BATTLE CREEK — A long vacant building in downtown Battle Creek will soon show new signs of life.
Anson Building LLC plans to invest $3 million to redevelop the former Anson Hotel at 121 W. Michigan Ave. into a fresh food market and deli, with eight apartments.
Sprout BC, a locally produced food delivery and pickup service located in Springfield, will operate the market and deli on the building’s first floor. The enterprise will not only give city residents another option for fresh produce and ready-to-eat foods, but also a stake in its ownership as a cooperative.
Four, two-bedroom apartments are planned for the building’s second floor, with three two-bedroom apartments and one one-bedroom apartment on the third floor, according to documents submitted by the developer.
The Battle Creek City Commission on May 16 unanimously approved a tax break for the proposed development, granting Anson Building LLC an obsolete property rehabilitation exemption certificate. This effectively freezes the building’s current taxable value for 12 years, allowing the developer to pay the same amount in property taxes while making improvements to the building.
“This fills another hole that we’re missing in the city and it makes it such an attractive place downtown,” Ward 3 City Commissioner Pat O’Donnell said of the project. “I really support bringing food down there so people can purchase what they need downtown.”
The building has been vacant since 1997 and has been slated for demolition three separate times as it “continues to deteriorate due to exposure to the elements,” according to documents submitted by the developer. The building requires extensive renovation and removal of potential hazards dangerous to the health and wellness of the public.
MORE: Sprout planning downtown Battle Creek cooperative fresh food market and deli
Construction is expected to begin Aug. 1, with a target date of completion between August and December of 2024.
Sprout’s move downtown is rooted in helping improve community access to fresh and healthy food. The walk-in market and deli, will offer fresh produce and have dine-in space for grab-and-go foods, comfort foods and plant-based meats, all sourced by local farmers and producers, along with local beers and locally produced wine.
“When you have a successful and prospering downtown, you have a successful and prospering community,” Sprout BC CEO Jeremy Andrews said. “I believe that and I want to put our efforts toward helping build and grow our downtown.”
Contact reporter Greyson Steele at [email protected]