Transformative Projects


Eastside Sunrise Plaza featuring local artists and resident stories coming to East Main

The Kalamazoo Eastside Neighborhood Association and the Kalamazoo County Land Bank are excited to announce a Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) grant for Eastside Sunrise Plaza, a public pocket plaza on East Main that will feature local artists, resident stories through haikus, and highlight the neighborhood motto, “The sun always rises in the East.” Located at 1616 East Main, Eastside Sunrise Plaza is the first installation in a larger, community-envisioned redevelopment project named by residents as Eastside Square, a concept that was imagined based on resident desires for affordable, varied housing, family-friendly commercial space, and attractive [...]


The Creamery: Affordable housing and quality childcare in Edison

Ten years in the making, The Creamery, a nearly 60,000 square foot community-envisioned, mixed-use development in Edison, promises to help revitalize the neighborhood by providing affordable housing and much-needed 24 hour quality drop-in childcare. As the Kalamazoo County Land Bank celebrates a decade of reusing, repurposing and reconnecting blighted property with the community, the agency is excited to see one of its formative projects come to fruition. One of the original properties in the Land Bank’s inventory, the agency demolished the former blighted Klover Gold Creamery in 2011. Then with the volunteer services of Byce & Associates, Inc. and Inform [...]


Eastside Voices

Eastside Voices Book Link Buddy Hannah and Sid Ellis coordinated the Eastside Voices intergenerational storytelling project by training youth to speak to older residents and find out what life was like for them when the grew up in the neighborhood. Gerald King, Eastside artist, then designed a mural based on those interviews. The artwork and 20 interviews are captured in a beautiful book. To see the results, follow this link:


Eastside Square

During the Eastside Gateway Project, the Kalamazoo Land Bank board made a five-year commitment to support revitalization efforts on the Eastside of Kalamazoo.  The new project, dubbed Eastside Square by residents, will involve the renewal of 9 vacant and abandoned Land Bank properties on the 1600 Block of East Main.  The redevelopment concept includes a mixed-use plan of moderately priced and moderately sized condominium units for sale, commercial retail space and two pocket plazas. The two pocket plazas will include artistic elements informed by the recent Eastside Voices project, an oral history project led by Vibrant Kalamazoo, the Eastside Neighborhood [...]


Eastside Gateway Project

About the Eastside Gateway Project The Kalamazoo County Land Bank is pleased to undertake the Eastside Gateway Project with the Eastside Neighborhood Association and more than 50 other community partners and stakeholders.  The project arose through a community visioning process to create a unique sense of place.  It will be seven single-family homes and a community pocket park. The park will include a walkway, art, native plantings while serving as a visible and welcoming entryway into the East Side. Similar to other successful Land Bank projects, the Eastside Gateway Project will distinguish itself for energy efficiency.  [...]


Fare Games

Fare Games was a project of the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, organized to create community engagement in the revitalization of 1301 Portage Street – a historic but blighted building in Washington Square. The concept was to bring together a group of local food entrepreneurs to compete for the opportunity to launch their business in the newly renovated space, with the support of a prize package of goods and services that would help them start up their new restaurant. Over the course of 2016, six competitors refined their business plans and participated in a community tasting of “small bites.” The [...]


Washington Square

Washington Square In its heyday in the 1940s and ‘50s, Washington Square was a vibrant streetscape with a wide variety of local stores — a bank, pharmacy, ice cream parlour, theater, and grocery, among others, made the block a hive of activity. The Kalamazoo Public Library established a branch in Washington Square in 1919 which remains to the present day, and streetcars crisscrossed Portage Street as early as the 1880s. Located in the heart of the Edison neighborhood, Kalamazoo’s largest neighborhood, Washington Square underwent several decades of economic decline as local businesses couldn’t compete with national chains in [...]


Riverview Launch

Riverview Launch is a community space, designed to highlight the impact of transforming blighted spaces, the beauty of sustainable design, and the power of community engagement. It offers an opportunity for community partners to provide programs and services that promote healthy lifestyles, and creates a hub of activity for people from around Kalamazoo to meet, work, and play. The old Riverside Greenhouse, a family-owned business since 1915, was forced to close and left behind buildings that needed TLC and a new purpose. The property comprises approximately six acres fronting the Kalamazoo River, which housed a vacant and tax foreclosed blighted [...]



The Marketplace The Marketplace development began as parcels of vacant land on 7 acres located in the Edison neighborhood across the street from the Kalamazoo Farmers Market. The Edison neighborhood was one of the City’s hardest hit areas in terms of blight, vacancies, crime and lack of redevelopment. But the market was a thriving and stable source of pride for the area, and draws hundreds of people every year to explore a corner of the Edison neighborhood, near downtown Kalamazoo. There is also a nearby City park and pool, and the site is close to Bronson Hospital. The privately-owned [...]


Prairie Gardens

Prairie Gardens The site of the Prairie Gardens senior cottages development is one of the highest points in the city of Kalamazoo, sitting on a hill in Kalamazoo's Fairmount neighborhood. When the Land Bank became involved in the property, it was the former Southwestern Michigan Tuberculosis Sanitarium and Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital complex, which was built in the 1950s and shut down in 1990. It sat vacant, vandalized, and a target for criminal activity until 2011. Through a partnership between Western Michigan University, the City of Kalamazoo, and the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, and funding from the NSP program, we were [...]