Western Michigan University has dropped a controversial plan to buy houses near its East Campus. University officials said Wednesday that they won’t go ahead with the proposal to buy ten properties on Bellevue and Oakland Drive in Kalamazoo for $370,000.
Western’s plan to tear the homes down to create “green space” drew strong criticism by historic preservation advocates. Although they aren’t considered “historic” themselves, the houses are in an historic district.
Western officials said that state law makes the university exempt from local restrictions allowed in historic districts. But they say they’re dropping the plan in order to avoid creating an “adversarial issue” with the city.