Building your tomorrow

KALAMAZOO — The 144-year-old building at 154 S. Kalamazoo Mall won’t look much like a fire station, a village hall or a department store soon.

You need a few years under your belt to envision it when it housed Athena Book Store, the Soup Kettle restaurant or The Sandwich Express.

Lana’s Couture relocated from the building months ago, and a final version of Sandwich Express closed.

Look for Catalyst Development Co., which acquired the property more than two years ago, to rehabilitate the location in the coming months for ground-floor retailing and second-story living.

“We want to create two fabulous retail spaces on the first floor,” said Patti Owens, managing director and vice president of Kalamazoo-based Catalyst. “We’re putting together some marketing now to try to attract really good retail tenants. That could include restaurants.

“We’re going to be building some really cool apartments upstairs.”

She said the 9,000-square-foot lower level of the property can accommodate two or three retailers, depending on the tenants. The second floor, which benefits from 27-foot-high ceilings, may accommodate up to five luxury apartments, some with two levels, and some with outdoor terraces and green roof space.

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