BATTLE CREEK — Restore 269 LLC’s plans to redevelop a historic three-story building in downtown Battle Creek got a boost from the state last week.
The company, owned by Battle Creek residents Cody and Caitlynn Newman, aims to renovate a 19,000-square-foot building at 15 Carlyle Street for a brewery and taproom on the first floor, a technology office with a web design company and shared work space on the second floor, and an event space on the third floor.
Via the affiliated Record Box LLC, the project would breathe new life into a site originally built in 1902 that had been vacant since the early 2000s. It was formerly home to the Record Printing and Box Co., a maker of paper cartons and boxes for breakfast foods.
The Newmans are hoping the project and others that are in the works will help “change the narrative” of Battle Creek.
“There’s a lot of momentum around development happening,” Caitlynn Newman said. “There’s a couple other projects — the Heritage Towner project, New Holland (Brewing Co.) coming in. They’re pivotal projects, which I think will help aid in further development and growth for other businesses downtown and in Battle Creek.”
According to the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the developers estimate their $1.8 million total capital investment through the project will lead to the creation of 23 new jobs.
The Michigan Strategic Fund awarded Record Box a $415,000 performance-based grant via the Michigan Community Revitalization Program.
The funding helps close finance gaps in the project, Cody Newman said.
“This mixed-use project will bring life to a historic building, adding commercial, office and hospitality uses that will add activity and vibrancy to the downtown area,” according to a statement from the MEDC.
Other support for the project includes a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act abatement, which has an estimated value of $320,412. The project has also secured a $225,000 grant from the Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a $50,000 grant from economic development firm Battle Creek Unlimited and an additional $100,000 in low-interest loan financing from the Downtown Development Authority.
News of the incentives drew praise from state Sen. John Bizon, M.D., R-Battle Creek.
“It is important that we work to revitalize and preserve the heritage of our cities,” Bizon said in a statement. “This mixed-use project will bring life to a nearly 120-year-old building, adding commercial, office and hospitality uses that will add activity and vibrancy to the downtown area. The project will also increase the taxable value of the property that has been vacant since the early 2000s.”
BCU sold the property to Restore 269 for $1 in October 2018.
The deal came about after another developer abandoned plans to build 20 market-rate apartments at the location.
“Battle Creek is fortunate to have millennial visionaries like Cody and Caitlynn who are able to look into the future and see the potential in Battle Creek. The Newmans have the drive and desire to be a part of it,” BCU President & CEO Joe Sobieralski said a year ago in announcing the deal.
Restore 269 is aiming for a completion date of Sept. 1.
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