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Draft 2009 Downtown Comprehensive Plan Released!


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Kalamazoo DDA sets downtown development priorities

by Alex Nixon {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Kalamazoo Gazette

Tuesday January 27, 2009, 10:41 AM

The Actual Draft Plan can be found here


I took the time and read the whole thing and I have to say I am exceedingly impressed. The plan covers a wide array of issues from housing, to transportation, to land use and, despite these economic times, seems bent on moving forward full speed ahead. I was especially encouraged to read that, even now, demand for downtown housing exceeds supply.

For me, the DRAFT report hit all of the right notes. It describes a decreased emphasis on the automobile and increased focus on the pedestrian and bicycle, establishment of a retail incubator to grow local talent, increased housing densities downtown, development of surface parking lots and a commitment to sustainability including LEED certified projects. No doubt the plan is ambitious, but upon close review is not nearly out of the realm of do-ability.

The draft plan highlights 7 projects which the DDA wants to prioritize.

1. Redevelopment of the 100 Block of East Michigan Ave (next to KVCC and across from the entrance to Burdick.

2. Two-way street conversions in a phased plan that will eventually include Kalamazoo and Michigan Avenues.

3. Development of a new Arena Neighborhood to round out the Arcadia Creek linear pack and pathway.

4. Redevelopment of the former public safety site at Lovell/Rose (currently parking) to mixed use retail and residential.

5. Redevelop the Haymarket surface lot (across from the festival site) to housing with an integrated parking ramp.

6. Further develop Portage Creek and Kalamazoo River greenways

7. Develop a Medical, Life Sciences, Research Village around Pfizer/MPI/Bronson downtown

Apart from the Kalamazoo Promise and its selfless donors, the DKI/DDA team is one of the finest assets for the city of Kalamazoo and especially downtown. The have, increasingly, shown themselves to be progressive, action oriented, fiscally responsible and community responsive. One can feel the approach of a kind of critical mass on the horizon if the cards are played correctly - the community social/bureaucratic infrastructure is clearly in place. Maybe I can an internship with them later this year during my break between undergraduate and graduate education.

-Update on proposed retail incubator.

Downtown Kalamazoo plans virtual retail incubator

Posted by Alex Nixon {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Kalamazoo Gazette January 27, 2009 11:59AM

The plan calls for a "virtual" incubator rather than a physical space.

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