1324 Portage Street, Kalamazoo MI 49001
Edison Neighborhood  |  Acreage: .1 |  Year Built: 1935 | 3,900 SF

The former Kalamazoo Color Lab has been vacant since 2015. It is located within an emerging vibrant commercial node in the Edison Neighborhood. Previously a bustling hub in its heyday, Washington Square is experiencing a revival with 6 new businesses that have opened in the last 5 years.

  • Over $1 million has been invested on the block in the last few years: improving landscaping, interior renovations of adjacent properties for new businesses and new outdoor furniture, planters and other aesthetic enhancements
  • As a result of the Fare Games restaurant competition, Pho on the Block opened their doors in 2017. This Vietnamese Asian fusion restaurant has been greeted with warm support and large crowds
  • Washington Square businesses Community Promise Credit Union, Kazoo Nutrition, Jersey Giant Subs, Tremolo Music Shop, Bellydance Kalamazoo, Pho on the Block, and a local barbershop all keep the square bustling on a daily basis
  • The Land Bank together with its partners has hosted dozens of block-wide events in the last 3 years, bringing thousands of people to the block to enjoy outdoor performances, harvest festivals and holiday shopping. The businesses benefit from increased traffic during these events and exposure to crowds of people from Edison neighborhood and beyond to generate new and repeat business.

Washington Square—Upcoming Investments

  • The City will be completing an alley enhancement project in the fall of 2017. Approximately $70,000 will be invested to enhance the alley adjacent to the Color Lab to create a unique place for patrons to sit outside, enjoy the Inside Out Art exhibit and the urban environment. The alley is available for use by both the owners of 1356 Portage and the Color Lab
  • New sidewalks and bump outs will be completed in the square in 2018 by the City of Kalamazoo
  • The Color Lab will be one of the primary sites associated with the Inside Out Project:We Are Edison art installation. This space will be highlighted through large-scale black and white portraits of Edison residents pasted onto the exterior. It will be highly visible to passing traffic and during Washington Square events in 2017.

Requirements to Apply

Interested parties are invited to submit applications that include a retail or restaurant component to the Land Bank via its business accelerator program. The asking price of the property is $100,000.00, which is negotiable depending on the concept presented and its alignment with the vision for Washington Square. We will also accept applications for rental of the space for a business that aligns with the vision, with a negotiable lease price. Call Michelle Tombro Tracy at (269)216-9870 to start the process or schedule a viewing of the property.

(Above) The Color Lab storefront with Inside Out installation.

(Left) residents excited to see their photo.

(Right) the storefront as it existed around 1957.