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deja vu

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  1. I like it better than the darker renderings, that's for sure. Those renderings must have been implying the second (or third) seating, after the sun has set
  2. Recently, the Northside neighborhood, with the help of the City of Kalamazoo, launched an RFP for 501 N. Westnedge, and there was a virtual bidder's conference on Saturday, November 14. This property is a brownfield site, most recently home to an auto repair shop that closed its doors (see it on Google street view). Among other things, the RFP lists preferred uses for the site, several of which are bolded (meaning, they received more than one vote from community stakeholders). This list tells you just some of the deficiencies in the neighborhood - Laundromat Cafe / Coffee Shop Prevention Center 24-Hour Day Care Urgent Care / Walk-In Clinic Discount Variety Store (Dollar Tree) You can view the RFP here. Letters of intent are due November 30.
  3. The City of Kalamazoo dropped three new site plan reviews recently. All three are small projects - all urban garden proposals, all in the Edison Neighborhood, and all led by "Zoo City Farms". The properties under proposal are: 1316 Mills Street 736 Jackson Street 1503 Washington Avenue The site plans list Battle Creek-based "The Urban Arts Exploratory & Meditation Center" as the client.
  4. Just sharing another article that some of you probably already saw, discussing the same infrastructure work as the MLive article that joeDowntown shared on Friday - Source: GRBJ | Courtesy City of Grand Rapids
  5. In local, extremely underwhelming architecture news, the new Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) office at the growing public health services center on E. Alcott is complete. This bland EIFS edifice was designed by Royal Oak-based architecture firm Krieger Klatt and constructed by Walbridge. It "features" a 2-story, 70,000 SF building atop a level of covered parking. This rounds out the campus, which is also home now to the County's own department of Health & Human Services, a Family Health Center, and Kalamazoo Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (now known as "Integrated Services of Kalamazoo"). The majority of this campus sits upon former brownfield property. It is a good example of reuse and community vitalization, turning previously toxic land into a campus devoted to public health. And I have no issues with that. My main complaint is the odd agglomeration of architectural styles. The county health building is a repurposed historic masonry building from the paper mill days. The mental health facility is a 1980's-era, office-park style brick building. The family health center looks kind of like a glass spaceship. And then the state department building is a giant stucco box. It seems like the campus entirely lacks any foresight or masterplan, even though it all came together in just the past 5 years. There's really no rhyme or reason to it (except that the state department building was the one that was most-obviously budget-driven). Source: MiBiz (Courtesy Photo) For comparison... The Family Health Center - The County Department of Health & Human Services - The Integrated Services (Mental Health & Substance Abuse) Building - Source: Google Maps All adjacent to each other.
  6. The Kalamazoo Promise turns 15 this week! According to KPS's new superintendent, The Promise has helped nearly 7,000 graduates of the public school system, and it has resulted in nearly $150 million being invested in the community, so far.
  7. Not sure if this ever got tracked anywhere else in the GR threads, but if not, the new Grand Rapids Veterans Home is nearing completion - Click the link for the video, or see some screen grabs below - Source: Wood TV8
  8. Here's an article containing a bit more info about Revel Creek - the new senior housing that will start construction in January 2021 at Kalamazoo's Heritage Community. Specifically, information about the Memory Care Learning Center Component, which is scheduled to be completed in the initial phase - just five months of construction time - and will include basically everything shown in the below interior rendering. I don't know how they are going to pull that off. Source: Second Wave Media | Courtesy Heritage Community of Kalamazoo
  9. Here's two other articles on BCU's takeover of Battle Creek's beleaguered McCamley Plaza Hotel. I am curious if anyone on this forum has any experiences staying here, either recently, or in the "glory days" of the past. My neighbor is familiar with it and said that the interior is severely dated, and the windows and most of the HVAC systems have long-needed replacement. The property will turn 39 years old next week. It is hard to envision right now how Battle Creek can sustain a ~240-room, 15-story hotel. Not to mention, what to do with the connected McCamley Place mall portion. Last time I was in there (pre-COVID) it was a ghost town. Then again, the city pulled off a miracle with the restoration of Heritage Tower (aka The Milton). I wonder if this could potentially become a mix of hotel and apartments. McCamley Place shortly after opening, c. 1981. Back then , it was originally called the Stouffer Battle Creek Hotel. You can see Kellogg Arena in the background and the mall in the foreground - Source: WBCK | Courtesy Historical Society of Battle Creek archives Same view of McCamley Place in 2019 - Source: WBCK | Annie Kelley
  10. About one month ago, AMC announced it would be reopening the Kalamazoo Portage Street 10 (and 520 other theaters around the country), which had been temporarily shuttered due to COVID-19 (link to article). Today, news has broke that this theater is now (seemingly permanently) closed. AMC's tenure at this location was sad and short-lived, and its demise is not all that surprising. Even before COVID, it rarely seemed full, with plenty of nearby competition offered by the more suburban GQT 10 on West Main, Celebration Cinema in Portage, and even M-89 Cinema in Plainwell. AMC took over this location in 2017, after Alamo Drafthouse was effectively kicked out by not being permitted to continue its lease. Alamo was there for roughly as long as AMC - 3 1/2 years. Prior to Alamo, Rave Cityplace 14 occupied the building, before its lease was terminated after about 6 years, in 2012. The AMC closure, while no doubt influenced by COVID-19, seems to have followed a similar pattern to its two predecessors. The one consistent factor: Kansas City-based landlord, EPR Properties. I'm not saying this is all EPR's fault, but clearly they don't see the Kalamazoo market as a priority. If you are saddened by this news, have no worries. AMC Theaters is quick to remind you on its website - ...a convenient 51 miles away
  11. I practically forgot about the planned renovations to Battle Creek's "premier" hotel. It was announced so long ago. Now we hear why there's been a delay. Hopefully this is the best possible outcome... it can't be easy these days to operate a hotel as large and as dated as McCamly Plaza. In separate news, the City of Kalamazoo formally approved the proposed downtown zoning amendments on November 2, and the changes go into effect November 12. http://www.imaginekalamazoo.com/projects/downtownzoning/
  12. It's not everyday that the Kalamazoo-area has an international impact. But I think this might count... With the very positive news of a 90%-effective trial vaccine from Pfizer, the massive Kalamazoo (Portage)-MI production facility (see it on google maps) is ramping up & preparing to produce potentially millions of vaccination doses in our own backyard. News like this makes me proud to be a Kalamazooan. Image of a freezer farm under-construction at Pfizer's Kalamazoo (Portage)-MI production facility which will (hopefully) store COVID-19 vaccine doses - Source: Jeremy Davidson / Pfizer via AP
  13. Yeah, an extra story or two would have been nice. Unsurprisingly, Grand Haven City Council unanimously approved three proposals related to advancing the Jackson Flats development at their Monday meeting.
  14. Tonight (11/5) There is a public hearing scheduled at 7:00pm for the City of Kalamazoo's Natural Features Protection updates. If the proposal is recommended by the Planning Commission, it will move on to final review and adoption by the City Commission. The updates involve proposed amendments to Chapter 50, Article 6 of the Zoning Code that are meant to clarify interpretation and application of the code, as well as a revised NFP overlay map that would expand protected areas.
  15. Short video concerning the great progress at The Mill at Vicksburg -
  16. Grand Haven - Formerly known as Jackson Flats, the re-named Peerless Flats (a proposed housing development in downtown Grand Haven) will seek final approvals from the Grand Haven City Council on November 16. At 130+ units & 148,000 + SF, this would be a huge investment in the downtown. The site is near the waterfront, bordered by Jackson, Fulton, 1st, & 2nd Streets. Groundbreaking is scheduled for Spring 2021. No cost given; but this must be upwards of $30 - $40 million. According to the above, amenities will include Source: Second Wave Media | Courtesy Rendering
  17. Near the planned new Portage Senior Center, the existing Portage Community Center received a major remodel. Spotted on our walk in Portage yesterday -
  18. It's been a while since some construction cam updates with the stuff happening at WMU. Here are some stills from yesterday (which had much nicer weather than today). Arcadia Flats - South Neighborhood Overall - New Student Center & Dining Facilities -
  19. Bronson held a building naming ceremony last week for its new cancer center near downtown Kalamazoo. It is officially now known as the Frank J. Sardone Pavilion, named in honor of the healthcare group's longtime CEO who retired last year after 32 years with Bronson. It was crappy weather for a naming ceremony, but the building looks good, and it is almost complete, with the first procedures scheduled to occur before the end of 2020. Source: LinkedIn | CSM Group
  20. A new pizza joint just opened up shop, in downtown Kalamazoo (former location of Kelvin & Co.). This one rounds out the local options with a 28", pizza-by-the-slice business model, reminiscent of some NYC locations. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like a good, greasy slice of pie, which sometimes hits the spot! Source: Instagram | @downtownkalamazoo Source: Facebook | Benny DiCarta's
  21. Remember those four residential structures that were destroyed by fire on North St. in June, in Kalamazoo? Well, there is already an ambitious plan in the works for a new, 3-story, mixed-use building to take their place. Coined "The Jabez Project" it will continue the dream that owner / developer Twala Lockett-Jones had to turn one of the destroyed properties into new affordable housing. I actually am quite excited about this plan. It is a pity that the historic homes are forever lost, but I think this actually could be an appropriate project for the area, which is located on a busier road (North St.) that has been recently targeted for redevelopment as a commercial corridor. This project is viewed as a way to better connect the neighborhoods of West Douglas (very near where I live), Stuart, and the North Side. I feared we would be looking at demolition debris and perimeter fences for so much longer. Hopefully not. Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering is behind the design. 7GenAE is one of the most active & growing firms in the city, doing work nationally (primarily with federal & Native-American projects) and almost always with a public-wellness-oriented approach. I really like most of their projects lately, and it is great to see them engaging with local stakeholders for this mixed-use project. Source: 7GenAE
  22. Speaking of Cygnus, here is the recent rendering for the new restaurant that will replace it, named MDRD (& pronounced "Madrid) - Source: WoodTV
  23. Dusting this thread off after a few months of inactivity. The 26-unit West Garfield Apartments project is complete -
  24. KDPS Station No. 2 A new site plan review application is up today, and this one is kind of interesting - it is for the new Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Station No. 2. This will be built at 1007 E Alcott St. in the Edison Neighborhood, but also near Millwood, Westnedge Hill, and Southside. It is on the edge of a solidly residential area, with a bit of industry too. I didn't really know that this was as far along in the design process as it is - Hilton Garden Inn Sky Bridge N. Rose St. is officially reopened under the new sky bridge over that connects the Arcadia parking Ramp to the new Hilton Garden Inn. This was on 10/16/2020. Earlier in the morning it was closed, then when I was driving back home - open. The Mill at Vicksburg Here's some neat info & photos about sustainability efforts with the Mill at Vicksburg redevelopment - Chick-Fil-A Lastly, and least-exciting (well, maybe not for some people) - the first Chick-Fil-A within the city limits is moving along at the northeast corner of Drake & West Main. It is fully-enclosed and masonry is going up -
  25. Red Roof Inn Fire The Red Roof Inn at Cork & Sprinkle suffered a major fire Friday night. It looks like it could be a total loss. One firefighter was injured. If the surrounding new hotels didn't do this place in, it looks like this fire might have - Source: WKFR Downtown Zoning Updates Approved Not surprisingly (but good news) - the City of Kalamazoo Planning Commission approved the recommended downtown zoning updates on October 1, with two positive amendments: Adjusting Lot Types to permit no maximum height in Downtown 1 and Downtown 2 Districts (staff made this amendment during their presentation) Adjusting Lot Types to require a 2-story minimum height in Downtown 3 With recommendation from the Planning Commission, the full City Commission will have a first reading tonight (10/26/20), followed by a subsequent public hearing and a vote at a second meeting to follow. Then it will be for formally approved & adopted.
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