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Three "Cool" Projects And A Snap Shot Of Development In Kalamazoo

Downtown Kalamazoo Mall - file photo from WMUK

PlazaCorp’s work can be seen throughout Kalamazoo. Writer Ben Lando says “you see their work everywhere…cranes, and orange cones.” He wrote about some of their projects for the January issue of Encore Magazine.

In Building Skyscrapers and Saving History, Lando writes about the Exchange Building, a 15 story tower going up in downtown Kalamazoo. He also reports on PlazaCorp’s efforts to rehabilitate older buildings. Lando says what’s important is what we don’t hear, Kalamazoo’s active historic preservation community has not raised objections to PlazaCorp’s developments.

In the Edison Neighborhood the Illinois Envelope Paper Mill is now home to Kalamazoo County’s Health and Community Services Department. Edison Neighborhood Association Executive Director Tammy Taylor welcomes the changes. Lando says people in the Edison Neighborhood maybe happy with the result, but had little input.

Lando says Northside Association for Community Development Executive Director Mattie Jordan-Woods didn’t want to discuss PlazaCorp’s work when he approached her for comment. As Jordan-Woods says in the Encore story “Those that own the land, control what happens.” She says her organization is focused on other projects.

Longer version of interview with Ben Lando

Lando says the Northside’s proximity to downtown Kalamazoo has changed the aesthetics in part of the neighborhood. Lando says Rose Street serves as an unofficial dividing line – east of there features a craft brewery and spirits. West of Rose Street is the neighborhood’s only grocery store, and Lando says “retains, as much as it can, the feel that the neighborhood is the one making the decision for how it gets developed.”

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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