Heritage Tower plans move forward in Battle Creek

Heritage Tower has been called one of the most important examples of Art Deco architecture in the Midwest.

It was built in 1930-31 to house the Old Merchants National Bank and Trust Company, then the largest financial institution between Detroit and Chicago, reports Heritage Battle Creek. When it opened for business in May 1931, the Old Merchants National Bank and Trust Company was 70 percent occupied.  The basement level housed the mechanical plant and parking garage.  Retail stores were located on the ground floor in an arcade which ran through from Michigan Avenue to Jackson Street.

Reportedly, plans are moving again to restore the building that stands vacant.

"We are looking forward to continuing the revitalization of downtown Battle Creek by bringing the Heritage Tower project to a reality," says Derek Coppess, founder of 616 Development. "This iconic building is the kind of project where our company can display our creativity and passion in working with aged structures."

Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) and 616 Development announced Feb. 16  that final plans are nearing completion and expected to be revealed in the next 30 to 60 days for the proposed renovation of the 19-story Heritage Tower building at 25 W. Michigan in downtown Battle Creek.

When 616 Development originally announced in 2013 that it had taken on the project of renovating the Heritage Tower it proposed returning 150,000 square feet of space to use in the building, featuring  43 hotel rooms, 62 apartments, and 55 underground parking spaces. The project was then anticipated to be completed by Spring 2015.

Now, the plan calls for 90 hotel rooms and 58 market-rate apartments along with retail and office space.

The most recent announcement comes after BCU and 616 emerged from a meeting with some plan modifications following a recent planning session, says Jim Hettinger, interim CEO of BCU.

"We are excited that we have taken another major step toward making the long-awaited project a reality," Hettinger says. "The revised plan will really help fulfill a number of development needs and bring a renewed vitality to downtown Battle Creek."

Source: Battle Creek Unlimited
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