KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – Plans are in the works for a new $60 million, seven-story mixed-use building in downtown Kalamazoo.

At its Monday afternoon meeting, the Kalamazoo Downtown Development Authority exercised its right to first refusal on Lot 9 at the southwest corner of E. Water Street and N. Edwards Street, directly across from Arcadia Creek Festival Place.

That’s the first step in Catalyst Development Company building the new structure, which preliminary plans indicate would be 300,000 square feet and contain office space and apartments.

The development will include 315 public parking spaces, an increase from the current 280. The plan will also retain 80 spots in a surface lot on the west end of the current Lot 9.

“We’re incredibly excited. We’re talking about a major investment … that will really change the character of that whole area,” Downtown Kalamazoo Inc. President Andrew Haan said.

He said that if the process goes smoothly, ground could be broken sometime this year.

If that happens, it would be the second major building in downtown Kalamazoo to break ground in two years. Crews started work on the 15-story Exchange Building last spring. Once completed, it will have parking, retail, office space and apartments.

As for Monday’s decision, the purchase agreement calls for 10 percent of the residential units — five of them — to be classified as “affordable.”

“We want to make sure that our downtown is accessible to all price points and income levels and truly is a downtown for the whole community,” Haan said.

Though Haan wouldn’t say which commercial tenants may be interested in the building, he said having Arcadia Creek Festival Place across the street is helpful.

“There may be some complimentary uses and ways in which we can engage some of these tenants on the festival site,” he said.