The DDA may, pursuant to PA 501, recommend issuance of new liquor licenses for businesses located within the Development District which meet the requirements of the law. After holding a public hearing, the DDA is permitted to make findings that issuing the license would prevent deterioration and promote economic growth. The policy of the DDA is to use the following criteria in making its findings:

  1. The business or individual requesting a license (“Applicant”), whether for a proposed or existing business, must document that the Applicant has a real property interest within the Development District as evidenced by deed, lease, purchase agreement or the like.
  2. The Applicant must meet all of the requirements of PA 501 which include that it is engaged in dining, entertainment or recreation, is open to the general public and has a seating capacity of not less than 50 persons.
  3. For an existing business, the Applicant must demonstrate how the issuance of a license would prevent further deterioration in the Development District and promote economic growth. The DDA will consider such factors as:

    1. The business, an existing asset in the downtown, will be supported by the license and maintain its occupancy of existing space.
    2. The business, with the new license, will contribute to the mix of dining/drinking, entertainment and recreational establishments already existing.
    3. The business demonstrates that neither an on-premise escrowed license or quota license is readily available under a standard of economic feasibility, as applied to the specific circumstances of the applicant, that can include, but not be limited to the following:
                                                               i.      The fair market value of the license, if determinable
                                                             ii.      The size and scope of the proposed operation
                                                            iii.      The existence of mandatory contractual restrictions or inclusions attached to the sale of the license
  1. For a proposed business, the Applicant must demonstrate how issuance of a license would prevent further deterioration in the Development District and promote economic growth. The DDA will consider factors such as:

    1. The proposed business as described in a business plan.
    2. The proposed business represents a desired land use as determined by the DDA
    3. The proposed business would promote economic growth by:
                                                               i.      Creating new employment opportunities 
                                                             ii.      Adding tax value through the purchase of new equipment
                                                            iii.      Generating significant tax value in new building improvements.
  1. The Applicant must:
    1. Demonstrate that the business will locate in, and remain in, the Development District.
    2. Acknowledge that the license is not transferable.
  2. The Applicant must meet all MLCC and Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety requirements and regulations regarding the issuance of liquor licenses under Section 17k(1) of the Liquor Control Act.
  3. Applicant shall be required to meet all City of Kalamazoo zoning and building codes for any related improvements to the property.
  4. Applicant shall pay a $20,000 license fee to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission
  5. The DDA may decline to recommend the issuance of a license if it determines, based upon factors such as the density of similar establishments, that the establishment may have a negative impact upon the public health, safety and welfare.
The DDA Boundary Map, Liquor License Application and Process Chart are available to view, print or download.
For more information, contact Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc. at 269.344.0795