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CSM Group to be anchor tenant in Kalamazoo office redevelopment COURTESY PHOTO

CSM Group to be anchor tenant in Kalamazoo office redevelopment

BY Thursday, July 21, 2016 05:00pm

KALAMAZOO — Construction management firm The CSM Group Inc. will be the anchor tenant in The Foundry, a new commercial office redevelopment that broke ground today on the north side of downtown Kalamazoo.

Located at 600 East Michigan Ave., the former steel fabrication plant and foundry will be redeveloped into about 53,000 square feet of commercial and office space by Kalamazoo-based development firm Treystar Inc.

For CSM Group, the opportunity to move to offices to a modern, open environment with a variety of tenants was too good to pass up, CEO Steve East told MiBiz.

“We serve lots of industry lines and we cross over so many industries,” East said, adding that the space will be designed to maximize collaboration not only for CSM Group’s employees but also among the other tenants. “We’re looking forward to creating the office space of the future. It will be collaborative with an open layout. It’s not a live-work space but it will be a living-working space.”

The company and the project’s developers have spent time working with officials from Zeeland-based office furniture company Herman Miller Inc. to identify the newest trends for office space and layout, East said.

CSM Group’s core business unit of about 100 employees — as well an additional 20 employees from subsidiary groups — will occupy about 10,000 square feet of space in The Foundry, East said.

The building will also feature an onsite restaurant and approximately three or four other tenants, according to East.

As the only announced tenant for the project so far, CSM Group will serve as the construction manager for The Foundry’s development process, which is tentatively scheduled for completion in July 2017, according to a statement.

“We are excited about this dual relationship with CSM Group,” Fritz Brown, development and leasing manager with Treystar, said in a statement. “They are a trusted partner on this and other previous projects and it will be great to see them settle into The Foundry and make a home here after the dust settles.”

As MiBiz first reported in late June, the $10.4 million project received $742,930 in 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 Michigan Strategic Fund board 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 a briefing memo on the project.

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

“This project is constantly evolving, creating a lot of excitement for our team and the community,” Treystar founder Robert Brown said in a statement.

The developer expects to announce a restaurant tenant in August.

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