KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Kalamazoo is considering a plan to reopen a shuttered downtown public safety station.
City officials say Station 1 on West Cedar Street near South Rose Street has been vacant for about a decade.
Kalamazoo’s proposed 2020 budget would provide about $250,000, covering the cost of planning and design work to renovate the building.
Construction could cost about $2 million and is planned for the 2021 budget. Officials say that number is considered a rough estimate.
Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain says with the recent growth of downtown, a public safety station is needed.
“So, we have all these developments going in,” Chamberlain said. “Which is great for Kalamazoo and its neighborhoods, but we no longer have a public safety station in the downtown area.”
The station on North Park Street is closest to downtown, but city leaders feel there is a need for emergency responders even closer.
“Because that building already has existing garages built into it, that’s a great opportunity for us to locate some firefighting equipment in the downtown area and have it right there,” Chamberlain said.
Janet Richards, with St. Luke’s Thrift Shop, which is just around the corner from the old station, thinks having a building no longer vacant and police and fire close by is good for the downtown area.
“I think people would probably feel more comfortable,” Richards said.
If funding is approved, the building could open in late 2021 or early 2022.
The city would have to clean up any hazardous materials like asbestos before construction can begin.