Thursday, July 17, 2003
New Downtown Development Program to Plot a Course for the Future
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the city of Battle Creek hosted a celebration today acknowledging Battle Creek as one of the 11 communities chosen to participate in the Blueprints for Michigan’s Downtowns program. The new program makes funding available to communities to develop and launch a downtown economic development action plan to address development challenges and encourage further growth.
“Blueprints is a great tool to promote further downtown revitalization in Battle Creek,” said Sabrina Keeley, acting CEO of the MEDC. “The city will work directly with a world-class consulting firm to customize a downtown development plan that will set the stage for business growth and job creation in the community for years to come.”
The MEDC received applications from 22 Michigan communities for the Blueprints program. Battle Creek will work with the MEDC and the national downtown consulting firm, HyettPalma, to formulate a downtown economic development action agenda.Developing the agenda will entail conducting a detailed market analysis of Battle Creek’s downtown to determine its long-term economic assets and challenges.
The information gathered in the analysis will lead to the creation of a downtown action plan. HyettPalma will make an initial community visit in September.
The program was developed through a partnership made up of the MEDC, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Michigan Municipal League. The MEDC and the state housing development authority have committed a total of $200,000 to fund the statewide program. Battle Creek will utilize $32,500 of this funding and provide an additional 100 percent match.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.