BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - Three downtown Battle Creek buildings have new owners and are getting ready to be redeveloped.
The Calhoun County Land Bank sold 15 Carlyle, 64 W. Michigan and 119 W. Michigan to local developers David Sciacca and Alexa Smolinski of 180Urban. The three properties will be back on the tax rolls in 2017.
"We’re really excited to have the opportunity to be a partner in revitalizing these buildings downtown that have so much potential but have been empty for so long," said Land Bank Chairperson Christine Schauer.
Schauer said they worked with the City of Battle Creek to choose developers who share the same vision as theirs to breathing new life into the downtown area. 180Urban fit perfectly.
"We’re just really happy that the Land Bank has this kind of tool in it's toolbox to help with addressing these vacant buildings and being a partner in economic development in downtowns," Schauer said.
The City of Battle Creek managed grants to repair the roofs, clean out the three buildings and weatherproof them late last year. Schauer said Battle Creek is like most post-industrial towns. Once the businesses left in the 1970s and '80s, so did the jobs. County officials are looking to change that.
"This project is going to bring millions of dollars into downtown Battle Creek, creating jobs, businesses opening, and part of our agreement is that local labor will be used for the renovations and the construction down there," said Schauer. "We’re really excited about that kind of activity downtown Battle Creek."