Battle Creek Unlimited, a nonprofit that serves as the economic development arm for the City of Battle Creek, Michigan, has announced a two-year, $2 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to establish and administer a fund focused on real estate improvements in the city.
Building on a WKKF-funded $500,000 pilot campaign and in partnership with other local stakeholders, including the Battle Creek Community Foundation, the Downtown Battle Creek Real Estate Improvement Fund will support projects designed to address blight and revitalize vacant spaces, address structural and mechanical issues, and support historic preservation in the city. To that end, the fund will award grants of up to $250,000, with grant amounts capped at 40 percent of a project's total cost.
"Businesses want to join the transformative momentum in downtown Battle Creek, but we consistently hear that many have issues finding the right space," said BCU president and CEO Joe Sobieralski. "Many of the vacant facilities downtown need to be brought up to code and dramatically improved so that business owners can move in. This real estate improvement fund helps bridge that gap in a meaningful way."