KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Concerns continue to grow over ongoing violence and suspicious activity at Campus Pointe Mall in Kalamazoo, with police saying some incidents do not involve students or locals.

An upcoming meeting could help start easing those concerns.

“It’s not a place that I would want to hang out at nighttime,” said Tami Rousch, a Kalamazoo native who owns and helps run the East Egg WMU Campus restaurant at Campus Pointe. “I recall times where you wanted to go engage with people and enjoy those experiences, but they weren’t tainted by some of the stuff that’s happening nowadays and the mentality of some people who don’t care for fun and want to take things (to an unsafe) level.”

Recent Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety data (PDF) confirms those feelings toward the property at the northwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Howard Street, just across from WMU’s main campus. Since January 2021, officers have been called to 1,349 incidents at Campus Pointe Mall. Of those, 526 were at 2941 Howard, which is the address for Y Bar and Bistro. Abandoned vehicles, alarms and suspicious activity accounted for most calls, but two people have died.

While East Egg is not open for dinner or late at night, Rousch feels for her fellow business managers who are and nearby students who don’t feel comfortable.

“I know some places don’t want to be open that late because of that, which is unfortunate because again you want to cater to those students who want to enjoy this experience,” Rousch said.

A few other business owners and managers who declined to talk on camera also told News 8 that they are concerned for the safety and well-being of anyone who spends time there on the weekend and police officers whenever they respond to calls at and patrol around the property.

KDPS Chief David Boysen repeated concerns for the safety of the public and his officers, but also said how unfair it is to the rest of the Kalamazoo area.

“I have to pull the majority of my shift on a Saturday night to clear out that parking lot, which means that when you call 911, there’s a delayed response because all of my staff is up dealing with that problem,” Boysen explained. “We need to do something about it and it can’t just be public safety asking for something to be done. We really need to leverage our community partners and our key stakeholders.”

At 10 a.m. Monday, those partners, police, and city leaders will meet at WMU’s Trimpe building to talk about the problem. University administrators will also be there. The meeting will not be open to the public.

“Student and community safety is our top priority,” said Tony Proudfoot, WMU’s vice president of marketing communications. “We look forward to discussing new safety solutions with (Southwest Michigan First, the city,) and local business leaders for this off-campus area.”

“I want something to come out of this. I don’t want to just meet to meet, and everyone talk. I want to come up with a strategy and a cohesive plan and then maybe move forward if we need to do some public meetings and get some more input,” Boysen said. “But that first meeting, I think, is going to be critical to come up with a plan… It’s May. I don’t want my officers to be dealing with this all summer. I’m sure that the community and the students up there don’t want to deal with this all summer. So it’s really critical that we just get this going soon.”

Rousch agrees.

“I want to be here. I love this spot. I love this business. I love the customers. The other businesses in here? We want to be here. We want to be thriving with customers that feel safe coming here, so I hope they work that out,” Rousch said. “Let’s work together. If there’s something we need to do… however we can help, let’s do it.”