The Best 12 Things to Happen in 2019


The 269 MAGAZINE team set out to find the best of the best happenings in Southwest Michigan in 2019. We wanted to stop at 10, but added two more for good measure!

  1. Graphic Packaging International selected Kalamazoo for its massive $600 million investment in facilities and equipment to support the company’s commitment to sustainable packaging.
  2. FedEx announced that it will be delivering more than packages to Portage come late 2020. Once its $40 million investment on a 37-acre site is complete, this opportunity for 924 jobs will be all boxed up!
  3. Kalamazoo ranks in the top three places in the U.S. with the lowest cost of living!
  4. Career and technical education got a big shout-out from Kalamazoo businesses and residents at the polls in November. More than $8.3 million in annual funding was approved to expand CTE access for K-12 students, create a centrally located career center, and impact the future workforce for years to come.
  5. Condé Nast Traveler named Southwest Michigan one of the Best Places to Go in 2020 along with Dubai, Nashville, and Tangier. Let’s roll out the red carpet!
  6. The Exchange Building is open for business! The tallest building to rise from the Kalamazoo landscape in years offers 133 luxury apartments and 60,000 square feet of commercial space.
  7. More than $80 million will be invested at the Mill at Vicksburg to give the abandoned paper mill a second lease on life. Once complete, it will welcome 221 jobs, hotel and residential space, microbrewery incubator space, a beer garden, public greenspace, and more.
  8. The state of Michigan transferred control of several downtown roads to the City of Kalamazoo, making streets safer and easier to navigate for drivers and pedestrians. What’s more, the move could pave the way for turning one-way streets into two-ways.
  9. Make your reservations now! Kzoo Hotel Partners, LLC unveiled plans to redevelop the historic Rose Street Market building in the city’s downtown into a 113-room boutique hotel, a 107-room extended-stay facility, and approximately 15,000 square feet of office and commercial space.
  10. Western Michigan University broke ground on its new student center and Arcadia Flats housing complex. Can you hear all of those young broncos galloping to their new digs now?
  11. Southwest Michigan is a great place to work! Thirty-one regional companies were named national winners by Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®.
  12. Ka-ching! Kalamazoo’s 19 percent income growth was tops in the state!

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