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Plans for apartments, shops taking shape at Battle Creek Heritage Tower
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Plans are in the works to renovate a West Michigan landmark.
The Heritage Tower in downtown Battle Creek was once considered for demolition.
Now it's the center of a $23 million project that will give the area a big economic boost.
Mike Wood, the owner of Team Active on Michigan Avenue has seen the downtown district go through several transformations.
This time, the new streetscape and the new business coming in, it's probably the most exciting in the last 20 years, Wood said.
A big push behind that excitement is the Heritage Tower, which is being reborn as the 269 Lofts at the Heritage Tower.
Tuesday night the project being planned by 616 Development of Grand Rapids took a big step forward.
The city commission approved the first round of tax refunds for clearing out the skyscraper.
Things like asbestos removal, interior demolition within the building, said Karl Dehn, the President of Battle Creek Unlimited.
The 19 story art deco building, which was built in the 1930s, is being converted in to a modern mixed use space.
It will include up to 65 market-rate apartment units, 30-35 boutique hotel units and 2 floors of office and retail space. It will also include a restaurant, Dehn said.
Battle Creek Unlimited says the new apartments will double the amount of residential space downtown, which is currently in hot demand.
Wood is hoping his future neighbors across the street will be in his store looking to bike around town.
More people, more life. You don't want a big abandoned building, especially when it's the prominent skyline, Wood said.
The 269 development is set to bring up to 200 new jobs downtown.
The next step is getting state approval.
This project we expect will be a catalyst to spur additional investment in downtown. It's big, Dehn said.
Dehn said construction could begin this November or December.
The tower is expected to be move-in ready in 2015.