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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Plans for a new high-rise move foward in downtown Kalamazoo on the site of a surface parking lot across from the Radisson.



Plans for 15-story Exchange Building in downtown Kalamazoo move ahead

By Ed Finnerty | MLive.com

December 20, 2016

KALAMAZOO, MI - A 15-story building at the center of downtown Kalamazoo that has been in the works for over five years got a boost from the state Tuesday with approval of a $6.4 million loan.

The Exchange Building is planned on what is now a parking lot at the southeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Rose Street, across from the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites.

The 335,674-square-foot building will include commercial, retail and residential uses, with a bank as the anchor tenant, apartments on the upper floors and parking integrated into five floors, according to a memo to the Michigan Strategic Fund Board. The board, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., approved the loan and took other action to move the project forward during a meeting Tuesday, Dec. 20 in Lansing.
The Exchange building, according to the MEDC memo, will include:

-- A ground level primarily occupied by a commercial bank, with additional lease spaces for retail tenants;

-- Approximately 58,720 square feet of leasable retail and office space;

-- 319 parking spaces integrated into the building on the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors;

-- Class A office lease space on a portion of the sixth floor and the entire seventh floor;

-- 133 upscale one- and two-bedroom, market-rate apartments on the eighth through 14th floors;

-- A penthouse for office or retail with a terrace on the 15th floor;

-- Accessible rooftop areas constructed as terraces for tenant use and event space;

Significant changes will be made to the streetscape, including heated sidewalks, lighting, and other features, the memo said.
 

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Stryker to build $130-million corporate campus in Portage, add 105 jobs
Stryker Corp. plans to build a $130-million corporate campus on nearly 300 acres in Portage, creating an estimated 105 new jobs over three years.

The proposal for Stryker's medical instruments division involves 485,000 square feet of facilities that will include a customer experience center, functioning showroom, state-of-the-art research and development lab and a bio-skills lab for research and new product development. It will also include ffice space for sales, marketing and support functions.
 

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Thanks James Bond for pointing out to me that this development thread existed. FYI, the two major projects noted previously are both in the early stages of construction now.

As I noted here yesterday, I recently started a Kalamazoo development thread on skyscraperpage, before I realized that there was already a Kalamazoo discussion thread over here. Not trying to promote one site over the other, just figured it would be great to share information, since the interest in this city on both these forums is probably limited. There's also a separate thread for The Exchange building here.

When I have more time and am less busy some day, I will try to provide major updates here as well, from time to time. As a Kalamazoo resident now, I would love to help keep both these threads alive.
 

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It's been a while since an update here. Lots of small news happening. The two big developments in the region currently (Stryker's HQ and The Exchange) are both well under-way:

The Exchange, as of 11/20/17 - just starting to set forms for the third floor:









Stryker site, from about a month ago now:










I've been doing more regular updates over at SSP.
 

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Posted this photo update on SSP and figured I'd share it here too. The weather was nice - high's in the 50s - not too shabby for December in Kalamazoo.

1. Stryker HQ is rising. A lot of workers on site today, so couldn't get too close:





2. Portage Northern Middle School - a few welders were on site today:









3. Trade Centre III is 99% complete from the outside. The interior work is ongoing. It's corporate / suburban / etc. at its greatest, but a good addition to Class A office suite options in Portage:









4. HomeGoods Inc. exterior finishes (combination of brick masonry and EIFS) being installed:



5. Kalamazoo's future home for its consolidated Department of Health & Human Services, which is to be housed in an old industrial building at the former Allied Paper Company site. This is a project that I am excited to see happening so quickly, and I really hope all of the window openings remain:









6. Metal cladding going up at 381 / 383 South Pitcher Street. Strictly Performance Motorsports will be the primary future tenant:



7. Remodel of the well-detailed 320 E. Michigan Ave. is ongoing. First floor retail and upper floors apartments:



8. The Exchange - check out the SSP building thread to see more photos:





9. Walking along the KRVT - I wanted to see how the recently finished downtown connecting segment, with new signage and trail markings, felt. In short, it felt hastily slapped together. Now that the trail is fully connected through downtown, hopefully the city will spend resources to beautify specific sections of it:





10. There is a new brewery set to open December 15 on North Kalamazoo Mall - called Final Gravity. In what has long been a dead zone, hopefully it does well and inspires other new investment in the area:



11. Future home of Wightman & Associates, a Benton Harbor-based A&E firm that is relocating its Portage office to River's Edge District:





12. The new Gull / Ransom / Harrison roundabout. I've driven it (it works!) and now I've walked it. Not nearly as confusing or dangerous feeling as many were fearful of:



13. Not new construction, but just for fun, here's a few more pics along the KRVT. Found some neat little gems of public art under the Michigan Ave. bridge that spans Portage Creek:













14. Bronson's downtown labs project (in the former Gazette Building). They are working on insulating and weatherproofing the remaining portion of the historic Albert Kahn building that was not demo'd. I still can't find any info on what is planned for the remainder of the cleared site. What is happening currently is presumably just phase 1, with a future addition coming (we hope):





15. A small project, Mercantile Bank's new branch, is going up on W. Centre & Oakland Drive.



16. And finally, AVB's 'Whisper Rock' Condos, Phase 1. They look pretty much like every other AVB project:



 

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I was trying to find if there was a construction cam for The Exchange and instead I found a new website that is up and running but still under construction. This looks like the new official site and I'm guessing they will change the url once the content is further along.

http://1738.bfhosting1.com/

There are some short time lapse videos, but only through July of this year. There's a handy little directory of all the floor plans, and additional exterior renderings that I had not yet seen. Also, it indicates that pricing for the 133 apartment units will be released in summer 2018.














Source: The Exchange Site
 

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Consumers Credit Union's new Headquarters opened in December, in The Groves Center. The 92,000 SF building consolidates employees from four separate locations into a collaborative open work environment with connections to nature. Two additional phases of construction could eventually occur, expanding the facility to up to 200,000 SF. The design Architect, HOK, posted a few photos of the completed project on their website. I will be touring it soon and will hopefully get some more photos. From HOK's website:

Design of Consumers Credit Union’s New Headquarters Emanates from Nature
HOK Staff
January 4, 2018

Consumers Credit Union, one of Michigan’s largest homegrown financial institutions, opened its new HOK-designed headquarters in Kalamazoo this week. Nearly 150 employees previously working in four separate buildings moved into a collaboration center situated among rolling hills and wooded ravines on a 23-acre site. The centerpiece: a contemporary, three-story, 92,000-square-foot office evoking its natural surroundings, designed to bring employees closer together while providing exceptional amenities...






Images Source: HOK
 

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Blain's Farm & Fleet plans expansion into Michigan

Wisconsin retailer Blain's Farm & Fleet is pushing into the Michigan market in a maneuver that will bring the company's total number of stores to 40.

The Janesville-based company said Tuesday it will extend its reach to Michigan with two store openings there in 2018.

The family-owned company will roll out locations totaling more than 100,000 square feet in Jackson and Portage, Mich.
 

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A few quick updates from downtown, taken Friday, with weather in the 50s -

Elevator shaft is going up at 216 / 220 Michigan Ave:


I can't tell but it looks like there's some activity / mobilization at the former Kalamazoo Gazette Building / future Bronson labs site. Remodeling work is ongoing inside the old Albert Kahn structure (to the right):


The Exchange - the third floor deck is poured, and a portion of the fourth. You can see the difference in floor-to-floor height between the first two floors and the third, which is the first of the all-parking deck floors:






















 

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(from a few weeks ago now)

Borgess Medical Center recently announced that it is planning a $35 million, 32,000 SF expansion to its Stryker Center. The center, which opened in 2006, was originally designed to accommodate eventual vertical expansion, and this project will add a new floor. The project is expected to be complete in 2020.

Hospital undergoing $35M expansion
Justin Dawes | GRBJ
January 31, 2018

A hospital in the region will begin a $35-million expansion next month. There will be a 32,000-foot expansion to the surgical suites at Ascension’s Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, at 1521 Gull Rd. The project, expected to be finished by 2020, will add another floor to the Stryker Center, which was built to allow for vertical expansion...
 

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I've been neglecting this thread, spending more time over at SSP. A few sizable projects have been announced recently. Most recently, yesterday, this 135-unit affordable housing development downtown - which will fill in a nice gap downtown (google streetview). This would be within the proposed two-block "neighborhood enterprise zone", which was recently pitched by the city. The property deal is contingent upon the creation of this zone.

Kalamazoo sells downtown parking lot for $24M mixed-use development
Malachi Barrett | MLive
May 17, 2018

KALAMAZOO, MI -- More housing units are coming to downtown Kalamazoo, but city officials are pushing for new developments to be affordable for low-income residents. Thursday, the city's Brownfield Redevelopment Authority sold two underused downtown lots to make room for a $24.2 million mixed-use development. A third, adjacent parcel owned by the city will be sold at a later date. The deal transferred 215 W. Lovell St. and 418 S. Rose St. to companies called 400 Rose, LLC and [email protected] II, LLC, for $1.1 million. The authority also approved a brownfield plan to capture $3.6 million in future tax revenue to reimburse the developer for remediation efforts at the site...
Some more info...

...plans call for a four-story, 167,500-square-foot building with a metal, simulated wood and brick exterior. A zoning variance was approved to put residential units on the ground floor. Commercial tenants can occupy 8,400-square-feet on the corner of Lovell and Rose streets. A total of 135 apartment units are planned, including 480-square-foot studio apartments and 1,136-square-foot two-bedroom units...A single-level underground parking structure will be created to accommodate 77 vehicles. Some surface parking will also remain, along with 85 surface parking spaces.






Source: MLive (edited by me)
 

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A 7-story, mixed-use, downtown building was announced by Catalyst Development in April. This will be located at the Southwest corner of North Edwards and Water Streets (currently a city-owned surface lot). All signs point to this one moving forward quickly. Love the density. Not crazy about the design yet.

Catalyst Development plans 7-story, mixed-use building in downtown Kalamazoo
Nick Manes | MiBiz
April 13, 2018

KALAMAZOO — Developers are planning a multi-story, mixed-use development in downtown Kalamazoo that could begin to take shape this summer. Catalyst Development Co. LLC plans to break ground in July on a proposed $70 million, seven-story project at the southwest corner of North Edwards Street and Water Street on what’s currently a city-owned parking lot, according to a statement released yesterday. Plans for the 290,000-square-foot development call for two floors of residential housing, four floors of Class A office space and more than 300 parking spaces within a multi-level parking deck.

A number of notable tenants already have committed to taking office space in the planned development. They include law firm Warner Norcross & Judd LLP and economic development organization Southwest Michigan First, as well as The Kalamazoo Promise and The Kalamazoo Promise Institute, a new think tank the organization plans to create. Kalamazoo-based architecture firm TowerPinkster is designing the building while CSM Group Inc. will manage construction...
Edit: MLive's article on this also contains a small tidbit about plans for two other city-owned parking lots -

July groundbreaking expected for $70M mixed-use building in Kalamazoo
Malachi Barrett | MLive
April 13, 2018

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Kalamazoo officials are still working on a deal to sell a downtown parking lot to Catalyst Development Co., LLC, but the company expects to break ground on a $70 million, seven-story mixed-use building in July....Another plan to sell Lot 2, at the corner of Lovell and Rose Streets, to AVB Inc. and Hinman Co. is also in the works. No plans exist yet, but Kisscorni said Lot 1 across the street from Wild Bull Saloon is being considered for future development...





Source: MLive | Courtesy Catalyst Development / Tower Pinkster
 

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Another mixed-use, affordable housing project, which was also publicized in April for the old Cedar Street fire station parcel and an adjoining lot.

Only one developer put forth a proposal in response to Kalamazoo's RFQ issued last fall for its former fire station at 116 W Cedar St. (see Post #128 for more). The developer, Portage-based Hollander Development Corporation, submitted a preliminary concept to the city that involves demolishing the current structure and constructing a 6-story mixed use building with ground floor retail, second floor commercial office space (possible fitness or rehab function), and 40 - 50 affordable housing units on floors 3 through 6. There would be a partially-covered parking area, and a rooftop deck for residents. The concept currently has a $10.5 million estimate.

Private development of this area has long been sought by the city, which wants to create a stronger gateway to the Kalamazoo Mall from Southtown and the Vine Neighborhoods, and which also wants to see these lots returned to the tax payroll. This is all quite preliminary, and the developer has until the end of April to determine if it actually wants to make a serious offer on the property (two lots in total). They have partnered up with Byce & Associates for at least the conceptual work. If it goes forward, tax credits would be sought through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and HUD.

Developer proposes razing downtown fire station for $10.5M project
Malachi Barrett | MLive
March 26, 2018

KALAMAZOO, MI -- A Portage developer is planning to demolish a 60-year-old public safety training facility for office space and affordable housing. Hollander Development Corporation was the only respondent when the city of Kalamazoo opened a process to screen developers interested in rehabilitating Fire Station No. 1 at 116 W. Cedar St. and Lot 19 at 440 S. Burdick St. According to a letter of understanding signed by both parties, Hollander has the exclusive right to consider buying the properties until April 30...
Concept Rendering:


South Elevation:


West Elevation:


Building Section:


Site Plan:


First Floor Plan:


Second Floor Plan:


Third Floor Plan:


Roof Plan:

Source: MLive | Courtesy Hollander Development Corp. / Byce & Associates Inc.
 

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Finally (for now) here are some construction update photos that I took on May 7.

The Exchange is becoming visible from more angles / vantage points. This is one of my favorite views of the skyline, from the top of the Epic Center ramp.


Also just starting to peak out from the Haymarket District parking lot.




Partway done with the 7th floor pour. This is where the building transitions from parking ramp to residential.


216-220 Michigan Ave. from the alley.


Bronson Park. Alas, the fountain and statuary are no more.




Site is cleared for The Foundry, Phase 2.


Too bad this is all we will be getting. A big waste of a near-downtown site in my opinion.


381-383 South Pitcher Street rehab is crawling along.


The future County Health building looks amazing though.


And the small dam nearby, beneath Alcott Street, that once served the paper mill is now gone.


Meanwhile, restoration work on Portage Creek just south of the former dam is in progress. There are future plans to develop the land along these banks.




Jumping to Portage. The new Stryker Corporate HQ, though not tall, is just massive in scale. Looking straight on at the main entrance.




Exciting to see glazing going up already.


Looking from the side opposite the main, public entrance. I guess you'd call it the back.






Lastly, some Portage Schools updates. Here is the new Central High School Natatorium, which is nearing completion.


Earth has been cleared for the new Central Middle School. Should start picking up speed soon.


Northern Middle School is 'topped out'. This is similar to what Central Middle School will be like, in form and layout.




Portage Northern's new football stadium, which should be ready in time for the fall season. This will mark a huge turning point for the school's athletics / football team, which will no longer have to play its home games at their rival's (Portage Central's) field.
 

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One more big one. On April 10 Portage City Council approved a massive tax break for Pfizer, which is planning a major sterile processing facility addition at its Portage manufacturing site.

Portage City Council approves tax breaks for Pfizer expansion plan
Crain's Detroit Business | Associated Press
April 12, 2018

City officials in Portage have approved property tax breaks for a $465 million expansion project by New York City-based Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Portage City Council voted this week to approve an exemption that will cut property taxes in half for 15 years, including three years during construction. Pfizer agreed to maintain 2,000 (note, article improperly said 200) current employees and hire at least 450 new people before the tax break expires. The pharmaceutical company sought the exemption for a sterile processing facility in the city just south of Kalamazoo. The newspaper said a total of $32.1 million in revenue will be forgone by local taxing jurisdictions during the tax break, which is set to expire in 2033...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Catalyst Development gets a redesign. I like the colors, clean lines, and what look to be quality materials. This will be a big boost for downtown Kalamazoo.



Parking lot sale brings apartments, offices to downtown Kalamazoo

By Malachi Barrett, MLive.com

July 16, 2018

Monday, the City Commission approved a purchase agreement with Catalyst Development Co. LLC, selling a portion of Lot 9 across from the Arcadia Creek Festival Site for $714,369. The developer is planning a $60 million to $70 million, seven-story, mixed-used building downtown.

The 290,000-square-foot tall building would sit on a 1.362-acre portion of the surface lot located at the corner of Water Street and Edwards Street. Once finished, it will include Class A commercial offices, approximately 49 residential units and up to 310 parking spaces for tenants and the public.

Construction is expected to start July 23 and end in two years.
 

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One more big one. On April 10 Portage City Council approved a massive tax break for Pfizer, which is planning a major sterile processing facility addition at its Portage manufacturing site.
Looks like it's official. Congrats Kalamazoo!

Pfizer to build new facility, add 450 jobs in Michigan
Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. plans to expand manufacturing in Michigan and add 450 jobs under an incentives deal approved Tuesday by the state's economic development arm.


The company is expected to spend $465 million building a new facility in Portage near Kalamazoo, with production starting in 2024. The Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved an $11.5 million package, including $10.5 million in tax incentives and a $1 million grant for the creation of 450 qualified new jobs.

Average pay will range from $70,100 to $93,300.
 
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