What Is Downtown Kalamazoo Thinking?
Remember a few years ago when there was talk of building an arena in those empty parking lots West of downtown Kalamazoo? Turned out it wasn’t feasible due in part to the fact that a larger, centralized arena wasn’t necessary to accommodate all the fans that couldn’t get into events that were always sold out. Then there was the “If you build it, they will come” theory that was supposed to revitalize the entire downtown. Sure, it’s worked in other cities but I don’t think it would work here.
So now comes word that they’re thinking about utilizing this huge space. And what are they talking about the cornerstone being? A new courthouse! A new courthouse??? Really??? Come on! Back in 1990 when I first came to Kalamazoo I couldn’t understand why the downtown wasn’t geared toward WMU like other college towns such as Ann Arbor. Luckily, in the past 10 years, the powers that be have started to see it my way and realize that downtown should be an entertainment destination. Let’s not lose that momentum by putting a new courthouse in that area hoping it will spur all this positive growth. We need more destination components and take advantage of our “highway geography”. Right? Here are my top 3 suggestions:
1. Indoor Water Park/ Hotel. We’re right in between Detroit and Chicago and could take advantage of 3 seasons.
2. All-Purpose Entertinment Building. Like the “BOB” in Grand Rapids. We could have a Dave & Busters, Alamo Draftehouse, etc.
3. Ikea. Because my wife wants one closer than Canton.
What’s your suggestion?
Bonus Video: Hidden Kalamazoo
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