Trustees agree to extension on Cole-Gilmore property

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KALAMAZOO, Mich.—At its July 23 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees authorized the administration to negotiate and execute an extension to an existing set of development agreements covering a four-block parcel of land it owns in downtown Kalamazoo known as the Cole-Gilmore property.

The board's action authorizes extension of agreements it approved in 2008 that are set to expire Sept. 30. The University's agreements are with Downtown Tomorrow Inc., which also owns land in the area and adjacent to the WMU property.

Those agreements prohibit either WMU or DTI from selling their parcels without the express consent of the other. They further provide that if the University does not begin development of its property by the agreements' expiration date, DTI has the option to purchase the property for the price of $1 and assumption of a $1.52 million mortgage.

DTI and WMU have been engaged in discussions about the University purchasing DTI's parcels. Terms could not be agreed upon. WMU was interested in the property to meet future needs and does not have a more immediate project.

Both sides are interested in a one-year extension to the current set of agreements. The July 23 board action allows the administration to negotiate and enter into such an extension with DTI.

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