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State approves funds for Kalamazoo office and commercial development COURTESY PHOTO

State approves funds for Kalamazoo office and commercial development

BY Tuesday, June 28, 2016 02:49pm

KALAMAZOO — Backed by state incentives, developers could bring a new 52,000-square-foot mixed-use project to the north side of downtown Kalamazoo.

An affiliate of Portage-based Treystar Inc., a property management and development firm, plans to convert a former steel fabrication plant and foundry into new office and commercial space.

The Michigan Strategic Fund this morning approved funds to support the developers’ work to “alleviate Brownfield conditions” and prepare the site for the project, according to a memo from the state.

Rivers Edge Partners LLC, which is registered to Treystar President J. Craig DeNooyer, sought $742,930 in local and school tax capture to convert the vacant sites at 578 and 600 East Michigan Ave. into offices, retail and restaurant space with an onsite fitness center and common areas.

The MSF also approved $750,000 in Michigan Community Revitalization Program funding for the project.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will support the project with $47,030 in tax increment financing, a $191,750 grant, and $193,935 in loans, according to the memo.

The addition of a traffic light added at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Harrison Street will also be part of the development process.

“The City’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, city engineers, and the city planner have been a huge help to us in getting this project in motion,” said Treystar founder Bob Brown in a statement. “They are helping to fund the light along with the Michigan Department of Transportation...We truly appreciate their support in bringing the site back to life.”

A construction timeline was not immediately available.

Developers secured bank financing to cover about 75 percent of the projected $10.4 million project cost and the creation of 118 full-time jobs, according to the memo.

The proposed redevelopment site sits about five blocks south of Walbridge Common, another major redevelopment site. Walbridge Common is a residential and commercial project currently under construction by Kalamazoo-based NoMi Developers LLC.

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