Restore (269) Receives $1.5 Million Grant from MEDC for Anson Hotel Project
Development will bring housing, food co-op to downtown Battle Creek
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in announcing Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a wide range of projects, including two new manufacturing facilities by innovative glass products manufacturer LuxWall, two new facilities by electric truck manufacturer Bollinger Motors, expansions by Michigan companies Magna and Vantage Plastics, a new spec building in Romulus, placemaking projects in Battle Creek and Pontiac, and other actions that will further strengthen Michigan’s economy and startup ecosystem. The projects approved today represent a total capital investment of nearly $452 million across Michigan.
“We are strengthening Michigan’s economy by bringing good jobs to Michigan residents, expanding on our leadership in mobility and next generation manufacturing, building on our inventory of investment-ready facilities, supporting sustainability efforts, creating vibrant communities, and investing in initiatives that will ensure long-term economic opportunity for businesses in the state,” said Governor Whitmer. “Let’s keep competing to win projects that bring good-paying, high-skill jobs home so everyone, in any community, can ‘make it’ in Michigan. Together, we will continue sending a clear message that Michigan is open for business and building on our momentum.”
Anson Building, LLC plans to redevelop the historic, former Anson Hotel located at 119 West Michigan Avenue into a mixed-use development in downtown Battle Creek. When completed, the project will include eight housing units and 4,500 square feet of commercial space. The commercial space is anticipated to be the home of Sprout BC Co-Op Market, which will help bring fresh food access to downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.
The building has been vacant since 1997 and has been slated for demolition three separate times due to exposure to the elements. To stabilize the property and attract a new private development partner, Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) purchased the building and installed a new roof in 2020. The development team will leverage BCU’s investment to complete the restoration and activation of the building.
“The redevelopment and restoration of this historic property in our hometown, Battle Creek, will add downtown vibrancy and address two voids in our community,” said Restore (269) Developer Caitlynn Newman. “The market on the first floor will provide fresh food and goods to the community, and the 8 uniquely designed apartments will add more housing options to the downtown neighborhood. We greatly appreciate the MEDC’s support for this development as the project would not be possible without it.”
In addition to historically preserving a highly visible building located on the west end of downtown Battle Creek, the project will also add needed housing and food access to the community. In addition, it will increase density and walkability and will serve as a catalyst for additional development in the area.
The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $3 million and create 10 full-time equivalent jobs, supported by a $1.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant.
“We are thrilled to see the Anson Building put back into productive use after many years of being vacant and are very excited for what this project means for the continued momentum building in Downtown Battle Creek,” said Battle Creek Unlimited President & CEO Joe Sobieralski. “We are grateful to the MEDC for their support in making this project happen and to the Developers, Restore269 and tenants, Sprout for their combined vision of bringing additional housing and foods option to Downtown Battle Creek.”
The city of Battle Creek has approved a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act tax abatement valued at $530,000 in support of the project. Additionally, Battle Creek Unlimited is selling the property to the development team for $1.00 and has previously invested in the property to make redevelopment possible. The city of Battle Creek is certified with MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program.
“The city of Battle Creek is thrilled to see the planned renovation and restoration of the former Anson Hotel,” said Battle Creek Assistant City Manager Ted Dearing. “Many local residents have a personal connection to the building and its former owners, so it means quite a bit to the community to see it come back to life. We are grateful for the support from the MEDC for this project and for the investments from our local economic development partner, Battle Creek Unlimited and the developer. This project will preserve a historic structure and help catalyze redevelopment in our downtown.”
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Concept design for the redeveloped Anson Hotel building on Michigan Avenue.