WSW: From Foreclosure to Riverview Launch

Sep 10, 2015

Riverview Launch
Credit Kalamazoo County Land Bank

A piece of property along the Kalamazoo River was blighted and run down three years ago. But it’s opening to the public in a new incarnation. 

Kalamazoo County Land Bank Executive Director Kelly Clark and Percy Wolfe, Community Bank President for Chemical Bank and Chairman of the project’s Capital Campaign Committee joined WMUK’s Gordon Evans to discuss how Riverview Launch came to be.

Clarke says it includes walking trails, and is near the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, a popular place for bicyclists. She says the Land Bank now has its offices there along with Open Roads Bike Program.

Wolfe says the capital campaign has raised $1.9-million so far. He says the site had been “orphaned” but now “belongs to everybody.” Wolfe says they hope to raise another $25,000 for future maintenance and upkeep. 

The property was the site of Riverside Greenhouses. Clarke says she heard from people who use the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail who said they felt unsafe along this stretch of the trail. She says when the property went into tax foreclosure in 2012 the Land Bank was able to purchase it, and start making improvements.

A grand opening of Riverview Launch is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.