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DetroitMan

Michigan's 'largest' life sciences announcement coming to K'zoo, economic developer says

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The suspense is killing me.

I might be tempted to pull an Eric Cartman and freeze myself until the date and risk being forgotten until the year 3000. Okay, maybe not... I don't want to get my hopes too high. After all whatever it is might end up in Texas Township.

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WOW, this will be good. It's looking like that unless this development is ripe for the incubator park at the Parkview Campus (which is hardly in Kalamazoo city limits in the first place), that this will indeed come to fruition in Portage or Texas Township. But who knows, if Bill Johnston has had any sway in this, it could be coming downtown or perhaps a site won't yet be selected at the time of the announcement.

Any guesses on the company?

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Maybe I read it wrong, but to me it sounded like a life-sciences company is just going to announce some major break-through, not necessarily announcing an expansion of facilities. Hopefully I'm wrong though.

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Wow! This is great news for the Kzoo area especially and for the state. I will certainly be all ears to see what the big news is next Tuesday.

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Maybe I read it wrong, but to me it sounded like a life-sciences company is just going to announce some major break-through, not necessarily announcing an expansion of facilities. Hopefully I'm wrong though.

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Upon reflection, you're probably right. The announcement is probably about a breakthrough from a local company.

And YES, the incubator IS within the city limits of Kalamazoo. It's a little deceiving because of the open space and farm land out there, but everything east of Drake road there is in the Kalamazoo city limits. The Portage line is the south some distance.

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Hi All: I love urban planet!

I want to steer this back to the original story: "one of the nation's largest economic announcements"

I think news about a medical breakthrough would come through other channels, and not be a surprise....it would be in trials, scientifically vetted before it became a jobs generator. Southwest Michigan First is chiefly about jobs, and corporate relocation. They wouldn't bring the governor in unless she was getting some major good bump from it.

At least we're gearing up for good news!

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One thing I just realized is that there is a large, vacant, and highly advanced laboratory/research building open downtown on Lovell. It was part of Pfizer until they had no use for it and had readied it for WMU. The deal never came to be however, so this would be an excellent place for some new company to take over.

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The announcement is going to be that a topic in the Kalamazoo forum got 9 posts in only 4 days, which is just as amazing as any life science announcement. I am excited only two more days, hopefully it is worth the hype.

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ha, very true - something finally worth talking about indeed.

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It's very hard to get development news from Kalamazoo if you don't live there anymore. Heck, even if you live there it's hard. I've searched for a public input/contact email with the planning department but whenever I try to contact people either the link is no longer valid or I never hear back from people. If the city kept and updated webpage or blog we could follow with a contact source. Recently when the DKI was holding public meetings regarding the city's master plan I found it incredibly frustrating that there was no way for people to give opinions online.

Oh well, one more day until the big announcement.

Any last thoughts?

I'm going to proffer: 800 jobs move to a business park in Portage. (not ideal but that's what I'm guessing)

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It's very hard to get development news from Kalamazoo if you don't live there anymore. Heck, even if you live there it's hard. I've searched for a public input/contact email with the planning department but whenever I try to contact people either the link is no longer valid or I never hear back from people. If the city kept and updated webpage or blog we could follow with a contact source. Recently when the DKI was holding public meetings regarding the city's master plan I found it incredibly frustrating that there was no way for people to give opinions online.

Oh well, one more day until the big announcement.

Any last thoughts?

I'm going to proffer: 800 jobs move to a business park in Portage. (not ideal but that's what I'm guessing)

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Well, I read at West Michigan Rising, that its going to be MPI bringing 3300 jobs to the area but I am not entirely sure if political blogs are reliable sources ;) . I posted it any way just so if it is correct we can give credit to those that knew before hand and to help out a West Michigan blog that faces an uphill battle. To think just days ago I would tell people I did not care about speculation on this development and that I would just wait and see what the announcement was before becoming too excited, how quickly I change. Links to the blogs:

West Michigan Rising post

Michigan Liberal original post

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Well, I read at West Michigan Rising, that its going to be MPI bringing 3300 jobs to the area but I am not entirely sure if political blogs are reliable sources ;) . I posted it any way just so if it is correct we can give credit to those that knew before hand and to help out a West Michigan blog that faces an uphill battle. To think just days ago I would tell people I did not care about speculation on this development and that I would just wait and see what the announcement was before becoming too excited, how quickly I change. Links to the blogs:

West Michigan Rising post

Michigan Liberal original post

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3,300 is some serious juice for the area and excellent for Kzoo; a city on the rise; this is definetly great news.

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Yes, and 400 of those jobs coming downtown will be a great replacement for many of the lost Pfizer jobs. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that downtown can attract even more of these in the future.

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This is what I'm talking about! Yeah, this will definitely make up for the Pzifer loss and then some.

BTW, what all was torn down at Pfizer/Pharmacia/Upjohn downtown? Was it just the historic tower? I seem to see pictures showing that part of one of the two more modern towers was also torn down. It would be interesting if someone could photograph what is left of this downtown complex.

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This is what I'm talking about! Yeah, this will definitely make up for the Pzifer loss and then some.

BTW, what all was torn down at Pfizer/Pharmacia/Upjohn downtown? Was it just the historic tower? I seem to see pictures showing that part of one of the two more modern towers was also torn down. It would be interesting if someone could photograph what is left of this downtown complex.

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I say we forgive it due to the sheer amount of jobs. I said this on another board, but 3,000+ jobs would be a huge boost for a metro even size of Detroit, let alone for a much smaller one. This is huge for Metro Kazoo, period, in my mind.

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Sprawl. The first thought that popped into my mind too. Bill Parfet did pay for a Village Master Plan, out of his own pocket, apparently. Not many details given. See the MLive article:

http://www.mlive.com/news/kzgazette/index....&thispage=2

What was surprising is that only 10% of MPI's staff lives in Mattawan as of 2007. Expect many of the new Michiganders to choose a place in the Promised Zone, east of Mattawan, at least filling in the gap more between Kzoo and Mattawan.

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Imagine how amazing it would be for Mattawan and its downtown if they could manage to actually get all of those people to locate within the village limits! It might be the next Paw Paw.

In other news, some have asked for a photo of the site in downtown Kalamazoo

postkb7.jpg

This is the most recent one I could find - at the time it was taken work on the Greenleaf building had only just begun.

Left is North

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I've been trying to piece together the dowtown Pfizer complex for some time, now.

It seems that the smallest of these building, the one on Lovell is called Building 126. The building on the same block but on Portage is Building 267. These two, owned by Pfizer, will be renovated by MPI Research as their downtown Kalamazoo location.

An article I read said that Pfizer Building 300, the largest and tallest of the three left on Portage across from Building 267, will be seperately renovated by Pfizer, itself, for their own use.

So, I know the historic Upjohn Tower was torn down, but wasn't another building of the complex torn down with it? Any historians here know when each of these was built and such?

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Well, I hate to be a buzz kill after such a great announcement but I am a pessimist. The vast majority of jobs, 2900 or more, are going to be located in Mattawan. For people like me who live west of Kazoo that is great and hopefully benefits us as well, but won't this lead to greater sprawl outside of Kalamazoo. Incidental jobs will reach maybe another 3300 people, most of those will be located in Mattawan as well. So, my question is this, do we give it a pass and celebrate this announcement because of its size and the climate of our economy or can we critique it for being a suburban development.

A similar thing is going on with regards to the Harbor Shores project in SJ/BH with environmental and public place issues. Is it alright to give up environmental and parks for a huge development.

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It depends on how it is handled. The two campuses of downtown and Mattawan could be linked by shuttle bus, or even a light rail system at some point in the future.

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