BATTLE CREEK, MICH. – In Fall 2022, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) recognized Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) with two awards for excellence for the McCamly Hotel renovation project. The IEDC recognizes outstanding and innovative development projects that significantly enhance revitalizations of communities, states, or regions. At the IEDC Annual Conference in Oklahoma City, BCU received the Gold award for Innovative Project Financing as well as the Silver award for Public-Private Partnerships.
Applicants were selected by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world. In 2022, the IEDC received over 500 submissions from four countries.
“These awards are a testament to Battle Creek’s ability to come together as a community and deliver on a transformative project that will reshape the greater downtown area,” said Joe Sobieralski, President & CEO of BCU. “We’re grateful for the recognition by IEDC, the national and international standard. These nods are a reminder that our community is turning a corner and on a path to resurgence.”
“Communities need our profession now more than ever,” said IEDC President and CEO Nathan Ohle. “This year’s awardees exemplify the ingenuity, leadership, and determination needed to meet the challenges of today and the future. The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and demonstrate the level of leadership that our profession strives for every day,” said Ohle.
When the project is complete, the hotel will reopen as a DoubleTree by Hilton. Renovations have been underway for more than a year and are expected to total more than $59 million. The renovated facility will include a reconfigured plaza and greenspace between the hotel and Kellogg Arena. More than 10 local and state partners have helped finance the project.
The new hotel will feature 239 guest rooms; a new restaurant, beer garden, and kitchen; and a new ballroom and conference facilities. During the first phase of renovations, the building got a new roof and energy-efficient windows; new mechanical systems were installed, including HVAC, boilers, and elevators; and the exterior brick was refreshed. Phase 2 includes rebuilding the atrium and the Kellogg Arena ticket office. It also includes all the interior work, including finishing the guest rooms, lobby, ballroom, meeting rooms and kitchen.
Sobieralski remarked, “We experienced some delays that have become typical with large construction projects over the last two years (costs, supply chain constraints, etc.) Phase 2 of the project has been awarded and will begin in February 2023. We now anticipate the hotel opening in mid-2024.”
When complete, the hotel is expected to have 165 full time employees. As a part of the project, BCU will work with local education partners to create a restaurant and hospitality career program. This program would be the first of its kind in the region and provide on-the-job training to enable students to build meaningful careers in the hospitality sector.
The hotel is adjacent to the Kellogg Arena, a 6,000-seat multi-use space. The renovated facility is expected to contribute significantly to the economic vitality of downtown and help make Battle Creek a destination for business events, conventions, and concerts.
To see a video of the plan for the hotel, visit https://streamable.com/ndijyi.
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 to 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.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions.
Joe Sobieralski, President & CEO
Battle Creek Unlimited