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deja vu

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Posts posted by deja vu


  1. Battle Creek -

    It's good to see restoration work finally progressing at 99 & 103 W. Michigan Ave. 103 was the former home to Arcadia Brewing, before they closed in 2017 to focus on their Kalamazoo location, which also subsequently closed. 99 has been vacant for more than a decade. Both properties required substantial rehab. work, including new roofs, which they are now getting. You can see the roofs totally removed through the upper windows in this recent photo -

    2021_02_26_Battle%20Creek_99-103%20W%20M
    Source: LinkedIn | BCU


    Kalamazoo -

    Yet another cannabis retailer is opening its doors in town. This one is called "Cookies" and it is located at 2712 Portage Street. The brand was started by California-based rapper and entrepreneur "Berner", and it is the second location to open in Michigan, following one in Detroit. Gage Cannabis is the exclusive partner with the licensing rights in Michigan (they have six other cannabis-related businesses throughout the state as well). The ribbon cutting was held 2/26 and was attended by the mayor. It officially opened its doors 2/27, initially for medical marijuana sales only (but recreational will be coming). Can't say I'm a huge fan of the all-blue stucco-with-covered-windows aesthetic, but the building has been vacant for loner than I can remember, so it's an improvement -

    Quote

    2021_02_26_Kalamazoo_Cookies%20Cannabis.
    Source: WKFR

    Kalamazoo -

    The apartment portion of The Creamery is finished (the 24/7 daycare is scheduled to be complete & open this fall). The apartments look a lot like the units in The Exchange (not a criticism, just an observation). I think the sliding bedroom barn doors are the exact same product. The developer is different for each project but the Architect is the same (Byce) -

    2021_02_19_Kalamazoo_The%20Creamery%201.
    Source: Facebook | The Creamery - Kalamazoo

    2021_02_19_Kalamazoo_The%20Creamery%202.
    Source: Facebook | The Creamery - Kalamazoo

    2021_02_19_Kalamazoo_The%20Creamery%203.
    Source: Facebook | The Creamery - Kalamazoo

    2021_02_19_Kalamazoo_The%20Creamery%204.
    Source: Facebook | The Creamery - Kalamazoo

    Big news -

    Quote

     

    Hard Rock Hotels to redevelop former Gibson Guitar site in Kalamazoo for new hotel concept

    Samantha May | WWMT News Channel 3

    Monday, March 1st 2021

     

    2021_03_01_Kalamazoo_Hard%20Rock%20Rever
    Source: WWMT | Contributed

    The repurposed, original factory is in the right foreground, and you can see what's clearly a large, 4-5 story hotel addition in the background, in a similar factory industrial style. I love seeing the old stack featured so prominently. There was a big push in the community to save that.

    The concept looks great. But the location relative to downtown seems odd.  Their flagship for this new hotel brand is right in the heart of downtown Atlanta. This Kalamazoo rendition is beyond the outskirts of downtown.

    Reverb by Hard Rock | Modern Hotels for Music Fans


  2. (2) new site plan review applications have been submitted for the March 17 meeting agenda. Both are related to the marijuana industry -

    1203 Fourth St. - repurposing of an existing building in a semi-industrial area. I think this is going to be turned into a new processing facility (for "Friends of the Garden, LLC"), but I can't quite tell if its for a different use related to cannabis.

    104 / 110 N Drake Rd. - a new dispensary on some (surprisingly) undeveloped parcels for RAIR, a MI-based company with locations in Bay City and Muskegon, and with several more on the way. Their main selling point is that they are "dirtless" meaning that all of their source plants are grown using aeroponic processes. The elevations are "mildly" interesting - 

    2021_02_23_Kalamazoo_104%20N%20Drake%20R
    Source: City of Kalamazoo / RAIR


    Separately, for whatever it's worth, Kalamazoo was just named the coolest city with the lowest cost of living in the entire U.S. by PureWow. I can attest that the cost of living here is great. I'm not so sure about "coolest". 

    Other cities on the top 10?

    2. Knoxville, TN
    3. Fayetteville, AR
    4. Oklahoma City, OK
    5. Savannah, GA
    6. Des Moines, IA
    7. Green Bay, WI
    8. Huntsville, AL
    9. Indianapolis, IN
    10. Greenville, SC


  3. The s*** is really starting to hit the fan for Southwest Michigan First. More stories of prominent community organizations pulling their funding / memberships, plus a prominent board member resignation - all over the economic development organization's recent hiring of Lee Chatfield for its new CEO -

    Quote

     

    Quote

     

    Quote

     

    Battle Creek -

    Clark Construction Company recently posted an update video of the new interior concourse & Nibi Restaurant at Firekeepers Casino. All of that metal framing.... madness! I took some screen grabs too - the video resolution was low -

    2021_02_16_Battle%20Creek_Firekeepers%20

    2021_02_16_Battle%20Creek_Firekeepers%20

    2021_02_16_Battle%20Creek_Firekeepers%20

    2021_02_16_Battle%20Creek_Firekeepers%20

    2021_02_16_Battle%20Creek_Firekeepers%20

    2021_02_16_Battle%20Creek_Firekeepers%20
    Source: LinkedIn | Clark Construction Company


    Kellogg Company just announced its opening of a new, 40,000 SF Design Studio at its Institute for Food & Nutrition Research (aka WKKI). 

    Quote

    This follows the 2019 opening of the new Kellogg Center for Culinary Innovation, housed in the same building. Both areas are a part of the company's "Innovation Suite", and this design studio represents the final piece. According to the article,

    Quote

    ...The new studio will further accelerate Kellogg’s ability to innovate and includes collaboration space reserved for innovation projects, a prototyping workshop and a virtual reality hub with floor-to-ceiling LED monitors so teams can see in 3D how innovations might come to life on actual store shelves. It is wired for remote collaboration so colleagues working from home and around the world can participate in projects virtually...

    This is the only image that was provided -

    2021_02_19_Battle%20Creek_Kellogg%20Comp
    Source: FSR Magazine | Courtesy Kellogg Company


  4. A historic & proud day unfolding in Portage & Kalamazoo - 

    Quote

    It's exciting to read that the massive planned manufacturing expansion is back on-track too!

     

    UPDATE: Some photos from the day -

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: MLive | Joel Bissell

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: MLive | Joel Bissell

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: MLive | Joel Bissell

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: MLive | Joel Bissell

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: MLive | Joel Bissell

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: MLive | Joel Bissell

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: WWMT | Lexie Petrovic

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: WWMT | Lexie Petrovic

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: WWMT | Lexie Petrovic

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: WWMT | Lexie Petrovic

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: MLive | Joel Bissell

    2021_02_19_Portage_President%20Biden%20a
    Source: MLive | Joel Bissell


  5. EDIT to #4, above: On Monday, Kalamazoo City Commissioners voted unanimously to sever ties and terminate their membership with Southwest Michian First, based on their hiring of Lee Chatfield -

    Quote

    Kalamazoo commissioners cancel membership with Southwest Michigan First over CEO selection

    Brad Devereaux | MLive
    Updated February 16, 2021; Posted February 15, 2021

    Southwest MI First's response on Instagram effectively saying nothing, except that it sounds like they plan to stick by their decision, at least for now. Several have also noticed that they updated their nondiscrimination policy, after he was hired and the backlash started.

    And it looks like the county might not be far behind the city's decision - this is getting interesting - they allocate $75K to the organization each year -

    Quote

  6. 1. Eastside Zoning Changes

    A public hearing is scheduled for tonight at the regular City Commission meeting for the proposed zoning changes in the Eastside Neighborhood. If you'll recall, the changes are centered mostly around the goals of increasing housing options, supporting a greater variety of businesses, and promoting walkable development, through the implementation of new Live-Work zones -

    2021_02_12_Kalamazoo_Eastside%20Neighbor
    Source: City of Kalamazoo


    2. Inventory Kalamazoo 2022

    The city's Historic Preservation Commission plans to re-launch its city-wide resources survey this spring, after COVID-19 stymied efforts to begin last spring. The goal is to conduct a reconnaissance level historic resource survey of every single property and parament structure within the city limits, estimated at around 24,000 resources. This will be no small feat, and they are relying on the help of numerous volunteers. It has been two decades since the last survey, and that one only evaluated about half of the buildings.

    Inventory Kalamazoo 2022


    3. Farmer's Market Improvements

    The city is seeking public comments for its planned improvements to the existing farmers market on Bank St. The aging structures have become quite popular with vendors, and they need more space. The Parks & Recreation Department, which oversees the farmers market, plans to apply for multiple grants soon, and there will be an Advisory Committee Board meting on Tuesday, March 2, at 5:30pm that the public is invited to attend. Improvements under consideration include a new restroom / storage / office building, new / updated covered vendor booths, new parking, and a fruit and vegetable-themed playscape.


    4. Southwest Michigan First New CEO Named

    Lee Chatfield, former Republican Speaker of the House for Michigan, has just been named as the successor to Ron Kitchens for Southwest Michigan First. I have mixed feelings about this. Lots of people have strong feelings about Lee from his time in politics (which, like most things in politics right now, felt quite polarizing). I think he might meet with a lot of resistance in Kalamazoo, which is quite liberal, compared to where Lee is from (Northern Michigan - Levering - Emmett County) and compared to much f the rest of southwest Michigan too. Lee admits himself that he has little professional experience in economic development. He's already stated that one of his first priorities will be carrying on the push for the new event center in downtown Kalamazoo. 

    Quote

     

    Former GOP House Speaker Lee Chatfield named new CEO of Southwest Michigan First
    Kate Carlson | MiBiz
    February 11, 2021

    KALAMAZOO — Former Republican Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield has been named CEO of Southwest Michigan First, the economic development agency announced Thursday. Chatfield is replacing Ron Kitchens, who resigned from the CEO role on Jan. 15 after 15 years to accept a similar position in Alabama. Managing Partner Carla Sones served as the interim CEO of the organization while the organization conducted a national search to replace Kitchens...

     

     


  7. On 2/9/2021 at 11:46 AM, Onekama said:

    City Flats hotel in Holland is joining Hilton Tapestry Collection.  Not sure if the downtown GR location would also be switching at some point??

    https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/grrcfup-cityflatshotel-holland/

    https://mibiz.com/sections/real-estate-development/cityflatshotel-in-holland-joining-tapestry-collection-by-hilton

    Sounds like a logical move. They can tap into that brand loyalty and take advantage of the associated perks and improvements that come with the switch, including the installation of new locks that can be controlled by smart phone apps for remote check-ins. I wouldn't be surprised if the GR location followed suit.

    (PS - sorry again about the massive Muskegon photo dump. Hopefully that wasn't too annoying)

    • Like 1

  8. Richland (Gull Lake) -

    This restaurant - South Kitchen - just opened in November 2020 in the small, unincorporated community of South Gull Lake (Ross Township). You can see it under construction on Google Maps, here. Gull Lake is historically (and currently still) home to some of the wealthier families and pricier real estate in Michigan. It is home to the W.K. Kellogg Manor House (now owned by MSU). It is north of, and partway between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

    November 2020 was probably about the worst timing ever for a new restaurant opening, but the menu looks amazing - from their website:

    Quote

     

    Low like the part of the country where time seems to slow as you cross the Mason-Dixon Line.  Low, like the puttering shrimp boats as they come off the horizon after a long day.  Low, like the hum of a gospel choir as they set the chord for the song to take wind.  

    This is where it all starts...Low & from the heart.

     

    It's projects like this that usually slip under the radar but contribute a whole lot to a locale's sense of identity and place. The owners also operate the nearby Chicken House and Kitchen House restaurants in Richland. They re-opened at 25% capacity for in-person dining on February 02. This is some of my favorite genre of food, and I am looking forward to getting take out from here soon.

    November 24, 2020 - "Opening Day" -
    2020_11_24_Richland%20%28Gull%20Lake%29_
    Source: Facebook | South Kitchen

    Interior - Bar Area -
    2020_11_28_Richland%20%28Gull%20Lake%29_
    Source: Facebook | South Kitchen

    Interior -
    2020_12_11_Richland%20%28Gull%20Lake%29_
    Source: Facebook | South Kitchen


  9. (Part 5 of 5)

    Mercy Health Arena / Rad Dad's Taco's / VanDyke Mortgage Convention Center -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2046.jpg?raw=1

    Vintage Redefined & Dr. Rolf's BBQ -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2047.jpg?raw=1

    The Babbitt Building -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2048.jpg?raw=1

    Amazon Apartments -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2049.jpg?raw=1

    VanDyke Mortgage Convention Center -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2050.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2051.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2052.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2053.jpg?raw=1

    End with a sunset over Lake Michigan - P.J. Hoffmaster State Park -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2054.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2055.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2056.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2057.jpg?raw=1

    Thanks for obliging me / allowing me to clog the thread for a bit!

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 1

  10. Muskegon walkabout, continued (Part 4 of 5)

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2035.jpg?raw=1

    Grant -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2034.jpg?raw=1

    Hackley Park - Memorial -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2036.jpg?raw=1

    Muskegon Community College -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2037.jpg?raw=1

    St. Paul's Episcopal -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2038.jpg?raw=1

    The Culinary Institute -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2039.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2040.jpg?raw=1

    "What Lifts You" -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2041.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2042.jpg?raw=1

    Delta Hotel -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2043.jpg?raw=1

    Mercy Health Arena / Rad Dad's Taco's / VanDyke Mortgage Convention Center -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2044.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2045.jpg?raw=1

    • Like 1

  11. Sorry for the detour (and great news, btw, about the DGRI vision) . I just saw this on Instagram - some pics of Condado Tacos, recently opened at 449 Bridge St (Bridge Street Lofts) . They also happen to have been posted by DGRI -

    PS - if you are quick enough, you can usually "CTRL+A" then "CTRL+C" to select and copy all, before those pesky MLive paywalls pop up. Then you can paste into into a word file and read the article, images and all. It's a workaround, at least, until MLive figures out a way to stop that from happening. Sometimes, opening it in an incognito window buys you a few extra seconds to complete the commands.


    2021_02_04_Grand%20Rapids_449%20Bridge%2

    2021_02_04_Grand%20Rapids_449%20Bridge%2
    Source: Instagram | @downtowngrinc

    • Thanks 1

  12. Muskegon walkabout, continued (Part 3 of 5)

    Ten21 Apartments (on Jefferson St.) -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2022.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2023.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2024.jpg?raw=1

    Muskegon Women's Club -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2025.jpg?raw=1

    Central United Methodist Church -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2029.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2028.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2027.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2026.jpg?raw=1

    Muskegon Museum of Art -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2030.jpg?raw=1

    Hackley Public Library -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2031.jpg?raw=1

    Hackley Public Library - Torrent House -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2032.jpg?raw=1

    Muskegon Public Schools Hackley Administration Building -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2033.jpg?raw=1

    • Like 3

  13. Muskegon walkabout, continued (Part 2 of 5)

    Muskegon Farmers Market -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2010.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2011.jpg?raw=1

    The former, gutted bank building at the corner of First St. and Clay Ave., still awaiting redevelopment -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2012.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2013.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2014.jpg?raw=1

    The less-gutted (but still-vacant) former Huntington Bank Building, at the corner of First St. and W Webster Ave. -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2015.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2016.jpg?raw=1

    St. Mary's Catholic Church -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2017.jpg?raw=1

    136 W Western Ave. (former Salvation Army Building), built 1900 and recently sold, though I'm not sure what the current redevelopment plans are, if any -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2018.jpg?raw=1

    860 Terrace St. - this unique edifice currently has a Frontier Communications Store on the ground level - 
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2019.jpg?raw=1

    Muskegon City Hall -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2020.jpg?raw=1

    Muskegon County Hall of Justice -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%2021.jpg?raw=1

    • Like 1

  14. I was near Muskegon for work yesterday, so I took a look around afterwards. I haven't walked around downtown Muskegon in forever - it looks good! Topped it off with a sunset watch over Lake Michigan, at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park. I'll share these photos in several posts so I don't over-burden the thread - a mix of old, new, and under-construction - 

    (Part 1 of 5)

    First, a stop in nearby Norton Shores - Mercy Health's new 40,000 SF, $19 million mixed-use facility is open at 3570 Henry Street (former Kmart site) -
    2021_02_03_Norton%20Shores_Mercy%20Healt

    2021_02_03_Norton%20Shores_Mercy%20Healt

    2021_02_03_Norton%20Shores_Mercy%20Healt

    Now on to downtown Muskegon - Frauenthal Center - the crane in the background looked like it was for some rooftop equipment work at Muskegon 
    Community College (behind this building), "Muskegon, Together Rising" sculpture in foreground -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%201.jpg?raw=1

    Lake View Lofts, Phase 1 (Phase 2 tower will go to the left of it) -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%202.jpg?raw=1

    The Leonard, with foundations underway -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%203.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%204.jpg?raw=1

    The Western Market micro shops along W Western Ave., with Highpoint Flats beyond -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%205.jpg?raw=1

    2021_02_03_Muskegon%206.jpg?raw=1

    The downtown Post Office, with "Waters Edge" sculpture in foreground -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%207.jpg?raw=1

    Western Place Condos, opened early 2020, next to Highpoint Flats -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%208.jpg?raw=1

    Berkshire Senior Living Community -
    2021_02_03_Muskegon%209.jpg?raw=1

    • Like 2

  15. Harrison Circle Apartments - a few days ago -

    2021_02_03_Kalamazoo_Harrison%20Circle%2
    Source: LinkedIn | AVB


    Bronson's Frank J. Sardone Cancer Pavilion is officially open. While some final touches are still being made, the center began seeing its first patients on Monday, February 01. Hot on its heels, Ascension Borgess' cancer center is scheduled to open in September 2021 -

    2021_01_15_Kalamazoo_Bronson%20Cancer%20

    2021_01_15_Kalamazoo_Bronson%20Cancer%20

    2021_01_15_Kalamazoo_Bronson%20Cancer%20

    2021_01_15_Kalamazoo_Bronson%20Cancer%20


    Demolition of WMU's Draper and Siedschlag Halls is pretty much complete (that was quick) -

    2020_02_02_Kalamazoo_WMU%20Draper%20and%
    Source: Instagram | @facilities_wmu


    The site plan review application is in to convert the former Laing's TV repair shop and an adjacent, vacant office building into a new Whitley Memorial Funeral Home. A new addition will be built in-between the two existing structures to connect them. A new funeral home isn't the most exciting thing to post about, but it will bring "new life" to these old commercial storefronts -

    2021_02_04_Kalamazo_310%20Balch%20St%20%
    Source: Google Maps

    2021_01_27_Kalamazoo_Whitley%20Memorial%

    2021_01_27_Kalamazoo_Whitley%20Memorial%

    2021_01_27_Kalamazoo_Whitley%20Memorial%
    Source: City of Kalamazoo | Intersect Studio / Hurley & Stewart


    The City Commission has approved funds to reconstruct and rehabilitate a stretch of Portage Street, from E. Michigan Ave. to Stockbridge Ave. This work is badly needed, and it will further strengthen the connections that are forming between the developing Edison / Washington Square area and the east end of downtown -

    Quote

    Kalamazoo City Commission approves $5M Portage Street project


    Brad Devereuax | MLive
    February 02, 2021

    2021_02_02_Kalamazoo_Portage%20Street%20
    Source: MLive | Google Maps

     

    Night skyline shot from the top of Prospect Hill (my photo) - 

    2021_01_31_Kalamazoo_Night%20Skyline.jpg

     

    Last, but not least, Kalamazoo City and Kalamazoo County are locked into a race against the ongoing homelessness epidemic in the city. The local governments are frantically trying to find better housing solutions for the area's disproportionate homeless population. A few different things are in the mix. First, the County tried to purchase the shuttered Lakeside Academy campus. But at the moment, they have lost out to a private developer. Although the developer has similar plans for transitional housing, the County is now considering using eminent domain to take the property -

    Quote

    Second, the City has started relocating people from outdoor homeless encampments to the Knights Inn Motel on South Westnedge Ave.. This is in unison with the LIFT Foundation, the new owner of the property, which intends to convert the low-end motel into transitional housing. They are moving the homeless now (ahead of the extensive planned renovations), because of the single-digit temperatures predicted, the lack of room at homeless shelters, the fact that they are encamped on private property, and a recent, damaging propane tank fire that compromised one of the encampments -

    Quote

    Third, construction is now visibly progressing on the Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries new Women & Children's Shelter. Steel erection for this new 3-story addition is moving along, and there is a live construction camera where you can see the progress - 

    spacer.png
    Source: Youtube

    EDIT: Fourth, the City just erected a temporary warming shelter near the homeless encampment on Mills Street. They got it put up yesterday, just as the snow started to fall -

    2021_02_05_Kalamazo_Mills%20St%20Warming

    2021_02_05_Kalamazo_Mills%20St%20Warming
    Source: Instagram | @kalamazoocity


  16. The framing for the Home2 Suites pedestrian bridge is going up fast. This connects  the new hotel to the office building across Eleanor St. at 245 - 251 N. Rose St. which houses office space for PNC and Regus (co-working space). I don't really know the reason for the new connection, although it's always fun for Kalamazoo to get another skybridge.

    2021_01_28_Kalamazoo_Home2%20Suites%20Pe

    2021_01_28_Kalamazoo_Home2%20Suites%20Pe

    2021_01_28_Kalamazoo_Home2%20Suites%20Pe


    Ascension Borgess' new Oncology Center -

    2021_01_26_Kalamazoo_Borgess%20Ascension

    2021_01_26_Kalamazoo_Borgess%20Ascension
    Source: LinkedIn | AVB


    New Oakland Drive Office Building (south of Parkview, near Woods Lake Elementary) - 

    2021_01_28_Kalamazoo_Oakland%20Drive%20O
    Source: LinkedIn | AVB

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