WOODTV.COM: Events center needed to revive downtown Kalamazoo

Published on July 10, 2018
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The pieces of the puzzle may be falling into place for an event center in downtown Kalamazoo.

Supporters, Kalamazoo County and Western Michigan University would have to all work together to make it a reality.

Watch 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

WWMT.COM: Backers of a new downtown events center say facility could be Kalamazoo’s crown jewel

Published on June 15, 2018
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Southwest Michigan First is behind the new push to build an arena in downtown Kalamazoo, several years after plans hit a standstill.

Watch now.

WKZO: Economic Outlook for Kalamazoo with Southwest Michigan First

Published on June 13, 2018
KALAMAZOO (WKZO-AM/FM) — WKZO’s Ken Lanphear is joined by Southwest Michigan First’s senior partner & ceo, Ron Kitchens, to talk about the hot economy and more as we enter summer 2018.

Listen here.

Western Michigan Focuses on Livability—and Millennials on the Move

Published on May 1, 2018
URBAN LAND MAGAZINE
By Nicole Bopp

Western Michigan—which includes Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Holland, and Kalamazoo—has a long history in agribusiness. The area is the nation’s top grower of blueberries, and since 1869, Kalamazoo-based A.M. Todd has been a global leader in natural mint extracts for the oral care, confectionary, food, and beverage industries. The region also leads the state in poultry, dairy, squash, and carrot production.

But the region also has rapidly growing life sciences clusters specializing in everything from medical equipment and surgical devices from Kalamazoo-based Stryker Corporation to over-the-counter health care supplies and infant formula from Allegan-based Perrigo Company. It also has a robust manufacturing sector, focused on metals, plastics, biopharmaceuticals, and automotive products, as well as office furniture, including three big names in furniture manufacturing—Herman Miller, Steelcase, and Haworth.

Read the full article.

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

SELECT Products Limited locks down site in Oshtemo Township

Published on April 16, 2018
SELECT Products Limited received final approval for its Brownfield plan which will enable the consolidation of its current operations in a newly constructed facility on property located at the end of Stadium Park Way in Oshtemo Township. The manufacturer of commercial continuous geared aluminum door hinges for the architectural hardware industry plans to invest $3 million in a new 42,000 to 50,000-square-foot facility. The rapidly growing company plans to relocate 30 employees from its current leased facility in Portage and add four more to its workforce. The new facility will accommodate light machining and assembly work, with the potential for future expansion including an aluminum anodizing facility.

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.

SELECT Products Limited locks down site in Oshtemo Township

Published on January 17, 2018
SELECT Products Limited received final approval for its Brownfield plan which will enable the consolidation of its current operations in a newly constructed facility on property located at the end of Stadium Park Way in Oshtemo Township. The manufacturer of commercial continuous geared aluminum door hinges for the architectural hardware industry plans to invest $3 million in a new 42,000 to 50,000-square-foot facility. The rapidly growing company plans to relocate 30 employees from its current leased facility in Portage and add four more to its workforce. The new facility will accommodate light machining and assembly work, with the potential for future expansion including an aluminum anodizing facility.

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.

WKZO: State will benefit from “Good Jobs” package

Published on August 10, 2017
KALAMAZOO (WKZO-AM/FM) — Southwest Michigan First says they expect Michigan will ultimately benefit from the recently-signed “Good Jobs for Michigan” bill package, despite the state losing out on a sprawling LCD plant to Wisconsin.