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Local InterestBY JESSICA VANDERKOLKYou’ve heard it around the commu- nity lately, and we’ll say it again as we enter this fall holiday season: Battle Creek is open for business!This is true across the city, including our vibrant and evolving downtown. We welcome you, with a few adjustments for a great visit and experience.The rehabilitation of Heritage Tow- er, the 20-story historic building at 25 W. Michigan Ave., has closed the street for the winter season. This is temporary, for everyone’s safety, and will support efficient and effective work on the tower project.If you drive through downtown reg- ularly, you probably had to stop at least once for the giant equipment, making possible the current stage of construc- tion. This became necessary at times during the initial traffic shift in front of Heritage Tower. Completely closing the street takes away the confusion and frus- tration.Please also consider that West Mich- igan is a fairly narrow street. A safe and efficient work environment is critical, both for the construction crew, and our neighbors and visitors.We hope our neighbors will remem- ber and share that visiting our downtown businesses will remain easy during this time, and hope all will enjoy the down- town during this holiday season. Side- walks will remain open, and we even recommend you come down and observe the Heritage Tower work; it is pretty ex- citing! Watching the installation of the exterior elevator is incredible; the crew will use it to move construction materi- als to the upper floors.We’ve received questions about parking downtown and, with the closure, less than 20 on-street spaces are affected. Park in the Riverwalk and State Street lots to enjoy this area of downtown. The businesses around Her- itage Tower offer rear access from these parking areas.The new Heritage Tower will offer commercial space on the bottom two floors, and approximately 85 market-rate apartments – they are anticipated to rent for between $500 and $1,000 per month for the smallest unit, a more affordable price to live downtown.Battle Creek is open for business!We look forward to welcoming more neighbors downtown. More people liv- ing downtown means more of a presence at our downtown businesses outside of “regular business hours.” That presence will be attractive to other businesses look- ing to invest in Battle Creek, building on the increasing vibrancy in our city.We already are preparing to welcome New Holland Brewing to 64 West Mich- igan, the Record Box at 15 Carlyle, and Battle Rock Climbing Gym at 50 West Michigan, to name a few.Redeveloping urban property is challenging and complicated, and we are happy to continue the conversa- tion and answer questions about this often-lengthy process. It is not easy, but when done correctly, it is incred- ibly rewarding. We believe it is worth it, and are excited to watch the prog- ress on this significant Heritage Tower project. This rehabilitation should be a 100-year fix.While we watch, look for our on- going features of the great businesses already at home downtown, and many joining us there – 32 Social, Mike’s Team Active Bikes, Venus Pharmacy, Jack Pearl’s, KitchenProper, Schlot- zsky’s, Subway, Ermisch Travel, Lynn- Ivan Salon, Barista Blues, BC Cargo, and many more! Like and follow Down- town Battle Creek on Facebook for the fun and progress.Also with us downtown is our local office for the United Way of the Bat- tle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. The United Way team does great work in this community, to change the story for neighbors facing challenges to basic needs, income, education, and health. The city team is just completing a United Way campaign, and we choose also to contribute through this Giving Back ad and article.We believe in Battle Creek. We hope you do, too.BNWOTNWODPENATTLECREEKISthis Holiday Season!Stroll through – sidewalks are open. Park in the Riverwalk Centre and State Street parking lots. All stores are open and accessible during Heritage Tower construction.Reach our downtown team at or visit www.battlecreekmi.govA PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THIS AD WILL BE CONTRIBUTED TO UNITED WAY OF THE BATTLE CREEK AND KALAMAZOO REGIONCHARITABLE ISSUE I SCENE 4311 11

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