Place Development – Battle Creek

Birds-eye photo of downtown Battle Creek and subject site

Battle Creek’s development site, outlined in orange, supports downtown’s growth and access to the Battle Creek River.

A parking lot in the center of downtown Battle Creek is poised to make a major comeback. This parcel, known as the McCamly and Van Buren Lot, is owned by the City of Battle Creek. It has recently undergone an ambitious and exciting re-conceptualization process. The city’s fresh vision includes introducing the first newly-constructed apartment development downtown in decades, along with a mixed-use component that would anchor the corner of McCamly Street and Van Buren Street.

This 2.25-acre site is situated across from Battle Creek Central High School and linked diagonally with the Art Deco-style W.K. Kellogg Auditorium. The Clara’s Restaurant, located in a historic train station, sits across McCamly from the site. It is just across the McCamly Street bridge, one block from the main intersection of downtown Battle Creek, earning it a Walk Score of 73.  The site is directly bordered by and has exceptional views of the Battle Creek River. This location also provides direct connection to the 26-mile Linear Park Trail.

With capacity assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the City of Battle Creek consulted with the Michigan Municipal League, several local economic and community development stakeholders, and planning consultants from Mission North to vision what’s next for the site. What resulted is a clear vision of mixed-use commercial and residential, articulated by an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) package including market analysis, potential site plan, possible site appearance precedence, and estimated pro forma.

The City sees this site as a critical infill investment to help further the buildout of the downtown and serve as a sleek counterpoint to the recent rehabilitation of The Milton, a high-end apartment community which occupies the historic Old Merchants National Bank Tower. It could introduce approximately 93 new rental units and 21 residential condominium units to downtown employees, college students and retirees who want to take advantage of downtown Battle Creek’s resurgent lifestyle. The site vision proposes centering the apartments around a pedestrian plaza that leverages the site’s location on the Battle Creek River and the Linear Park Trail, and thoughtfully tucking parking underneath the development with at least 80 spaces dedicated for public parking.

The property is valued at $506,500 but is being offered at $450,000.  An array of incentives can be brought in to assist the developer with turning this vision into reality.