Michigan Association of Land Banks highlights Kalamazoo County Land Bank

Published on July 12, 2018
Michigan Association of Land Banks highlights Kalamazoo County Land Bank as a case study in a statewide economic impact study. This study clearly demonstrates and quantifies the enormous economic impact land banks have on Michigan communities.

Michigan’s land banks can now place a dollar value on the impact they have in their communities. Over the last nine years, the Kalamazoo County Land Bank has put nearly $20 million back into the local economy and created an estimated 270 full time jobs in construction, landscaping and related industries!

This report validates what we have all known for years: Land banks matter, land banks make a difference and land banks are an integral part in benefiting families, neighborhoods and local communities. Michigan is a pioneer in the land bank movement and has remained at the forefront for more than a decade. Michigan isn’t just the Great Lakes State. It’s the Great Land Bank State too!

Read now.

Michigan Strategic Fund Supports Community Revitalization Project in Kalamazoo

Published on June 27, 2018
Kalamazoo, Mich. – 400 Rose, LLC plans to redevelop vacant land and a surface parking lot located at 400 S. Rose Street in downtown Kalamazoo. The completed project will be a four-story, mixed-use infill development that will include residential units, commercial space and parking. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $25.5 million and create seven full-time equivalent jobs, resulting in a $4.4 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan participation. The project will bring much-needed residential space to the area and will reactivate a long-vacant, blighted property into an inviting and attractive community asset.

In addition, the City of Kalamazoo Brownfield Redevelopment Authority received MSF approval of $3,632,517 in local and school tax capture to alleviate brownfield conditions at the site.

View the Press Release

MSF supports Stryker’s $109.8M expansion of medical-products manufacturing facility

Published on June 26, 2018
LANSING, Mich. – One of the state’s core innovative companies with deep Michigan roots, Stryker Corporation, will expand capacity of its medical-device products with a $109-million investment at its 79-acre industrial site in Portage, located in Kalamazoo County.

View the Press Release

New Seven-Story Mixed-Use Building to Bring More Jobs & Housing to Downtown Kalamazoo

Published on April 16, 2018
Kalamazoo, Mich., April 12, 2018 – Catalyst Development Co., LLC (Catalyst) plans to break ground in July 2018 on a $70 million, 290,000-square-foot mixed-use building in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo. The building is slated for a June 2020 completion date.This development will be located at the southwest corner of North Edwards and Water Streets, overlooking Arcadia Creek Festival Place.

Catalyst is transforming part of the city-owned Parking Lot 9 into a seven-story building with two floors of residential housing (41,000 square feet), four floors of Class-A office space (55,000 square feet), and a multi-level 300-plus space parking deck.

In addition to residential units, employment opportunities, and parking, features and highlights of the development will include: The Kalamazoo Promise, The Kalamazoo Promise Institute, Communities in Schools, Warner Norcross and Judd, LLP, and Southwest Michigan First.

View the Press Release

Catalyst Education Awards honor Southwest Michigan educators

Published on January 26, 2018
Kalamazoo, MI – Educators from Southwest Michigan were recognized yesterday with Catalyst Education Awards during Catalyst University, a daylong leadership event hosted by the regional economic development organization Southwest Michigan First at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo.

The Catalyst Education Awards received applications from teachers, principals and entire schools from across Southwest Michigan, competing in each of the three categories—school, principal and teacher— to be recognized for innovations and achievements in K-12 education. The 2018 winning educators recognized were:

SCHOOL—Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, Kalamazoo, MI
PRINCIPAL—Mike Barwegen, Principal, Tobey Elementary School, Vicksburg, MI
TEACHER—Amy Cummings, Dowagiac Middle School, Dowagiac, MI

Midwest Opener wins Catalyst University’s annual Makers’ Mart competition

Published on January 26, 2018
Kalamazoo, MI – Midwest Opener earned the coveted Makers’ Mart title yesterday at Catalyst University, a daylong leadership event annually hosted by the regional economic development organization Southwest Michigan First at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo. Midwest Opener was selected by the 2,800 event attendees from a pool of five finalists—all regional product makers based in Southwest Michigan.

Midwest Opener (midwestopener.co) located in Kalamazoo features custom-manufactured, stainless-steel bottle openers that let customers show off their unique pride.

Monroe-Brown Internship Program announces summer internships in Southwest Michigan!

Kalamazoo, MI – The Monroe-Brown Internship Program, a partnership between Southwest Michigan First and the Monroe-Brown Foundation, announces its 2018 summer college internships. This year’s 23 internships will be hosted by 18 Southwest Michigan companies and include opportunities in engineering, financial planning, human resources, marketing, architecture, construction and product management—to name a few.

Newell Brands Designs a Larger Presence in Kalamazoo

Published on September 26, 2017
Kalamazoo, MI – Newell Brands Inc. is expanding its 40,000-square-foot state -of-the-art design center in Western Michigan University’s Business Technology and Research Park in the city of Kalamazoo. The company has recently acquired the consumer products company Jarden and needs to expand its design capabilities in order to accommodate the additional product lines. The company plans to expand its existing product design and testing facility in the city of Kalamazoo, investing $7.3 million and creating 87 highly-paid design jobs.

Xcel Painting expanding in Southwest Michigan

Published on August 18, 2017
LANSING, Mich. – Xcel Painting is investing in St. Joseph County with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today. Xcel plans to establish a new facility in the village of White Pigeon, investing $1.75 million and creating 50 jobs. The company selected Michigan over a competing site in Indiana.

“Xcel’s investment in White Pigeon means good jobs for Michigan residents that could well have gone to another state,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state’s chief marketing and business attraction arm that administers programs and performs due diligence on behalf of the MSF.

Green Bay Packaging expands in Southwest Michigan

Published on June 14, 2017
Pavilion Township, MI – Custom corrugated packaging specialist Green Bay Packaging has broken ground on a 107,000-square-foot expansion, adding 3 new jobs in Pavilion Township.

Founded in 1933, Green Bay Packaging manufactures high-quality products for a variety of retail packaging and labeling applications, with 31 locations across the U.S. and Mexico. Its expansion in Kalamazoo County will be completed through an investment of $10,800,000, supported by a 12 year tax abatement approved by Pavilion Township.