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  #121  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2017, 12:18 AM
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This looks familiar...
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 522
Quote:
Heritage Guitar partners with Rolling Stone to make factory a must-see
By Al Jones | MLive
September 08, 2017
This is interesting...the article reveals a little bit more about the long-term renovation plans to the property at 225 Parsons St. including mention of "a premium lifestyle offering." PlazaCorp, the recent purchaser of the property (under the name 225 Parsons LLC) has not revealed specifics, but there is also mention of a "live entertainment venue, a music instrument store, a recording studio and a space for musicians to try instruments or rehearse" as well as "a courtyard and cafe/restaurant with a view across the iconic site where people can enjoy a meal and soak in the musical history of Kalamazoo."
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  #122  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 9:53 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 522
Here's a few construction updates from yesterday evening. It was a nice day so I took a walk after work.

The Exchange is moving along - I posted more photos of the project here.


246 Michigan Ave - The balcony is now added for this private residence conversion:


Former Alamo Drafthouse / Soon to be the AMC Kalamazoo 10 Theatre. I couldn't get too close because of security, but there is clearly a lot of interior activity happening right now. They are constructing some sort of new bulkhead on the inside of the curtain wall - probably for advertising upcoming attractions from the inside. It's a quick turnaround - renovations / reopening is expected this Fall:




Peregrine 100 - Phase 2, which involves conversion of the oldest portion of this former bank building into retail and apartments, is ongoing. First floor windows are removed, presumably will be replaced:




They also recently installed new exterior signage - it looks ok, but the old wall panels behind the sign on the Kalamazoo Mall side look dirty / damaged. Pretty silly to me that they didn't fix that:


Site clearing is underway for Phase 2 of The Foundry Development. A portion of this cleared area will be for the future extension of Harrison St south to Pitcher St. According to this MLive article, "Phase 2 calls for the development of an office and residential building...between 45,000 and 60,000 square feet, all on one floor...another 10,000 square feet may be added on a second level for residential uses." It's a sizable area for Downtown / Rivers Edge (about 8 acres). It's just too bad that the best we can expect is a two story structure with more surface parking. More finished pictures of The Foundry Phase 1 can be found here.



There's several piles of small scrap metal laying about:












This portion is being remodeled into a new restaurant:




Finally, with daylight waning, I tried to get a look at the new Portage Northern MS, which is further along with steel work than I had thought:


It's those extra 20 volts that will kill ya:
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  #123  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 6:43 PM
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deja vu deja vu is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 522
A pretty big project out of WMU is moving forward. The University has announced plans to replace all of the first-year student dormitories in 'The Valley Neighborhood' with new dorms. The area is presently comprised of three large complexes, known as Valley I, Valley II, and Valley III. Each of these complexes currently houses approximately 1,000 students, with four connected halls per complex (12 halls total).

Quote:
Western Michigan plans to replace Valley dorms
By Kayla Miller | MLive
September 15, 2017
The dorms were built in the 1960s, and are pretty typical of that time (and quite sparse by today's standards), consisting of small suites where two student rooms share a connecting bathroom. The below video tour of Ackley / Shilling Halls gives a sense of the typical feel of these dorms:

Video Link


The new dorms might be expected to resemble something similar to the recently completed Western Heights Residence Halls (also designed for first-year students). The rooms themselves are quite small, with more money and design being put into shared collaboration and activity spaces:

Video Link


CannonDesign is leading the design of the new dormitories, and the first of three public forums was recently held on campus on 9/14/17 to gather input form students and faculty / staff. Valley III, consisting of Fox, Eldridge, Harrison, and Stinson Halls will be the first to go, with demolition starting in early 2018 and completion expected by Fall 2020. Using the figures in the MLive article, this project might cost somewhere round $165 Million in total (assuming 3,000 student beds x $55,000 per bed).

Campus Map:


Valley Neighborhood Detail:

Base image source: WMU Campus Maps

Aerial view of the Valley Neighborhood, in all of its 1960s splendor. The cleared area is where the new Valley Dining Center now stands:

Image Source: Google Maps

Existing Valley Dorm Photo:

Image Source: MLive

Last edited by deja vu; Sep 16, 2017 at 4:16 AM.
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  #124  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2017, 2:25 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 522
A little bit west of Kalamazoo, in the Village of Mattawan, the Mattawan Consolidated School District just opened its new Later Elementary Building (grades 3 through 5). There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday night for students, parents, and staff. The school features learning neighborhoods divided into three wings, with a lot of state-of-the-art technology and advanced building systems. There is also an abundance of natura light, as evidenced in the photos below. A new Early Elementary building is also under construction next door to serve grades K-2. It will connect to the Later Elementary once completed in Fall 2018. Together, the two schools will be one of the largest elementary facilities in the state, with the capacity for around 1,500 students. The link below offers a short new coverage video by WWMT.

Quote:
New Mattawan Later Elementary School building hosts open house
by Christine VanTimmeren | WWMT
September 13th 2017

MATTAWAN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A new state-of-the-art school is celebrating its grand opening right now. Mattawan schools designed a new later elementary school building that is unlike anything else in the district. District leaders say this new building accommodates the 21st century learning needs of both students and staff. The new design does away with the traditional classrooms and lockers and instead features open learning spaces that encourage interaction...
MLive posted a bunch of photos on their site. You can link to those here. Below are a couple of highlights - it really is a good looking facility. I wish my elementary had been this nice.

Cafeteria:


Commons:


Commons:


Commons:


Gymnasium

All Images Source: Mark Bugnaski | MLive

(If you're still reading this, here is some footage from back in July, including some good drone flyover footage):
Video Link
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  #125  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 10:38 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 522
I was driving around town today and noticed that demolition has begun on a portion of 829 Portage Street just south of Vine Street, in the northern part of the Edison neighborhood. The area actually consists of three buildings (and I think several separate parcels). The prevelant grape motif is a remnant of the structures' former use as a warehouse for 'Grapevine Furniture' - a new and used furniture business which closed in 2013 after 25 years in service. The property has been pretty much vacant since then. Here's an article that I found from 2013 about the closing of the business:

I've always liked the brick detail on the one masonry building (which has severely degraded in recent years). While nothing fancy, it still showed that some care was put into the construction of the original building. I would love to find out its age and its original intended use - maybe that portion will not be destroyed (but I'm guessing it will). I will try to find out more about what the plans are for this property, which has good street presence on a corner lot along the busy north-south Portage Street.






Images Source: Google Maps (Accessed 9/17/17)
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