Economic Development

Different development projects demand different approaches, from rehabilitating single-family homes or expanding a small-business to launching the next hot start-up. What all projects share is a need for customized guidance to grow your dream into reality. The City of Kalamazoo has a dedicated team that makes the development process easier, faster, and more equitable in Kalamazoo. Wherever you are in the process, our team is here to help you navigate all aspects of development, things like permitting, site selection, site plan review, and financial incentives. All you need to do to get started is email

Brownfield Redevelopment Authority

Kalamazoo's Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was established to promote the revitalization of environmentally distressed, contaminated or blighted areas of the City of Kalamazoo. The BRA develops and implements a plan to use tax increment financing to ameliorate environmental contamination on development sites. It also owns properties in the city that are available for redevelopment (you can find a list of property owned by the BRA by searching for the owner "brownfield" in the City's GIS system).

Privately-owned sites may qualify as brownfields under Act 381 and be eligible for incentives if the site you are interested in is environmentally contaminated, blighted, or considered functionally obsolete. To qualify for incentives as a brownfield, projects must either generate property tax revenue when redeveloped or provide new job opportunities and/or a needed neighborhood or community service. 

Brownfield Plans

Brownfield Plan Application

City staff and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority board will evaluate each project/property before making a recommendation to the City Commission regarding inclusion/categorization of a privately-owned property in the Brownfield Plan. Once the site is entered into the Brownfield Plan, City staff will negotiate terms with the proposed developer and complete a redevelopment agreement. Terms and agreement are subject to Board approval. 

The City of Kalamazoo's Economic Development team is happy to guide you through the brownfield redevelopment process. Email to learn if brownfield redevelopment is right for your project.

Case Study, Depot
Case Study, Walbridge
Case Study, Fabri Kal

Business Assistance

If you need help writing a business plan, selecting or acquiring a site, planning, obtaining permits, or securing incentives, the City of Kalamazoo is happy to be your first phone call. Members of the City's development team are available to meet with potential developers, business owners, or entrepreneurs every Wednesday morning to review plans, discuss permitting or zoning requirements, or answer any questions that you might have. You can meet with the team as many times as you like at no cost to help you make informed decisions at every step of the process.

Business Development Fund

Funding opportunities are also available through the City's Business Development Fund. With support from the Foundation for Excellence, the Business Development Fund offers funding and financing options to local entrepreneurs and neighborhood businesses with 20 or fewer employees. We offer:

    • sponsorship grants (up to $2,500)
    • technical assistance grants (up to $5,000)
    • façade improvement grants (up to $25,000)
    • whitebox buildout grants (up to $25,000)
    • Applicants and businesses must be current on property taxes and with no bills or invoices overdue.

Click here to apply for a Business Development Fund Grant

There is currently a waiting list for whitebox and facade. Becuase of this, new applications may not be accepted for these grants in April. Please email to join the waiting list.   

A number of other economic incentives are available from governmental and private organizations. Our Community Investment team can identify what programs are available for your project. Contact to learn more about what options are available and how to apply. 

Beginning in 2020, the Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund was established in partnership with the City of Kalamazoo and supported by the Foundation for Excellence. The KSBLF is intended to be a bridge loan to provide local businesses time and opportunity to take advantage of the current COVID-19 SBA Loans and State and Federal loan assistance programs. This in turn preserves these engines of our local economy while supporting the people directly affected at this critical time. You can learn more and apply to the Kalamazoo Small Business Loan fund at

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

 (269) 337-8000
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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