$14M apartment building rises near university


A rendering of the $14-million mixed-use project being built in Kalamazoo just west of Western Michigan University. Courtesy Main Street Properties

A developer is building a $14-million mixed-use project with apartments and retail space, including a pub, right next to a university in the region.

The four-story building in Kalamazoo will be about 89,000 square feet and just west of Western Michigan University, at 2701 W. Michigan Ave.

The project is already about halfway leased and should be fully leased by January, said Chris Housler, co-founder of Main Street Properties in Kalamazoo, the project's developer.

The apartments should be completed by next August.

Housler and his brother, Tom, the firm's co-founder, have owned student-marketed property in the area since 1989.


For this project, the firm is planning on creating 135 bedrooms in the form of two, four and five-bedroom units. The total number of apartment units isn't set.

Each floor of apartments will also feature amenities, likely a workout space and a lounge, although the amenities will be finalized as the project is built, Housler said.

Parking for about 200 will also be created.

Leases are for 12 months, and if paid the first of every month, will be $525 per bedroom.

Housler added that thanks to the high density of students in the area, none of his properties have ever had a vacancy.

Although the developer’s website calls the project “2700 West,” Housler said that address is actually incorrect, and long term, the project will probably not be given that name. An official name hasn’t been decided on yet.

Retail space

The first floor of the building will feature about 13,000-14,000 square feet of retail space, with 5,000 square feet already committed to a pub.

A sandwich company and a hair salon are also in discussions to be on the first floor.


Cornerstone Construction Management in Portage is the project’s contractor, while Byce & Associates in Kalamazoo is serving as the project’s designer.

Main Street Properties

Although the majority of Main Street Properties’ business used to be in restaurants, it’s now in residential.

“We’ve been buying property in the neighborhood since 1989,” Housler said. “Some were bungalows we’ve converted into townhomes. We buy groups of houses and then convert them. We’ve been doing it a long time.” 

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