Major, dual investments totaling $66M seek to transform Kalamazoo neighborhood

This artist's rendition reveals the new exterior design for the Washington Square Senior Apartments. (WWMT/Courtesy of CSI)

A well-known building and an iconic Kalamazoo neighborhood are about to get a face lift.

CSI Support and Development, a nonprofit senior housing firm, announced Friday that it would invest $300,000 to upgrade Washington Square, its senior housing co-op facility in Kalamazoo. And that's just the beginning. The investment is the first step in a $6 million renovation plan that includes exterior upgrades and a new name for the building.

“With the revitalization of the Edison Neighborhood and the commitment that is shared with all the community at large, CSI Support & Development has worked with its members to revitalize our resident community, and with that comes a renaming of our co-op,” said Nancy Evans, the firm's general manager.

Accompanying CSI's announcement, managers of Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, the area’s only locally owned and operated nonprofit senior living community, said it too is investing in its facilities, through a 10-year, $60 million plan based in ensuring that all seniors in the city have quality, affordable housing options.

“Throughout our 73-year history, Heritage has been a driving force for high quality living and care for seniors,” said Jay Prince, president and chief executive officer at Heritage. “We’re thrilled to stand alongside CSI as they make this investment in people, in the Edison Neighborhood and in the Kalamazoo community.”

The Washington Square Co-Op, over the next five years, will be renamed City View in the Square, and receive improvements ranging from enhanced landscaping and parking gates to extensive upgrades to the living units.

“City View’s grounds will be transformed into an area for rest and retreat,” Evans said. “When renovations are complete, residents will be able to take a quiet stroll on the new walking path or have a restful sit on a park-style bench along the way, while taking in the beauty of the newly appointed gardens.”

The facility's new name came from current co-op residents who were invited by CSI to suggest a moniker to their liking.

“One of the great strengths of the Edison Neighborhood and the greater Kalamazoo community is how people come together to help each other,” Evans said. “CSI co-ops are much more than a place to call home, they are a way of life and an opportunity to maintain dignity and purpose.”

The immediate plans for Washington Square include exterior improvements to the building and entryway, additional lighting, ornamental fencing, enhanced landscaping, and parking entrance gates for added security. Over the next five years, the work will include significant replacement of building systems, and extensive upgrades to unit interiors and communal areas.

Prince said Heritage's plans include enhanced rehabilitation and long-term-care accommodations, in-home care, independent living housing, memory care, and smart-home technologies.“

"Heritage Community and CSI Support & Development have linked arms in a commitment to provide superior senior housing opportunities for all,” Evans said. “We’re excited to work with Heritage to serve more seniors while making a strong commitment to the Edison Neighborhood and the Kalamazoo community.”

CSI, with offices in Warren, Michigan, operates 59 locations in Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts and California.

Heritage, operated by a volunteer board of directors, has been serving seniors for 70 years; the company also launched and operates the smart-home technology firm Connected LLC.

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