FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 25, 2019
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership Brings $11 Million in State Dollars Downtown
Kalamazoo, MI—On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) Board unanimously approved the capture of State-reimbursed tax revenues over the next 15 years up to $11 million within the Downtown Economic Growth Authority district boundaries. The decision marks a major milestone for Downtown Kalamazoo and City’s creation of a new Downtown Economic Growth Authority, and the final step in securing State and local tax capture.
The $11 million in State dollars will be used to fund key infrastructure investments Downtown, added to more than $55 million in projected local tax capture, resulting in more than $66 million in investment Downtown over the next 30 years.
“We could not be more thrilled about the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting, and the opportunities this funding opens for Downtown,” said Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership President Andrew Haan. “More importantly, we want to thank our partners at the City and MEDC for helping us realize this vision, and those in the community who have offered their steadfast support. This is truly the community’s success.”
The approved proposal is a result of a yearlong collaborative planning process between the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership, City of Kalamazoo and Michigan Economic Development Corporation to create a new taxing authority for Downtown Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo is the first community to establish a downtown authority under the Qualified Development Area provision of the Corridor Improvement Authority Act.
“This is our opportunity to make the investments that Downtown Kalamazoo deserves,” said Kalamazoo City Manager Jim Ritsema. “These funds will help to bring more life to public spaces and improve marketing, connectivity, and the overall downtown experience for residents, business owners, and visitors alike.”
Following a robust community engagement effort led by the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership, the Kalamazoo City Commission voted to establish the Downtown Economic Growth Authority in October of last year, and in December approved the proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Development Plan, outlining the community’s priorities for investment of dollars captured. Priority areas for investment include: mobility improvements, streetscape improvements, public space investment and maintenance, development and project support, and economic development planning and research.
About Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is a private, non-profit organization that works with both the public and private sectors in preserving and enhancing the economic health of Kalamazoo’s downtown area and, in turn, the Kalamazoo community. In conjunction with its affiliate organizations, it manages a full range of activities that include capital improvement projects, business development and recruitment programs, image marketing and event planning in order to establish Downtown Kalamazoo as an accessible, diverse, green, progressive and vibrant urban center. For more information, visit downtownkalamazoo.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.