Encore January 2019

Page 42

Meyer & Allwardt CPA

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Land Bank (continued from page 16) PlazaCorp (continued from page 29)


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properties in the areawill arebepurchased by construction, many left as developers, leaders wonder whether it will green spaces. leave residents ability totoinfluence “We canwithout sell thethe property decisions made neighborhood. neighbors for within a very their reasonable price, or “Those that own land control what residents on the block can opt to create happens,” says Mattie Jordan-Woods, execugarden space for vegetables or trees and tive director the Northside bushes andofplaces to sit andAssociation enjoy the for Community Development. “They control who surroundings,” Boring says. gets jobs, and ultimately they on control Galilee Baptist Church, Northwho stays." Westnedge Avenue, hopes to create a Rose Street runs almost straight through serenity garden on property at 430 W. the center of Northside andchurch. is becoming Paterson St.,the across from the The anLand unofficial dividing line between the two Bank Adopt-A-Lot program leases halves of the neighborhood. properties for use as green space and To the east, a former blue-collar stomping gardens. ground“”When is poised become hipster haven wetoheard thatathe property likely to feature pricey apartment units. would be available, we thought it would The area already has a craft brewery be a good place for a serenity garden,”and artisan distilleryRoland, and willabe anchored The says William church elderbyfor Kalamazoo Enterpriseand Center. outreach ministry board chairman. To the west, where the Northside “We want to make it aesthetically neighborhood's only full grocery store pleasing and a place for peaceful returned in 2010 after nose-to-thereflection, and members of the church grindstone efforts by Jordan-Woods, the will maintain the garden.” NACD So far, there have been 12 Adoptis looking to lure more affordable housing and locally owned A-Lot leases as part of thebusinesses. Land Bank’s "We're focused on securing land that will Community Garden program. allow Last residents to ownapproached businesses and live year Boring and work in the neighborhood," she says. residents in the 1500 block of East Wenzel says that PlazaCorp Michigan Avenue, where there has weresimilar aims, noting that its project will ultimately three empty lots, and asked if they would bring jobs and opportunity to the be interested in having a garden space neighborhood. “Weonly encourage oursaid tenants there. “They not agreed but tothey hirewould neighborhood residents when they’re love to take over the building qualified. We have looked at and are working and maintenance,” she says. with The otherresult localis the agencies workforce Trybalon Revival development — agencies like Urban Alliance Eastside Eco-Garden, with more than and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, 100 plantings and 28 species of mostly that can provide the training needed to work food-producing trees and shrubs. Funds inforour this we thetenants’ garden industries. came fromThrough the Kalamazoo hope that we've met some of the concerns Community Foundation, one of many of the neighborhood.” Land Bank partners. For “The good neighbors or bad, thehave NACDbeen andgreat PlazaCorp are competing as says. developers, entrenched partners,” Boring in different ways in historic As the Land BankKalamazoo's and its partners Northside. Whatever it may bring, however, look across the Kalamazoo landscape, when Thethe Kalamazoo Enterprise is they see fruits of their laborsCenter — complete, the neighborhood, like other new homes, rehabilitated homes andareas oflush the gardens city where PlazaCorp's footprints are, where dangerous eyesores will be changed. once stood — and know that they have changed the face of Kalamazoo in profound and lasting ways.