KALAMAZOO — Developers expect to begin construction early next spring on a $52.7 million office and residential project in Kalamazoo that could create a “tipping point” for downtown development.
PlazaCorp Realty Advisors Inc. and Phoenix Properties are partnering on the 15-story Exchange Building that was first proposed in 2011 and received Brownfield tax credits from the state. Citing cost issues, the developers refined the project and added seven floors.
The project, which today received approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund for a $6.4 million loan, includes 133 apartments, plus 58,000 square feet of office and commercial space, as well as parking at Michigan Street and Rose Street in what is now a parking lot directly across from the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites.
The additional downtown apartments “will certainly go a long way toward meeting” a market demand of 1,400 residential units identified in a 2013 study by Downtown Kalamazoo Inc., said Jim Ritsema, Kalamazoo’s city manager.
Ritsema and the developers believe the Exchange Building will spur additional projects in downtown.
“This is a tipping point for Kalamazoo,” said Andy Wenzel, director of acquisitions and development for PlazaCorp Realty Advisors. “There’ll be others to follow.”
The developers are targeting completion for the summer of 2018 and have signed a bank to serve as an anchor tenant in the building.