"This is a part of the community that has traditionally housed medical research, pharmaceutical research," said Bob Doud, vice president of community affairs for Bronson Healthcare Group and secretary of Downtown Kalamazoo Inc.'s board of directors.
"Once they do, all of a sudden we've got a critical mass of maybe 8,000 people working within literally a three-quarter-mile radius," Doud
and Nacci expect the additional employees would drive residential-development demand and encourage retail growth.
Also, Bronson's employee population is becoming younger -- 60 percent of of the employees it has hired in the past 10 years have been below the age of 35, Doud said.
"We're keeping Michigan's young people," Doud
"We think these are the people who would be interested in housing and living in the urban corridor."
And the population of the village could grow even younger in the future.
If WMU were to start a medical school, both Doud and Nacci think this area would be the perfect place to put it.
"I think the economy is the big holdup," Doud
"Certainly we need to get developers looking at this area, seeing the employees here and seeing the opportunity for residential development."
Also, DKI's plan is still in its first draft, and the major players in this potential village still need to work out some of the details about the project.
thinks it will just be a matter of time before the village progresses.
"I have to believe that the kind of industry that we're talking about is the future for our state's development and economic well-being," he