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Textile Systems, Inc.

Summary

Textile Systems, Inc. (TSI), a division of Borgess Health Alliance, provides specialty laundering and linen management services to the health care industry. In 2001, TSI worked with the City of Kalamazoo to purchase and relocate to a redeveloped brownfield in Kalamazoo's Northside neighborhood. The project was the city's third successfully redeveloped brownfield within a three-block area that was formerly characterized by junkyards and abandoned industrial buildings.

TSI's Story

TSI began operations in 1987 at a 14,000 square-foot facility in Oshtemo Township, MI. The company launders sheets, blankets, towels, scrubs and other linens for many of the area's hospitals and health care facilities. TSI's customers include Borgess Medical Center, Bronson Health, Battle Creek Health Systems and a number of other hospitals, clinics and nursing homes throughout the state.

In the next several years, the burgeoning laundry outgrew the Oshtemo facility. TSI went from processing 2 million pounds of laundry per year to more than 7.5 million pounds, and needed a larger building to support further growth. Faced with labor challenges and production limitations, the company decided to relocate to Kalamazoo because of its proximity to its workforce and markets.

In 1997, TSI contacted the City of Kalamazoo's Brownfield Redevelopment Initiative (BRI). The BRI is a program to identify, acquire and prepare abandoned and environmentally-distressed property for redevelopment. After touring the available sites, TSI chose a .92 acre city-owned brownfield property on East Frank Street for the future site of its new facility. The property was previously home to the Pioneer Paper Company, but most recently was a vacant lot with an adjoining junkyard. Neighborhood residents voiced their approval of the project during a public meeting at the Douglass Community Association in late 1998. Less than a year later, the city's Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the City Commission agreed to sell TSI the property for $23,000.

TSI encountered several problems with their newly-acquired property that needed to be addressed before construction of the new structure could begin. These challenges included contaminated soil, more than 10,000 cubic yards of buried building foundations and demolition debris, hidden underground tanks, and gaining possession of two occupied houses on the property. To overcome these development barriers, TSI collaborated with the city, the consulting firm Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber (FTC&H), neighborhood organizations, attorneys and contractors.

The city went to work securing United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region V brownfield assessment pilot funds to conduct soil testing, and FTC&H outlined a process for TSI to follow in order to avoid state environmental liability. Contaminated soils were used in landscaping berms and beneath parking lots to eliminate contaminant exposure pathways, recyclable building materials were extracted from the soils to minimize offsite disposal costs, and the underground tanks were also properly registered and sealed to do away with due care liability. Finally, TSI teamed up with the Northside Association for Community Development to relocate one of the homes from the project site for future rehabilitation.

Construction for the $5.7 million project began in June 1999 and was complete by August 2000. The new 32,000 square-foot facility features state-of-the-art laundry equipment that ensures the highest level of sterilization and reduces energy costs and the impact on the environment. Unlike the existing laundry, the new structure is air conditioned, providing more comfortable working conditions for employees.

In addition to the updated equipment and increased workspace, TSI's relocation across town benefited the company in other ways. The Northside location is closer to two major clients, Borgess Medical Center and Bronson Methodist Hospital, which eliminated 400 delivery miles and 10 hours of transportation each week. The move also put the laundry in the same neighborhood as the bulk of its workers and expanded its pool of potential employees. Within just six months of becoming operational, its workforce doubled from 55 to more than 100. The larger staff allowed the company to significantly increase productivity and take on additional contracts.

Today, the bustling laundry continues to thrive and now offers services to more than 30 different health care facilities in the area and processes approximately 18 million pounds of linen per year. Because of the incredible triumph this redevelopment project represented, TSI and the City of Kalamazoo were presented with one of two national Phoenix Awards for Community Impact by the USEPA in 2002. Phoenix Awards honor individuals and groups working to transform abandoned industrial properties into productive new uses. The TSI redevelopment project further demonstrates the city's ability to convert depleted areas into useful community resources.

People's Food Co-op

Summary

People's Food Co-op  507 Harrison Street

People's Food Co-op (PFC), a for-profit cooperative market with a 38-year history in Kalamazoo, spent more than 20 months searching for the right location to build a larger store, and ultimately found the perfect spot in River's Edge, a mixed-use redevelopment area on the eastern edge of downtown. They purchased property from the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA), and invested $1.1 million to construct a 6,300 square-foot building. The new store quadruples the amount of retail space in their previous building. The Can-Do Kitchen, a commercial kitchen incubator, is now a tenant, and the 100 Mile Farmers Market is conducted on the grounds.

Purchasing the property and constructing a new building, instead of leasing, gave the owners the ability to invest in themselves. Equally important was that working with new construction gave PFC the opportunity to incorporate more sustainable features into the building.

Green Building

PFC's budget did not allow for their original plan of building to the U.S Green Building Council's LEED standards, but it did allow enough to maximize green features. Consolidating the compressors for 14 refrigerated coolers in racks at the back of the building yields a 30 percent energy savings over traditional units. Waste heat from those units is used to heat water for use in the building, eliminating the need for a gas water heater. Solar tubes collect daylight from the roof and reduce the need for fluorescent light. Design decisions were made with future upgrades, including LED lighting, in mind. The building's landscaping is comprised of native plants, ensuring that they will thrive and help mitigate onsite rain runoff.

Project Overview

  • Total investment - $1.1 million
  • 6,300 square feet new construction
  • 9 jobs retained, 2 created
  • Weekly customer traffic - 1,100

Tools Used for the Development

  • BRA Tax Increment Financing
  • MBT credit
  • Gap financing
  • Flexibility on land price
  • Site preparation
  • Land assembly
  • EPA site assessment grant

Results

The project broke ground in December 2010 and opened in May 2011. Two weeks after opening the new building, Chris Dilley, general manager for the People's Food Co-op, sees the positives in the increased space. Having doubled the space for fresh fruits and vegetables, area farmers are scrambling to meet the increased demand generated in the new store, and it is helping the PFC reach its goal of promoting access to food that is healthy for people, land and the economy.

MacKenzies' Bakery

Summary

MacKenzies' Bakery is a third-generation family-owned bakery that first began operations in 1932 in South Haven. The MacKenzies moved the bakery's home base to the Kalamazoo area in 1980, opening a shop on the west side and a second bakery cafe in Portage eight years later. In July of 1997, the family collaborated with the City of Kalamazoo and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to purchase land on a brownfield site to build a third branch. Due to the great success of the newest location, bakery owner John MacKenzie worked with city again in 2005 on plans for a second phase development of the existing facility. The proposed renovations included a 3,000 square-foot addition to centralize production and expand retail areas.

MacKenzies' Story

The MacKenzies of Kalamazoo are third-generation bakers who trace their humble beginnings to a roadside stand in South Haven, Michigan in 1932. Grandpa "Cap" MacKenzie originally built the stand to sell farm produce, but it wasn't long before Grandma "Nona" MacKenzie started baking her delectable homemade breads, potato fried cakes, sweet rolls and pies to offer customers. A few years later, Nona's sister Blanche joined the MacKenzies from Chicago, contributing years of big-city baking and catering experience to the family's culinary venture. In 1938, Cap, Nona and Blanche turned their little roadside business in South Haven into a full-fledged bakery.

The MacKenzies' baking business persisted for generations; the first Kalamazoo bakery was launched in 1980 by Cap and Nona's grandchildren, John and Mary. Located at 4606 West Main, the family modeled the shop after the original vision: using fresh, high-quality ingredients, baking from scratch, offering a complete line of baked goods, and catering to customers' special requests whenever possible. John and Mary opened a second cafe bakery in Portage in 1988.

Following the prosperity of the first two branches, the family began plans for a third building to house a production facility and bread shop. Working with the City of Kalamazoo and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the MacKenzies bought 3.5 acres of land located on a brownfield site on the corner of Harrison and Ransom Streets, just northeast of downtown.

The city assembled the brownfield site from multiple former owners, including the state and Conrail. For many years, the lot served as a highly-visible junkyard. As such, the site had to undergo extensive decontamination prior to construction of the new building. The city removed the blight, tested for environmental toxins and prepared the land for redevelopment using state and local resources. In addition to clearing the lot, the city invested a portion of the land's purchase price to initiate a job training program for residents to help develop the surrounding community. The remaining funds went towards improvements to the adjacent neighborhood, including landscaping, curb cuts, sidewalk repairs and attractive lighting. Construction of the new building was completed in 1998.

The newest venture proved highly profitable. The MacKenzies hired more employees and soon began plans to expand the Harrison Street facility to accommodate the growing demand for their popular baked goods. Near the end of 2005, the city once again teamed up with the bakery to add a 3,000 square-foot building to the south of the existing structure.

The approximate $250,000 addition provides space for the bakery's corporate offices, a larger seating and retail area, and more visibility of product. The project resulted in the retention of eight jobs and increased the development density on the lot. Tax revenue on the property is estimated to be between $9,000 and $12,000 annually. With a hip urban ambience, WIFI, and the introduction of freshly-blended Water Street Coffee, the latest installment of the wholesome MacKenzies' tradition is more popular than ever.

For 27 years, the MacKenzies have proudly served the Kalamazoo area. The family hopes to keep their legacy alive and continue to offer the finest bakery products and encourage further community growth well into the future.

Ignertia and Life Story Network

Summary

Ignertia and Life Story Network  516 East North Street

In 2010, LADD Real Estate purchased the building which had formerly housed the SmartShop Metal Arts Collective. They invested $1.25 million in a dramatic mixed-use renovation and repurposing. Traditional financing was supplemented with brownfield incentives to make this project a reality.

"We have admired the SmartShop building since it opened in 2004," said partner Jon Durham. "Since we employ a creative group of people, including a few artists that participate in the local art scene, we are very familiar with the facility and what it did for Kalamazoo. It was for this reason that we were drawn to this building and felt compelled to make sure that it would be maintained."

The office portion of the project consists of 2,300 square feet of office space for Life Story Network and Ignertia. Life Story Network, established in 2003, is a multi-media and consulting business to the funeral industry. Ignertia, established in 2008, is an employee-owned and -operated web development, information technology and graphic design company.

Project Overview

  • Total investment - $1.25 million
  • 11,300 square feet renovated and repurposed
  • 6 residential units - two owner-occupied condominiums, 4 rental
  • 2,300 square feet office space
  • Artist studio and gallery
  • Two high tech firms relocated
  • 14 jobs created/retained

Tools Used for Development

  • Second generation brownfield project
  • BRA Tax Increment Financing
  • MBT Credit

Results

The project broke ground in December 2010 and was occupied in the summer of 2011. Two businesses relocated 14 employees, some of whom take advantage of being able to bike to work and downtown on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. They also built the first new housing in River's Edge - two owner's units and four loft rental units, leased before they were finished. Jerry Harty, a print and glass artist, has studio space in the building, with the lobby doubling as a gallery that is an Art Hop site.

The Hinman Company/InterAct

Summary

The Hinman Company for tenant InterAct - 610 South Burdick Street

InterAct, a non-profit mental-health and substance abuse services provider and tenant of The Hinman Company since 1991, occupied three separate locations in downtown Kalamazoo. Due to their long-term relationship and in support of InterAct's mission, The Hinman Company partnered with InterAct to consolidate all their services under one roof.

They demolished one of InterAct's old facilities and designed and constructed a new, two-story building. Remaining true to their green building initiative, The Hinman Company used and/or recycled more than 718 tons of the old building's materials.

Project Overview

  • Total Investment - $1.7 million
  • Consolidation of three sites into one
  • Demolition of existing building
  • 24,000 square feet new construction, office space
  • LEED certified
  • 120 jobs created/retained
  • 1,300 clients served annually

Tools Used for the Development

  • BRA Tax Increment Financing
  • Brownfield eligibility due to functional obsolescence
  • MBT credit

Results

Construction was substantially complete at the end of 2010. The LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building is handicap accessible and has an on-site pharmacy. The resource-efficient replacement building helps to insure InterAct's sustainability for future provision of their services.

Fabri-Kal

Summary

Fabri-Kal - 4141 Manchester

Fabri-Kal, a leading manufacturer of plastic food service and custom thermoformed packaging solutions headquartered in Kalamazoo, worked with the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to relocate and expand in the former Mead Paper facility. The seven year, $32.6 million project will be completed in 2015.

As sales increased, Fabri-Kal began considering options for expansion. The City of Kalamazoo and its BRA identified the former Mead Corporation property as a potential location for Fabri-Kal to expand their operations in a way that keeps this valued manufacturer within the city. The federal, state and local partnership aided the project with necessary investments that helped to realize the project.

LEED Certified

The Manchester Road facility is being renovated and designed to meet LEED standards, including a water-efficient landscaping system and low-toxin emitting materials such as sealants, paints and adhesives. Many of the materials used for the building were sourced locally, which reduced carbon emissions of shipping. Optimizing the building's energy efficiency and reducing energy costs, new HVAC units and windows were installed. The new facility houses Fabri-Kal's new Technical Center, Innovation Center, XP Division and a large-scale plastic packaging and manufacturing space.

Project Overview

  • Total investment - $32.6 million
  • Seven year phased project, 2008-2015
  • 387,360 square feet rehabilitation and expansion of existing manufacturing building
  • Associated infrastructure and parking improvements
  • Multi-million dollar installation of new equipment
  • 42 jobs retained; 82-202 jobs created (100 in 2011)
  • Increased production

Tools Used for the Development

  • BRA Tax Increment Financing
  • MBT credit
  • Property tax abatements
  • Gap financing
  • EPA site assessment grant
  • Project facilitation with partners

Successes and Awards

The City of Kalamazoo's Economic Development Department has vast experience under its belt. This expertise comes from past successes and innovative thinking. As such, we have received national attention and awards.

View the before and after images below as a sampling of our completed project successes and read case histories of selected projects MacKenzies' Bakery and Textile Systems, Inc. If you'd like to be a part of successes in the future, visit our current development projects page. We'd love to hear about your next project.

Alumilite

AlumiliteBefore     AlumiliteAfter

Park Street Market

GroceryBefore     GroceryAfter

Kalamazoo Contractors

KalContractorsBefore     KalContractorsAfter

Kalamazoo Gazette

GazetteBefore     GazetteAfter

Ignertia and Life Story Network

IgnertiaBefore     IgnertiaAfter

MacKenzies' Bakery

MacKenziesBefore     MacKenziesAfter

Northside Economic Potential Group Retail Park

NEPGBefore     NEPGAfter

One Way Products / JTS Classic Cars

OneWayBefore     OneWayAfter

People's Food Co-Op

PeoplesBefore     PeoplesAfter

Speareflex Block

SpeareflexBefore     SpeareflexAfter

Textile Systems, Inc.

TSIBefore     TSIAfter

SmartZone

An important and highly productive partnership has been formed between the City of Kalamazoo, Western Michigan University and Southwest Michigan First that is centered at the Business, Technology and Research (BTR) Park, adjacent to WMU's new College of Engineering.

The BTR Park has been designated by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) as one of eleven "SmartZones" in the state for the purposes of joint marketing and networking to promote Michigan as a leader in technology-driven business development and job creation.

The goal of Kalamazoo's SmartZone is to create a recognized cluster of new and emerging businesses that specialize in life sciences, advanced engineering and high technology industries.

The Southwest Michigan Innovation Center is a newly-constructed, state-of-the-art business incubator facility at the BTR Park that focuses on the commercialization of ideas, patents and other opportunities generated not only at the university but also by research and development efforts in the private sector.

A key role of the city in the SmartZone initiative has been to establish and administer a Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) for the BTR Park.

Utilizing the special designation of "Certified Technology Park," Kalamazoo's LDFA was created in 2001 with a maximum 15-year duration to support park infrastructure, business development/recruitment and the operations of the Innovation Center through tax increment financing.

This page provides access to the following resources:

Development Partners

The City of Kalamazoo works with a variety of local organizations on its development initiatives, including:

Downtown Kalamazoo Incorporated (DKI): This private, nonprofit organization manages a full range of programs that benefit downtown Kalamazoo and enhance the economic health of the community.

Southwest Michigan First: The organization serves as an economic growth catalyst for the Kalamazoo region. Southwest Michigan First has the resources and expertise to assist investors and entrepreneurs in reaching their business goals.

Business, Technology & Research (BTR) Park: This high-tech business development shares Western Michigan University's Parkview Campus with the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences. The park's location provides partner firms in the life sciences with regular opportunities for interaction with advanced engineering and information technology faculty, and access to research staff and students.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC): The MEDC can help with expansion, a relocation, or even a concern with another agency of state government. From site location assistance to job training grants, from help with permits to tax abatements, the MEDC is the state's official economic development corporation - a one-stop resource for businesses seeking to grow in Michigan.

The MEDC was formed in 1999 through an alliance between the State of Michigan and several local communities. It is the successor to the Michigan Jobs Commission, the state's economic development department, and has the ability, authority and reach to serve as a one-stop resource for business retention, expansion and relocation projects. Due to its cooperative formation between state and local governments, the MEDC provides excellent coordination with local communities and agencies across the state.

Renaissance Zones

In Kalamazoo's Renaissance Zones, businesses, residents and property owners are virtually free of local and state taxes, including the following:

  • Michigan Business Tax;
  • Michigan Personal Income Tax; and
  • Operating Property Tax Levies (except debt taxes)

So, whether you're looking for the right place to rehabilitate or build a home, or if you're looking for tax relief for growing your business, then Kalamazoo is the place for you!

Residents will continue to pay sales tax and all federal taxes.

Businesses will continue to pay unemployment insurance, social security taxes, worker's compensation, sewer/water fees, Michigan's six percent sales tax and all federal taxes.

Everyone will continue to pay property taxes levied to finance local bonded indebtedness or special assessments, so as not to jeopardize the community's current bonds. Kalamazoo Public Schools currently collect about 4.08 mills to retire bonds. This amount could change (up or down) during the term of the Renaissance Zone program.

Kalamazoo's Renaissance Zone designation began January 1, 2001 and lasts for 15 years. The final three years of the zone will begin a phase-in of taxation. In the year 2013, taxpayers will pay 25% of their full tax liability; 50% in the year 2014; 75% in the year 2015; and 100% after year 2015.

For questions regarding Kalamazoo's Renaissance Zone boundaries and specific tax information, call the City Treasurer's Office at 269-337-8036.

For general questions about Kalamazoo's zone, call the Economic Development Department at 269-337-8082.

For questions regarding the state-wide Renaissance Zone program, contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation at 517-373-9808.

pdf  Informational Brochure

pdf  Properties within the Renaissance Zone

Development Projects

The City of Kalamazoo's Economic Development Department offers a wide range of programs and services that allow other economic development practitioners and private sector developers to leverage quality development projects. Our experienced and innovative staff is committed to helping you simplify the process of growing, expanding or developing your business.

Our current projects include Davis Creek Business Park, our Downtown Development Site, and River's Edge.

Explore the development projects we're currently working on, as well as our completed project successes and awards.


 

Davis Creek Business Park

Take this opportunity to develop with the City of Kalamazoo's award-winning Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA). Davis Creek Business Park is the area's first business park with roots in sustainability. The development standards apply the latest knowledge and technology of sustainable design. As a mixed-use BRA project, this site offers fiscal opportunities such as the variety of economic development tools and brownfield resources.

Property Features

  • 18.5 acres on site
  • Michigan Certified Business Park
  • Close proximity to I-94, US-131, Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, public transportation route and downtown Kalamazoo
  • Central location between Chicago and Detroit
  • Site wide storm water handling system
  • Sanitary sewer
  • Municipal water
  • Electric, gas and telephone service
  • Telecommunication conduit
  • Pedestrian sidewalk and trail way amenities

Incentives

  • Potential tax increment financing
  • Potential State incentives through tax increment financing and Community Revitalization Program
  • BRA funded state liability protection through Baseline Environmental Assessment process
  • Competitive and flexible land costs
  • Potential gap financing for projects through the city's Economic Development Corporation

To learn more details about Davis Creek Business Park, read through the pdf  Development Standards . If you have questions, our dedicated staff of economic development professionals stands ready to assist you and can be reached by email or by calling (269) 337-8082.

DCBP is also a member of Michigan GREEN. Check us out!


Downtown Brownfield Authority Development Site

The City of Kalamazoo Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, in partnership with the Downtown Development Authority, is seeking developers interested in purchasing and redeveloping publicly-owned property at the corner of Lovell and Rose Streets in downtown Kalamazoo.

This is a two-acre site owned by the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the city's parking system. A recently-completed pdf  residential market analysis  describes a strong downtown residential market.

The site is attractive and accessible, within easy walking distance of downtown amenities, and shovel ready!

The following materials are available for informational purposes:


River's Edge


The City of Kalamazoo is excited about the prospect of riverfront development, and is tackling related complex issues through many means, including a search for a well-qualified partner to develop 4.5 cleared acres on the west bank of the Kalamazoo River, just northeast of downtown. This is a signature site that will set the standard for the next stage of revitalization in this area.

The city's Riverfront Redevelopment Plan calls for a shift from the heavy industry of the past, which has left our precious resource littered with abandoned and often contaminated properties, to mixed-use development in a pdf  new urbanist  or traditional neighborhood design. The pdf  "Work-Live-Play" (823.9 kB)  theme will provide for a mix of uses, including public space along the river.

The pdf  Riverfront Overlay Zoning District (641.84 kB)  provides use and design regulations for development projects located within the Riverfront Target Area. The area lies between the Kalamazoo River and Walbridge Street, and south of East Paterson Street. Many properties in the River's Edge area are also in the city's pdf  Brownfield Redevelopment Plan (9.03 MB) .

An executive summary and the complete text of the Riverfront Redevelopment Plan are available below, along with an explanation of New Urbanism, a residential market study for our riverfront area, and other informational materials about the River's Edge area.

Please be patient, some of these files are very large and may take time to load.

Historic documents related to the city's riverfront redevelopment effort can be viewed on the Riverfront Archives page.

Business:  How to Guide

The City of Kalamazoo's Economic Development Department works with a variety of partners to attain the best results for each project. Use the resources provided to grow, relocate, or start your business! 

Grow

Sustaining and growing a business takes strategy and resources. The information below offers tools to help your business survive and prosper.

Learn how to attract and retain qualified employees by contacting Michigan Works!.

Prepare for business growth by using these resources for the profitable and healthy growth of your business:
    MTEC
    Michigan Works!
    Small Business Technology Development Center
    City Higher Education Page

Investigate business growth incentives by contacting Southwest Michigan First.

Research properties available for your business's growth by visiting the Michigan Certified Business Parks site.

Relocate

Are you interested in relocating a business to Kalamazoo but aren't sure how? Few cities offer businesses the opportunities, incentives and support that you will find in the City of Kalamazoo. The resources below will help guide you along the relocation process.

Why relocate in Kalamazoo? View our Community Profile.

Research properties available for your business's growth by visiting the Michigan Certified Business Parks site.

Learn about utilities in Kalamazoo by visiting the Consumers Energy website.

View business incentives available through the City of Kalamazoo's Brownfield Redevelopment Initiative or through Southwest Michigan First.

View employment and training resources available through Michigan Works! and through Kalamazoo's institutions of higher learning.

Start

The decision to start a business is a significant one that is quickly followed by equally significant questions: What type of business? What business structure is advantageous to my venture? What makes an effective business plan? Where will the financing come from? What licenses, permits and registrations are required by the City of Kalamazoo government?

The resources below can help you take the next step toward business ownership. It walks you through the process - from deciding your company's legal structure, to developing a business and marketing plan, to registering your business in Kalamazoo.

Attend business seminars and get educated by contacting the Small Business Administration.

Establish and develop a business plan by consulting the Small Business Technology Development Center.

Find property to house your business by contacting Southwest Michigan First and Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc.

Register your business name with the County Clerk and/or U.S. Trademark Office.

Check with the State of Michigan and/or County Clerk for special licensing or permit requirements.

Register for a federal employer identification number with the Internal Revenue Service.

Register with the Internal Revenue Service for payment of federal taxes.

Register with the Michigan Department of Treasury for payment of state taxes.

Check with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for environmental regulations.

Ensure a location is in compliance with Kalamazoo's local building and zoning ordinances.

Arrange for utility service with Consumers Energy.

Brownfields

The Brownfield Redevelopment Initiative (BRI) identifies, prioritizes and acquires environmentally-distressed properties. Our staff then assembles resources to remove redevelopment barriers.

Our systematic approach results in numerous community benefits:

  • Protection of public health and a cleaner environment
  • Tax base enhancement
  • Finding productive uses for neglected and environmentally challenged sites
  • Job creation and retention
  • Spin-off redevelopment and stronger neighborhoods
  • Creating an alternative to suburban sprawl and the loss of open space

Download the  pdf 2013 Annual Report (868 KB)  for information about the program.

A committee of local experts periodically reviews BRI sites for redevelopment priority. Download pdf  Site Prioritization Report #2 (10.88 MB)  prepared in 2002, and pdf  Site Prioritization Report #3  prepared in 2010.

Brownfield Redevelopment Authority

The City of Kalamazoo was one of the first cities in Michigan to create a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and implement a pdf Brownfield Plan (6.06 MB) . Potential benefits to developers who redevelop these sites are significant:

  • Reimbursement for environmental costs, demolition and infrastructure improvements
  • Michigan Business Tax credit for a minimum of 12.5% of investment in property improvements
  • Potential tax abatements for eligible projects and investments

The city will consider including privately-owned properties in its Brownfield Plan. Properties may qualify due to environmental conditions or the functional obsolescence of structures.

Download our pdf  Recently Completed and Underway Projects Report  and view our successfully completed projects.

Download our amended and restated  pdf Brownfield Plan (6.06 MB)  as well as the pdf  Policy for Inclusion in Brownfield Plan  and the pdf  application .

In 1996 and 2000, the City of Kalamazoo received a $200,000 USEPA Brownfield Assessment Pilot Grant and a $200,000 Supplemental Assistance Grant. These funds have been a critical component to our success.

Available Commercial Properties

The City of Kalamazoo caters to businesses by offering first-class locations to live and work. We are pleased to offer the following properties for your quality development needs.

The links below provide details about each property:

Davis Creek Business Park (Website)
Davis Creek Business Park (Real Estate Listing)
Downtown Development Site (Website)
River's Edge (Website)
646 E. Michigan Avenue (Real Estate Listing)
Additional River's Edge Properties (Real Estate Listing)
   433 Ampersee
   632 Gull
   651 Gull
   812 Gull
   838 Gull
   508 Harrison
   510 East North
   627 East North
   631 East North
   515 East Ransom
   521 East Ransom
   700 River
   600 Walbridge
pdf  2220 Lane Boulevard
pdf  803 East Walnut Street


The city also works with private sector development partners to support local business creation and expansion.

Environmental Assistance Programs

The Economic Development staff also offers its expertise and resources to redevelop abandoned and environmentally distressed sites. This is accomplished through our Brownfield Redevelopment Initiative and pdf  Brownfield Plan (9.03 MB) , as well as resources brought to bear through cooperative ventures with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and US Environmental Protection Agency. Under the approved work plan for the City of Kalamazoo's Site Assessment Grant for Hazardous Substances, limited funding has been set aside to assist developers of privately-owned brownfield sites complete their due diligence environmental assessments, prior to acquisition.

Download the pdf  Guidelines for Environmental Site Assessment Assistance  or contact our office for more information.

Technical, Financial and Redevelopment Assistance