Vibrant Kalamazoo — Eastside Gateway and Pocket Park

Vibrant Kalamazoo supports the Kalamazoo County Land Bank’s work to “Repurpose, Renew and Reconnect” abandoned and blighted properties in Kalamazoo County. Our shared goal is a county where residents in every zip code enjoy economic stability and quality of life. 

Vibrant recently supported the community-defined and embraced Eastside Gateway and  Pocket Park, a mixed-income, energy-efficient, small housing development on East Main Street and Foresmen Avenue. This project is the neighborhood’s first new construction housing development in over 50 years. The Gateway was the result of intensive community engagement and the generous support of more than 50 local partners. Over 200 people attended the Open House & Eastside Celebration in May 2019 to celebrate its near-completion.

As a community that has at times felt forgotten, Eastside residents feel a resurgence of neighborhood pride. Eastside stories were showcased in an intergenerational oral history project, Eastside Voices, a companion Gateway project co-sponsored by the Eastside Neighborhood Association and co-coordinated by artists Buddy Hannah and Sid Ellis. Art elements inspired by the stories are featured in the Eastside Gateway and Pocket Park  and in a mural at 1616 East Main, future home of Eastside Square, a mixed-use development of affordable, energy-efficient housing units, commercial space, and a pocket plaza, also envisioned by residents.

Vibrant’s work is uplifting Eastside voices through story, art and new developments that represent the community’s vision in residents’ own words of a “can do,” “safe,” “warm,” neighborhood with additions that “blend in, but stand out” and “reflect the comforts of home.”

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