The Vine Neighborhood is the oldest and most central of the neighborhoods in Kalamazoo. It is south of downtown, east of Western Michigan University and west of Bronson Methodist Hospital. Vine neighborhood is known for many things; the college student population, the restaurants, the historic houses, as well as a vibrant community full of artists. In total, Vine is approximately 1 square mile in size. Vine Neighborhood has a population of approximately 5,572 (Esri Business Analyst, 2017) with a median age of 25 (Esri Business Analyst, 2017), and is one of the most dense neighborhoods in the City.
The Vine neighborhood is served by the Vine Neighborhood Association (VNA), led by Executive Director, Steve Walsh. According to the VNA website “The Vine Neighborhood Association is a resident-focused 501(c)3, and engages in advocacy work, helping to connect residents with the right resources, and facilitating groups of residents to achieve collective-impact goals.” To learn more about the VNA visit http://vineneighborhood.org/
Vine’s historic housing is one of its most defining features. Being one of Kalamazoo’s first neighborhoods, houses in Vine date back to as early as 1838, with most of the housing stock being from around 1890-1935. Approximately 1000 buildings in Vine are located within a historic district.
The businesses in Vine add to the eclectic nature of the neighborhood, with a large number of those businesses being small and locally owned. The businesses in Vine give residents access to many daily conveniences with local coffee shops, restaurants, hair salons, a laundromat, as well as opportunities for entertainment including a bike shop, record store, vintage clothing store, and bars, to name a few.
Vine is a vibrant community with artists talented in many medias. With its close proximity to Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College, Vine has historically had a large student population. The students add to the culture and youthful vibe of the neighborhood with infamous house music shows in basements. In recent years Vine has seen more young families moving into the neighborhood.
Vine Neighborhood is well covered by parks, with five parks located within its neighborhood boundaries. Most of the neighborhood is located within a five minute or less walk to a park. Parks in Vine include Dutton Park, South Westnedge Park, Davis Street Park, Axtell Creek Park, and Crosstown Parkway Ponds. Davis Street Park received improvements in 2017 and 2018. In 2017 new walkways, shelter, gaga pit, and landscaping were installed. In 2018 a 4,000-square-foot skate plaza was installed. The skate plaza was designed with neighborhood residents and a leading designer of skate plazas. Learn more about parks in Kalamazoo at https://kzooparks.org/
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