Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Paul Krepps, MEDC
Plans Call for Shops, Lofts and Cinema
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a demolished parking ramp in Kalamazoo will be transformed into a new downtown destination with retail space, housing and a cinema. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) approved a brownfield tax credit worth approximately $1.4 million and is expected to create at least 90 jobs and attract $14.7 million in private investment.
Kalamazoo was chosen as one of 20 communities for the state's "Cool Cities" pilot program earlier this year.
Ramp 3 LLC, a Meyer C. Weiner Company, will purchase and demolish the city-owned Gilmore Parking Ramp at the northwest corner of Portage and South Streets. The cleared site will then be developed to include a two-story, 120,000-square-foot multi-use facility with a movie theater, street-level retail space and 25 to 30 residential units on the second floor. The completed project is expected to draw more than a million visitors annually.
"As the developers of Ramp 3, we are pleased to be able to create a multi-use development in the heart of our central city," said Meyer C. Weiner CEO Josh Weiner. "While there are hurdles remaining to overcome, we are confident that this public and private partnership will continue to work toward making this property the premier traffic generator in downtown Kalamazoo."
The Kalamazoo Downtown Development Authority will support the project through local tax capture valued at approximately $12.6 million over 25 years..
"Successful brownfield redevelopment requires a collaborative effort," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "We will continue to support grass-roots efforts like this that address challenged properties and boost the vitality of Michigan's core communities."
In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced a focused plan for achieving a powerhouse economy. So far this year, the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of approximately 53,857 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.