Battle Creek Unlimited Moves into New Offices
Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) inaugurated its new offices with an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. BCU renovated a 5,400 square feet cross-dock space in the Frederick R. Brydges Customs Cargo Center, which was adjacent to BCU’s old office.
The Customs Cargo Center has been BCU’s home since it was built in 1978. The building was constructed at a cost of $2.4 million, financed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the City of Battle Creek’s Economic Development Commission. The facility provided rail and truck loading/unloading facilities, offices for U.S. Customs Border Protection personnel, a customs brokerage firm as well as office suites for startup companies. In 1986, the warehouse was expanded with a 50,000 square foot addition, with a portion of the space designated as Foreign-Trade Zone #43. Work on the recent renovations started in April 2018 and was completed in early October at a cost of $1.8 million.
The new space features 14 staff offices; a large boardroom with a high-tech audio/visual system; a project room; new restrooms with shower facilities; and a large kitchen/break room. BCU also installed two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, each with two charging ports, which are part of the ChargePoint network. The interior includes a timeline of BCU’s milestones, starting with the construction of the Fort Custer Industrial Park in the early 1970s. In addition, the Customs Cargo Center building was given a facelift. This included a fresh coat of paint; new windows and doors; a new building access control system; and resurfaced parking lots. Schweitzer Construction of Battle Creek served as the construction manager for the project.
The open house was attended by more than 200 business leaders and government officials. BCU staff provided tours of the new space and were excited to show off their home. Catering for the event was provided by Kitchen Proper, with desserts from Continental Bakery. Beverages for the event were from Territorial Brewing Company and New Holland Brewing Company.
In his remarks, BCU President & CEO Joe Sobieralski thanked past and present members of the BCU Board of Directors as well as the Battle Creek Tax Increment Finance Board of Directors for their support for the project. He said that the new office will be a powerful tool as BCU works to create jobs and attract companies to Battle Creek.
Battle Creek Mayor Mark Behnke congratulated BCU on its new home and remarked that it was a fitting space for BCU’s dynamic, young team. Consul Yuki Ebihara, representing the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit, offered congratulations on behalf of the Government of Japan. He noted that Battle Creek is home to 18 Japanese companies, one of largest clusters of Japanese companies in Michigan and that this new facility could help bring more Japanese companies to Battle Creek. BCU Board Chair John Gallagher expressed his excitement at the latest addition to the Fort Custer Industrial Park and said that he expects big things to come as a result. The remarks concluded with the reading of a letter from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder offering his congratulations and thanking BCU for its dedicated service and positive impact on the state’s economy.
ABOUT BATTLE CREEK UNLIMITED
Established in 1972, Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) is a private, non-profit corporation which serves as the economic development arm for the City of Battle Creek and manages the Fort Custer Industrial Park. The Fort Custer Industrial Park is home over 80 businesses, including 25 international companies, and employs over 13,000 people. BCU’s mission is to build a strong community by driving strategic investment and job creation.