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Friday, 01 May 2015 11:42

Bronson acquires former Kalamazoo Gazette property

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Bronson acquires former Kalamazoo Gazette property PHOTO: Joe Boomgaard

Kalamazoo-based Bronson Healthcare Group has acquired the former Kalamazoo Gazette building, as well as an adjacent facility, in the city’s South Town neighborhood, just outside of the central business district.

Bronson has no immediate plans to redevelop the 131,419-square-foot building or the 5,353-square-foot building that served as the headquarters of the former Business Review West Michigan, according to a news release. The Gazette building at 401 South Burdick Street has been vacant since 2012 when the MLive Media Group newspaper moved to 306 South Kalamazoo Mall.

According to Susan Watts, a Bronson spokesperson, the acquired property will be redeveloped in phases over the next five to 10 years.

“Bronson’s strategic facility plan is continuously evolving as we strive to achieve the most efficient use of space on our hospital campuses,” Mike Way, Bronson Healthcare’s senior vice president of supply chain, facilities and real estate, said in a statement. “With more patients than ever choosing Bronson for care, it is important to retain capacity within our hospital facilities to expand clinical functions, when needed.”

Contiguous property is rare in the downtown Kalamazoo area, so Bronson couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make the acquisition, Watts said. The health care provider bought the property for $2.2 million.

The two buildings and a parking lot sit in close proximity to Bronson’s headquarters at 601 John Street and a growing health and life sciences hub that includes Western Michigan University’s Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. The seven-story building on WMU’s W.E. Upjohn Campus opened last year and was a collaborative effort of the university, Bronson and Kalamazoo-based Borgess Health, as MiBiz has previously reported.

“Over the coming years, redeveloping this landmark property to its highest and best use is another reflection of Bronson’s longstanding commitment to the community,” Bronson’s President and CEO Frank Sardone said in a statement. “As the area’s largest employer, we care deeply about the vitality of downtown Kalamazoo and will continue to do all we can to catalyze its growth and reinvest in its future.”

The former Gazette building is the third former MLive Media Group property in West Michigan to be sold to a nonprofit institution in the years after the newspaper publishing company reorganized into a digital-first organization and moved to smaller offices. Muskegon Community College bought the former Muskegon Chronicle building last year for a downtown campus, and Michigan State University is currently developing its College of Human Medicine’s Biomedical Research Center at the site of the former Grand Rapids Press in downtown Grand Rapids.

The addition of the two properties takes Bronson to 65 facilities and 3.1 million square feet in the Kalamazoo area.

Read 1996 times Last modified on Monday, 08 June 2015 10:30

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