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 Association, and local artists Buddy Hannah and Sid Ellis connecting this space to the pocket park at Phelps and East Michigan. It is imagined that the addition of permanent neighborhood art utilizing the rich content from the Eastside Voices project will link these two developments together. This creative community-centered model is similar to the concentrated efforts in Washington Square that have produced an incredible turnaround for the key commercial corridor redevelopment in Edison. Eastside Square is another project for the community dreamed up by the community.