Kalamazoo development rapidly expanding area economy

Kalamazoo development rapidly expanding area economy.{ } (Jason Heeres WWMT)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Excitement in Kalamazoo County as Trader Joe's opens for business in Oshtemo, near Drake Road and Stadium Drive, an area that has rapidly expanded over the past four years.

Newschannel 3's Franque Thompson reports with more on the exciting project in Kalamazoo.

Ben Clark, the Oshtemo Township zoning administrator said that about 1,000 jobs have come from these recent developments. He said the developments also build the economy and a regional draw to the Kalamazoo metro area.

Crowds of customers flood the grand opening of Trader Joe's and staffers said they don't expect business to slow any time soon.

Dan Sorscher, the Trader Joe's store captain, said, “We're hoping maybe January, because the holidays, really November, December is a busy, busy, fun time for us -- our busiest time of the year and we expect it to crescendo and continue to go.”

The much anticipated grocery store is the newest development in Oshtemo Township, but a construction project off of West Main and U.S. 131 shows there is more to come to the Kalamazoo metro area.

Clark said, “It's our understanding that the developer anticipates a few box stores, maybe a full service grocery store, a slew of smaller restaurants out towards West Main. Medical offices and quite a selection of services.”

The construction project is currently underway on West Main and Clark said it's possible that Jimmy Johns and Five Guys will make the spot a new home, adding to the area's economy.

Clard said, “Taxes, and it's going to bring shopping dollars in and it's going to provide jobs.”

Jobs, tourism, money, expansions: All things Clark said will give the metro area a regional draw.

“Nothing succeeds like success so as you get more development in the area that spurs more and more it makes an area in turn more desirable and more attractive and so that draws more people in,” Clark said.

Down the street on Stadium Drive, the long-time restaurant Gallagher’s will be redeveloped for retail opportunities in a project called the Shops at Stadium Village.