Developers, city partner on downtown Kalamazoo plaza

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Treystar, Catalyst Development and the city of Kalamazoo are partnering on a placemaking project for downtown Kalamazoo.

Named after the historic Haymarket District where it will be located, Haymarket Plaza will run along the north side of East Michigan Avenue between the Main Street East buildings and the 180 Water St. project.

The project is a result of the construction of Catalyst Development’s 275,000-square-foot, mixed-use project adjacent to the Treystar Main Street East office development on the 200 block of Michigan Avenue.

“We have always felt like our properties created a neighbor in and of themselves on East Michigan Avenue,” said Fritz Brown, partner at Treystar and the project’s development/leasing manager. “We are very excited to work alongside Catalyst, the city of Kalamazoo and our project partners to create a physical space out of that idea. This plaza will be more than an addition to our shared properties; it will be a destination for relaxation and community gatherings to those who live and work in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo.”

The two projects share the public alley, formerly known as Ihling alley, stretching westward from Edwards Street to the end of the Haymarket Building. Memories Bridal and Evening Wear, at 203 E. Michigan Ave., and the adjacent property at 215 E. Michigan Ave. also will be a part of the project.

Designed by Tower Pinkster Architects with assistance from Kingscott Associates, the Haymarket Plaza will feature a snowmelt system, decorative concrete, lighting, Landscape Forms furniture, an open area designed for entertainment and/or food trucks and an outdoor seating area for food/beverages.

Lastly, there will be two projectors designed to display art, announcements and entertainment on the northeast elevation of the Haymarket building in the evenings.

A portion of this placemaking project will be funded through Public Spaces Community Places — a crowdfunding organization. This program, organized by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, matches community-raised funds with grants from the MEDC to encourage strategic development projects.

Treystar and its partners are working to raise at least $50,000 in community support to receive matching grant funds from the MEDC toward the approximate $125,000 project. The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership and Southwest Michigan First already made pledges toward the goal.

The completion date has not been scheduled, but Treystar and its project partners are planning open houses for real estate brokers and the community in November and December.

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