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Kalamazoo Projects

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It's time to energize this Kalamazoo forum. There are plenty of projects in the area that the Urban Planet community could and should be monitoring. Below is a brief list of some current Kalamazoo area projects planned or under construction. I'll try to provide updates on them, but participation from others would certainly be appreciated. I'll start creating individual topics for each project as time permits.

Planned/Proposed Projects:

  • Downtown Kalamazoo Arena: $81 million facility designed to accomodate 6,000-7,000 spectators. Prospective users are Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL and WMU men's basketball and hockey programs. Concerts would be a large component of the facility's programming as well.

    • Arcadia Commons West: This development would wrap the proposed downtown arena. Residential and institutional uses have been proposed for this broad project.

      • 100 Block of East Michigan Avenue:$10 million plan to renovate 4 buildings on East Michigan Avenue dating from the Civil War era. The project will include retail on the first floor and apartments on the upper levels.

        • New or Renovated Sangren Hall: One of WMU's largest academic buildings, a major renovation or rebuild is planned for this 1960's era structure on West Campus.

          • River's Edge: This is the name chosen for an area of development planned near the Kalamazoo River. Several new buildings have been constructed in recent years. A new building for the People's Food Co-Op has just been announced for River's Edge as well. The area is also expected to house a mixed use component for artists/small businesses.

            • WMU On-Campus Housing: A large project to build student residences on WMU's West Campus was recently announced. This is a multi-phase project designed to bring students back to campus for housing. The buildings are supposed to be designed in a more traditional academic style.

              • Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport: An entirely new terminal is under construction adjacent to the existing facility. This project is designed to create a modern gateway into Kalamazoo for visitors arriving by plane. The existing terminal is a cramped one-story structure not able to meet the current needs of the community. The new terminal will be able to accomodate additional airlines and travelers with upgraded security, baggage claim and passenger loading areas.

              [*]Downtown Kalamazoo Retail Incubator: While the concept is virtual, the results are real bricks and mortar stores opening on the downtown mall. One store, Ace's Cycle, recently opened with 2-3 more planned in the coming months. The idea is to create and train new businesses to serve and expand options for downtown shoppers.

              [*]Kalamazoo River Valley Trailway: This project involves constructing an off-road trailway to connect downtown Kalamazoo to South Haven, Portage, Battle Creek and northern Kalamazoo County. Segments to South Haven and Parchment were recently completed. Trails in Portage and Battle Creek are currently in use as well. 5+ miles of new trails are planned for construction this summer. When complete, the KRVT will provide excellent opportunities for commuting, running and relaxing between downtown and outlying areas.

              [*]Kalamazoo Valley Community College: A $12+ million expansion is currently under way at the Texas Township campus.

              [*]Portage Public Schools: Two high schools and two elementary schools are being rebuilt/renovated as part of this $120 million project.

              [*]232 West Michigan Avenue: 3-story building under complete renovation for office/retail use in downtown Kalamazoo.

              [*]I-94 Expansion: This project is designed to rebuild and expand I-94 throughout the Kalamazoo metro area. The interchanges at US-131 and Oakland Dr. were recently completed, and work is currently taking place at the interchange with Westnedge Ave. The Westnedge portion of the project is estimated to cost $40-$50 million.

              These are a few of the Kalamazoo area projects, but feel free to add/subtract/comment, etc.

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