City of Kalamazoo Approves Incorporation of new Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence


The Kalamazoo City Commission passed a resolution approving incorporation of a new foundation, known as the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence (FFE), organized for the purpose of supporting and benefiting the operation and programs of the City of Kalamazoo.

The Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence is a project of singular significance for the fiscal well-being of the City of Kalamazoo. Two lead donors initially provided $70.3 million over three years to stabilize the City’s budget, to lower the property tax rate from 19.2705 mills to 12 mills, and for $10 million of aspirational community projects annually in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

It is the objective of the FFE to raise an additional $500+ million in order to endow the FFE’s work in perpetuity.

The Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation included in Monday night’s resolution were the product of significant work by staff based on the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Kalamazoo and the lead donors that was approved by the City Commission at its October 24, 2016 Work Session. Additional City Commission Work Sessions were held on October 24, 2016, as well as January 23, July 24, and August 7 of 2017 to thoroughly explore aspects and details of FFE’s creation and to offer extensive and open opportunities for public comment.

Numerous technical, human, and economic resources were consulted to inform the planning of the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence, but few will shape the FFE’s work as definitively as the citizen input cultivated by the Imagine Kalamazoo process or its resulting ten-year Strategic Vision, which was approved by the City Commission on July 17, 2017, and forthcoming Master Plan.

Information on the Kalamazoo Foundation For Excellence can be found at


Discussion of Foundation for Excellence Articles and Bylaws to Continue on August 7

The Kalamazoo City Commission will continue the discussion of proposed  Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation for the Foundation for Excellence during its regularly scheduled August 7 meeting. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall. City Commission meetings are also televised on PMN Channel 190 and on the City of Kalamazoo's YouTube Channel.

Draft Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation were introduced to the City Commission during a Work Session on July 24. The original draft documents have been revised based on feedback from the work session and are available below for review. City staff have also prepared information related to issues and concerns that were raised at the work session, which is available with the Meeting Agenda.

Following this additional discussion at the August 7 meeting, it is anticipated that the City Commission will consider the Articles and Bylaws for approval on August 21.

pdf Revised Bylaws, August 4, 2017 (8.11 MB)

pdf Revised Articles of Incorporation, August 4, 2017 (5.27 MB)

City of Kalamazoo to Host Public Meeting on Redevelopment of Former Public Safety Station

The City of Kalamazoo’s Economic Development Department will host a public meeting to discuss ideas for the redevelopment of the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority-owned property at 116 West Cedar Street in downtown Kalamazoo. The meeting will be held in the Van Deusen Room of the downtown branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8.

The structure at 116 West Cedar was built in 1957 as the City of Kalamazoo Fire Station No. 1.  It has also been used as the Fire Marshall’s Office and the Kalamazoo Public Safety Training Facility. After the building was decommissioned, ownership was transferred to the City of Kalamazoo Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and it has been used for storage since 2008.

The approximately 0.76-acre property contains the 14,803-square-foot building, parking and landscaped areas.  It is located in a commercial business district in downtown Kalamazoo.

“We want to hear what the community wants,” said Sara Jo Shipley, Redevelopment Project Manager for the City of Kalamazoo. “How can we be creative and take advantage of this building? What type of development would succeed here? What would add to the downtown experience for our city’s residents and visitors?”

The open house-style meeting will focus on building design, streetscape, potential uses, sustainable features, pedestrian facilities, and public art. Community members are encouraged to share ideas and are welcome to “drop-in” at any time during the open house.

The property was added to the City’s Brownfield Plan in 2004 to create development incentives once the property is made available for private acquisition. Economic Development staff will convey the types of uses and design features requested by our community to potential developers in a request for proposals for the property. 

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.


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