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  #481  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2019, 12:55 AM
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Yeah, I stopped in Kalamazoo on my way home from Chicago last weekend. Are there any plans for the reuse of the old Parchment Mill? I stopped by there too before leaving the area. Huge place!
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  #482  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2019, 1:43 AM
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I haven't kept up with it. There have been several different plans that have fallen through. It's all tied-up now in legal battles and finger-pointing, mostly related to groundwater contamination. Georgia Pacific, which had the most recent ownership when it was a working facility, is fighting with DEQ and EPA over who's responsible for the recent PFAS drinking water contamination in the city (of Parchment). Parchment has since had to hook up to Kalamazoo's (relatively) clean water supply in the meantime. It's the west side's version of what went down in Flint.
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  #483  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2019, 4:24 PM
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More info on the Graphic Packaging International Expansion. It's actually a pretty big deal for the region -

Quote:
Worldwide business plans $600 million expansion in Kalamazoo County
Callie Rainey | Newschannel 3 WWMT
September 24, 2019

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — Graphic Packaging International, a worldwide business with an already large footprint in West Michigan is planning to expand. The Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved plans to support the project in Kalamazoo County. The expansion is expected to cost upwards of $600 million. Strategic fund incentives for the project included a state essentials services assessment for up to 15 years valued at about $7.2 million. Another is support for brownfield redevelopment, up to $21.9 million, which will include demolition, lead and asbestos abatement and infrastructure improvements...
The downtown arena saga takes a small step forward -

Quote:
State bill would allow Kalamazoo County to fund a proposed downtown arena
Michael Krafcik | Newschannel 3 WWMT
September 23, 2019

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A new bill before the Michigan House of Representatives might pave the way for a long-awaited downtown Kalamazoo event center. Kalamazoo area leaders have pushed for the arena for more than a decade, but have yet to get the public on-board. Now, state Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Portage, is sponsoring House Bill 4816, which would modify current Michigan law regarding accommodation taxes, also known as hotel-motel taxes...
Bronson Methodist Hospital is rapidly expanding into the community, with seven separate primary-care facilities being built simultaneously -

Quote:
Bronson Methodist Hospital building 7 new primary-care facilities
Lindsay Moore | MLive
September 25, 2019

KALAMAZOO, MI -- By summer 2020, Bronson Methodist Hospital’s healthcare system will have expanded to seven new locations in Kalamazoo County. Construction on five of the seven buildings began in August, and work on the two remaining sites will begin this fall, according to a Bronson Healthcare news release...
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  #484  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2019, 12:21 AM
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Photos from a recent building tour of 180 E Water St -















































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  #485  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2019, 12:28 AM
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And here are some other general updates - it was just dry enough for a walk around today.

400 Rose




Bronson Labs


Bronson Cancer Pavilion


New mural in-progress on the west wall of Blue Dolphin


City Snaps - a public art project (there are a lot of these, just showing a few)








Memorial Walk in Bronson Park


Home2 Suites / Hilton Garden Inn






WMU's Arcadia Flats


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  #486  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2019, 7:16 PM
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I missed this in my update from yesterday, but The Creamery project is also moving along with vertical circulation cores rising now. This is not a tall one (only 3 stories) but it will do a lot in the way of density for the growing commercial corridor area in Edison Neighborhood (Washington Square area).








Source: LinkedIn | Byce & Associates
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  #487  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 3:07 AM
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Photos from over the weekend. There's still a lot underway, but there's been a noticeable drop in the announcement of any new, large-scale projects.

Hilton Hotels












180 E Water St


















Gilmore Building Apartments


Honor Credit Union Branch




"Art of Chocolate" Boutique moving into a portion of the ground floor of Peregrine 100


Bronson Labs


400 Rose - Exterior Work is effectively done




Bronson Park Memorial Walk






Bronson Cancer Pavilion






The Creamery






Washington Square storefront rehab


"Drive and Shine" drive-by


Advia Credit Union HQ




Includes a massive retention pond (there will be a lot of surface parking)


One of several Bronson Primary Care medical buildings going up simultaneously around Kalamazoo


WMU's Arcadia Flats










Central plant steam connection




Future WMU Student Center site - still mostly a big hole in the ground


A lot of people have been asking me for an update on this one. Yes, Costco is finally increasing the capacity of its gas station (seriously can't believe how long the lines are to get gas here, for a few cents less)


And finally, we'll end with the new Kalamazoo Promise Water tower, which was recently raised up



Last edited by deja vu; Oct 21, 2019 at 3:21 AM.
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  #488  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2019, 12:47 PM
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Kalamazoo Complete Streets Workshop - tonight -

Quote:
City of Kalamazoo Street Design Meeting

The second street design meeting for the City of Kalamazoo will take place on October 23 from 6:30-8:30 pm at 600 East Michigan (The Foundry).It is an OPEN HOUSE meeting; please come when you can and stay as long as you are able.It is a HANDS-ON meeting, with activities to help set priorities for vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit travel.
WMU getting in on the autonomous vehicle action -

Quote:
Western Michigan University unveils self-driving shuttle pilot program vehicle
Jorge Rodas | WWMT Newschannel 3
October 21st 2019

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Western Michigan University on Monday unveiled two autonomous shuttles that will help students with disabilities get around campus. The university said the shuttles will run as part of a two-week pilot program, after the Michigan Mobility Challenge was issued by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Department of Transportation...
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  #489  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 6:46 PM
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Last week I got to go on a hard hat tour of The Milton (former Heritage Tower) in Battle Creek. It was pretty amazing and I took a lot of photos that I will post in 3 batches. Here's part 1 - some of the photos are quite dark because there is no permanent power in the building yet. Hard to imagine that they plan to have parts of this building occupied before the end of the year!















































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  #490  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 7:02 PM
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Part 2. This is a $36 million+ investment in Battle Creek. While there is one owner, there are many stakeholders, including groups like Battle Creek Unlimited and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.



Crappy weather, but still a heck of a view from near the roof




























Can still spot some of the old tenants' signs












Original aluminum windows from 1930 being preserved.




Old Board Room & Offices of the original bank
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  #491  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 7:12 PM
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Part 3. Keep in mind that this building was vacant for many years and for a while, was considered to be a total, un-salvageable loss that was at imminent risk of demolition. It will soon house commercial retail, restaurants, offices, and apartments.













Pretty cool glass walkways










A large portion of the ground floor use to be an indoor shopping mall of sorts. Most of these will become leasable office and retail spaces.




This incredible vault door still functions well





















Last edited by deja vu; Nov 9, 2019 at 2:33 PM.
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  #492  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 8:30 PM
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This is fairly big local news - confirmation was made recently that FedEx will be the occupant of a new proposed distribution center in Portage (codename: Project Spartan). It is claimed that this could potentially bring 900 jobs to the area.

Quote:
FedEx confirms it will occupy Portage distribution center; facility could house 900 jobs
Genevieve Grippo | WWMT Newschannel 3
November 6th 2019

PORTAGE, Mich. — FedEx Ground confirmed Wednesday that it will occupy the planned Project Spartan distribution center in Portage, Michigan, a facility expected to create up to 900 new jobs.

"The site was chosen because of its ease of access to major highways, proximity to customers' distribution centers and a strong local community workforce for recruiting employees," FedEx spokesman David Westrick said in an email confirming the delivery company is moving to Portage...
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  #493  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 8:55 PM
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Great photos of The Milton! I'm excited to see how it looks when it reopens. That lobby space is going to be amazing.

The other day I was thinking about remaining vacant high rises in Michigan, and I believe this is the last one in the state west of Lansing and Jackson. Lansing has the Farnum Building, which should be under renovation soon, and Jackson has the old Hayes Hotel. Everything else is in or around Detroit. One by one our urban centers are coming back to life.
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  #494  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2019, 3:26 PM
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^Absolutely. It goes without saying that if a structure like The Milton had been demolished, nothing even remotely similar in scale, style, or quality could ever have taken its place. It truly is a gem on the west side of the state. And yes, that atrium is going to be an incredible space when completed, and hopefully it will remain accessible to the public. A lot of fortune, lucky circumstances, good timing, and level-headed people contributed to its saving.

Back in Kalamazoo, Bronson Healthcare had its "topping out" ceremony yesterday (tiny tree and all) for the new Cancer Pavilion.

Quote:
Bronson places final steel beam on Cancer Pavilion project
Lindsay Moore | MLive
November 8, 2019

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Bronson Healthcare took a symbolic step Friday toward finishing its under-construction Cancer Pavilion. On Friday, Nov. 8, the final steam beam was signed by hundreds of cancer-care providers, Bronson employees, board members and community donors along with those who have worked on the construction project. The beam was raised with an American flag and a small evergreen tree, per “topping out” tradition...
I did not go to the event, but took a photo early in the morning, before it occured.

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  #495  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2019, 2:07 PM
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Happy December everyone. Among other things, today is the start of legalized recreational marijuana sales in Michigan, making it the 10th state to do so.

Here are a few photos taken Thanksgiving morning. Just the "greatest hits" aka anything downtown of substantial size that is still u/c.

180 E. Water St.






Home2 Suites (cores are topped out, steel framing has begun)




Bronson Cancer Pavilion (steel is topped out - 6 stories + mech. penthouse)
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  #496  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2019, 1:45 PM
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Quote:
Kalamazoo sets public hearing for $600M industrial expansion
December 3, 2019
Brad Devereaux | MLive

KALAMAZOO, MI — The city of Kalamazoo will hold a public hearing so citizens can comment on a planned $600-million industrial expansion in Kalamazoo. Graphic Packaging International LLC plans to install a new paperboard machine on a vacant brownfield site within an industrial development district at 1421 N. Pitcher Street. The city will hold a public hearing on Monday, Dec. 16, to receive comments on the proposed expansion of Industrial Development District #10 at the location. The hearing will be held during the Kalamazoo City Commission meeting, which begins at 7 p.m...
I might try to go - I think this expansion would be a good fit for the former Checker Cab brownfield site, (a complex of buildings that were regrettably plowed into the ground). It seems unlikely that anything other than industrial would succeed there.

Quote:
Kalamazoo City Commission approves affordable housing project
December 2, 2019
Will Kris | WKZO

KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO AM/FM) -- The City of Kalamazoo has approved a purchasing agreement through the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to begin a new affordable housing project in the North Side neighborhood.

During a meeting Monday night, City Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the project, which will be located at 447 West North Street...
I haven't found any other details on this one yet.
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