The Arcus Foundation will gift its downtown Kalamazoo office building, known as the Arcus Depot, to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.
Arcus, a leading global foundation advancing pressing social justice and conservation issues, will transfer the building and make a one-time grant of $1 million to the Community Foundation to support transition and renovation costs.
The Depot will become the new home of the Community Foundation in the second half of 2014. The Community Foundation is currently located in the Comerica Building in downtown Kalamazoo.
The Depot, located on the corner of East Michigan Avenue and Pitcher Street, was built in 1874 as a railroad passenger and warehouse depot and was purchased in 2003 by Arcus founder and President Jon Stryker.
Stryker, a Kalamazoo native who trained as an architect, redeveloped the 10,000 square-foot building into office space for Arcus and other local nonprofit organizations. The renovations by Cambridge Seven of Cambridge, Mass., earned a Historic Preservation Merit Award from Kalamazoo’s Historic Preservation Commission. The Depot is currently listed on the Michigan Register of Historic Places.
Arcus’ space needs in Kalamazoo have evolved over the past several years, and the foundation determined that it would no longer occupy the Depot.
"We wanted to ensure that the Depot would continue to serve the Kalamazoo community and that its architectural integrity would be maintained," says Kevin Jennings, Arcus’ executive director. "The Kalamazoo Community Foundation emerged as the ideal steward of this community resource and the architectural legacy that the Depot represents, and we are delighted to give this important asset to the Community Foundation."
According to Community Foundation President/CEO Carrie Pickett-Erway, "The value that having a permanent location will bring to our work is, in itself, tremendous. Making our home in the iconic Depot, a visible and accessible symbol of Kalamazoo’s history and promise, will deepen our connection to grantees, donors and community groups."
"We could not be more grateful to Jon Stryker and the Arcus Foundation for their longstanding record of generosity to the Kalamazoo community, which will now include this extraordinary gift to our Foundation," she says.
Agencies currently housed in the Depot include Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy & Action in the Community (ISAAC), Kalamazoo River Watershed Council, Fair Housing Center of Kalamazoo County, Advocacy Services for Kids, and Parent-to-Parent. The Community Foundation is working with these agencies to assist with their transitions.
Read more about the Arcus Foundation at www.arcusfoundation.org.