Battle Creek



Generating investment and job creation in our community. 

Our services are centered around our mission, by assisting new and growing companies or those looking to relocate to find resources they need to build their business. This includes not only site selection, but also redevelopment assistance, workforce research, access to financing and other incentives or resources to help them make the most of their investments in Battle Creek. For over 40 years, Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) has helped people and businesses find ways to create economic opportunity in Southwest Michigan.  BCU, a private, nonprofit corporation, serves as the business and economic development arm for the City of Battle Creek.

BCU was established in 1972 under contract with the City of Battle Creek to market and manage the conversion of the abandoned, former military property, which is now known as Fort Custer Industrial Park. The grounds were transformed from rolling, wooded tracts of abandoned military property with vacant, decaying structures into the now modern, thriving industrial park. This transformation was the nation's first and most successful base conversion project into Michigan's largest, cutting-edge, state certified industrial park - 3,000 acre Fort Custer Industrial Park

BCU positioned Battle Creek among the first communities to make a marketing strategy of workforce development and customized training. 

Thanks to the foresight and diligence of local, state, and national leaders assets were put in place to encourage success. This included:

  • 1976 - Customs Port of Battle Creek Designation
  • 1978 - Foreign-Trade Zone 43 grant of authority
  • 1980 - Public Act 450, positioning the Battle Creek Tax Increment Financing Authority as the first industrial TIFA in Michigan.

Through stunning early wins in manufacturing, BCU never abandoned its strategy of determined outreach, a collaborative approach, and proactively developing an asset base for economic growth and social resilience.

Learn more about the milestones and timelines for the many developments that have transformed Fort Custer Industrial Park over the last 40+ years. From Archway Cookies and Embossing Printers moves in 1972, to a ground breaking for Kellogg's $10 million R&D Facility in 1980 to new companies Janesville Acoustics, Cosma Castings Michigan and Germany-based Bleistahl North America opening in 2012-13 and many, many more transformative events. View BCU's Timeline & History.

View our annual report

Learn more about the History of Fort Custer

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