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KALAMAZOO, MI-Construction is underway for a major redevelopment effort in downtown Kalamazoo. Among the plans are: a new four-story office and retail building, an upscale Italian restaurant and a festival area. The neighboring Radisson Hotel is also getting a $26 million renovation in a separate project.

On the south side of East Water Street, much of the Dewing Building has been gutted, but its façade has been saved. A four-story addition is being attached to the building, which is located on the first block north of West Michigan Avenue, says Joe Hakim, VP of operations for Greenleaf Venture, which now owns the property as well as the Radisson Plaza Hotel, directly across the mall. The addition will double the available space of the building to 40,000 sf.

The Radisson Plaza Hotel, which is across the street from the project, is in the midst of a $26 million renovation. Both properties are now owned by Greenleaf Venture. Along the east side of the Radisson, a new Italian restaurant will feature gourmet dining.

One block northeast of the Radisson, the first structures have begun to rise at Arcadia Creek Festival Place. The festival site has been talked about and planned for in Kalamazoo for almost a dozen years. The location will feature a band shell and a permanent stage. It will be surrounded by wrought iron fences with columns at the entrances.

A pedestrian bridge will cross Arcadia Creek to link the entertainment area with a children’s playground. The project should be finished in time for the city’s 2004 festival season opener, “Super Saturday,” early next summer.

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