Major Plans Revealed For Heritage Guitars and 225 Parsons Site
Two major (re)developments were announced Saturday for Heritage Guitars and its site, 225 Parsons St. that potentially would not only expand the guitar maker's role in the global music world, but locally, turn the historic factory into a destination for musicians, fans and tourists.At a "100 Years" celebration of the 225 Parsons site, which started out as the iconic Gibson Guitar factory, the owners of Heritage announced two partnership agreements: an agreement with Rolling Stone, LLC to develop the 225 Parsons site into a multi-purpose entertainment and museum complex, and a marketing partnership with BandLab Technologies, a Singapore-based company with global experience in
music retail and distribution.
Plaza Corp, the owners of Heritage, says the site redevelopment will hinge on local, state, and federal support. Plaza Corp President, Jeff Nicholson says, "The reality is that while our plans are reliant upon the support of local, state and federal incentives to help us guarantee the future of this iconic, historic site, we are optimistic that with this support, we will be able to deliver a world class facility, which will further cement Kalamazoo as a vibrant and progressive must-visit location”
Those plans include a live entertainment venue, maybe similar to The Intersection in downtown Grand Rapids; In the courtyard area, a cafe and restaurant. With the wealth of popular music history related to the site, much of that history will be put on display.
To re-emphasize it's most basic role, there will be a music instrument store, as well as space for musicians to try instruments or rehearse. This planned growth will mean Heritage Guitar will be relocating back into its historic position - in the basement of original three-story location within the building.