Bates Alley fundraising effort reaches $50,000 goal and then some


A major effort to bring new life to Bates Alley in downtown Kalamazoo has surpassed its fundraising goal, just hours before the crowdfunding effort for the project was about to expire.

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, just five hours before the deadline, the effort had $55,000 in pledges, more than meeting the $50,000 necessary to garner a matching grant from the state of Michigan.

The city wants to create a pedestrian pathway along the alley, while adding outdoor seating, lighting, bike racks and new landscaping. The project also includes repairing and repaving the roadway and installing removable bollards to limit vehicular access. Estimates put the cost at $100,000, and if the community could raise half of that, the Michigan Department of Economic Development promised to provide $50,000.

From the start, the project received major commitments and in-kind support from the city of Kalamazoo, the Jim Gilmore Jr. Foundation, and nearby property owners.

As of noon Wednesday, the effort was still $5,000 under the goal, but that has now been surpassed.

According to the crowdfunding site for the project, the additional income will be applied to enhancing the landscaping and/or providing additional streetscape elements.

For more details, visit The Bates Alley Project on

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