to close down lanes and guide traffic on opening day, you know it's a big deal. As Chick-fil-A continues its expansion into west Michigan, the Portage location marks the newest chain to open this year.


Image: Chick-Fil_A, nearing completion
Image Source: MLive

Design 1 Salon and Spa

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 212 W Milham Ave
Involved Parties: Design 1 Salon and Spa, Tropical Smoothie Café, Other Tenants, Innovate Design, PC (Architects)
Status: Completed Winter, 2016 / 2017
Summary: A new 2-story commercial development near the corner of S. Westnedge and W. Milham Ave, this development is anchored by Design 1 Salon and Spa.


Image: Design 1 Exterior
Image Source: My own photo

Eliason Nature Reserve and Trail

Construction Cost: $630,000
Location: 1614 W. Osterhout Avenue (South Terminus)
Involved Parties: Eliason Corp., City of Portage
Status: Completed September, 2016
Summary: A 123 acre wooded parcel was donated to the City in 2012, in memory of the late David J. Eliason. Portage has committed to maintaining it as a nature reserve since then. The property is a combination of uplands and wetlands and is part of the Bishop’s Bog complex, the largest remaining bog of this type found possibly in the entire lower peninsula. This new 1.5-mile nature trail completes a missing link in the Portage trail network, by connecting Osterhout Avenue north to the Shaver Road Bikeway (which leads further to the PCBP Trail).


Image Source: My own photo

Southern Michigan Bank & Trust - New Branch

Location: 531 W. Kilgore
Involved Parties: SMB&T, Roger Hinman and Hinman Companies, Integrated Architecture, Orion Construction (CM)
Status: Completed Spring, 2016
Summary: A Coldwater, MI-based bank, this new, 2,800 SF standalone branch represents the first newly constructed LEED-certified bank branch in southwestern Michigan.


Image: Exterior for the new branch
Image Source: Second Wave Media

Hilton Homewood Suites Hotel

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 500 Trade Centre Way
Involved Parties: Hilton
Status: Completed 2016
Summary: New four-story hotel in the Trade Centre development near I-94 and S. Westnedge Ave.


Image Source: Hilton Homewood Suites

Wild Ginger

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 639 Romence Road
Involved Parties: SKP Design (Interiors), Lee Lum and Andrew Lum (Owners)
Status: Completed 2014
Summary: A new restaurant in Portage featuring a fusion of traditional Japanese, Chinese and Korean dishes with nontraditional ingredients.


Image Source: Encore Kalamazoo

Latitude 42 Brewing Company - Portage

Construction Cost: Unknown
Location: 7842 Portage Road
Involved Parties: SKP Design (Interiors), Latitude 42
Status: Completed 2013
Summary: A popular brew pub in Portage, Latitude 42 features a large bar, private dining space, outdr patio, and seasonal beers. It is constructing a new hop garden in Spring 2017.


Image Source: SKP Design

Last edited by deja vu; Jul 3, 2017 at 4:28 PM. Reason: Content Update
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Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 2:14 AM
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Nice rundown.
__________________
Check out the newest developments in The Burgh. Pittsburgh Rundown II

"Even Old New York was once New Amsterdam"
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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 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 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)



Front View



Back View


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)



Front View



Back View


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)



Front View



Back View


Walmart Expansion
8350 Shaver Rd, Portage
(Under Construction)



Building Addition



New Pump Station

Last edited by deja vu; Mar 16, 2017 at 4:15 AM.
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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, 4:13 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 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 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.

...


Image Source: Curbed

Last edited by deja vu; Jun 9, 2017 at 11:26 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:
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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; Jun 9, 2017 at 11:28 PM.
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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; Jun 9, 2017 at 11:30 PM.
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  #15  
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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  #16  
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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