Meet Your Neighbors: Milwood

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Historic Bridges

Tucked into the southeast corner of Kalamazoo, Milwood neighborhood boasts the largest neighborhood size and the second-highest population in our home city with 8,000 residents and several businesses calling it home. With accessibility to multiple schools and three parks, Milwood Neighborhood Watch Association President John Hilliard said the population has shifted for the better over the years as younger families, young professionals, and overall more diversity have moved into the area, with the culture remaining “a long-established neighborhood that’s been well-kept and where the quality of life continues to be good.” 

Per-capita, Milwood is one of the safest neighborhoods in Kalamazoo, a fact that John credits to all the residents working together and with public safety. “Because we’re a neighborhood watch, we have a very good relationship with public safety,” said John. “We work with them on an almost daily basis to keep the neighborhood safe.”

Although the pandemic put a wrench in the area’s neighborhood planning, initial priorities focused on maintaining a high quality of life, increasing cultural events such as concerts, and providing jobs and supporting businesses that also call the Milwood neighborhood home. “We hope to emphasize a little bit more on getting feedback from the businesses and corporations,” said John. In addition to companies like Fabri-Kal, Schupan & Sons, and Imperial Beverage, Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, a local assisted living and nursing facility, is also in the neighborhood and is a place where many residents work, utilize services, or transition to live at. In an effort to support business development and community culture, the neighborhood recently worked to redevelop an old firehouse into a credit union to keep the quality of the neighborhood high by limiting commercial vacancies. “I think an important thing (for this development) was that it’s at a main intersection in the neighborhood so this development eliminates any possibility for the property just sitting there for a long time not being developed.”

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