The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced on November 29 that the City of Kalamazoo has been awarded Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification, recognizing efforts made to remove barriers and promote opportunities for prospective investors in the City.
The MEDC will formally present the award at the City Commissions Regular Business meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 4 at City Hall.
Kalamazoo joins 14 other Michigan communities that have qualified as “thoroughly prepared” in regards to zoning, planning and other considerations that increase competitiveness and encourage development.
“Our mission at MEDC is to empower communities so they can proactively shape their future, a future built on a solid foundation of retaining and attracting business investment and talent,” said MEDC Vice President Katharine Czarnecki. “We look forward to working collaboratively with Kalamazoo to create a vibrant community where business and talent want to be, and where a strong sense of community flourishes.”
As part of the program, the MEDC provided the City of Kalamazoo with a comprehensive assessment, comparing the City’s current practices with RRC best practice standards. The RRC program also considered transparency, predictability and efficiency as they relate to economic development.
“The City of Kalamazoo had many good policies, practices, and programs in place when we applied for RRC,” said Rebekah Kik, Director of Community Planning & Development. “The technical assistance, support from MEDC staff and consulting assisted in achieving certification and re-working policies that made our good programs and practices GREAT for the community.”
“RRC certification sends a positive message to the development community that we are a team dedicated to success. We want to show that our staff is resourceful, proactive, and have a strategic advantage when it comes to working with the state on various incentives and opportunities,” said Kik.
As part of the RRC certification process, the City of Kalamazoo created a formalized Public Participation Policy and a Marketing and Branding Strategy for promoting Economic Development. These were crafted in conjunction with Imagine Kalamazoo 2025, engaging key stakeholders to review processes that were in place and potential improvements.
Kalamazoo joins Allegan, Boyne City, Eastpointe, Escanaba, Ferndale, Lansing, Lathrup Village, Manistee, Marshall, Middleville, Muskegon, Roseville, Southfield and Ypsilanti as certified Redevelopment Ready Communities.