Downtown Battle Creek, before the construction began earlier this year.
The downtown of Battle Creek has been undergoing a major construction project for several months now. When the project started, there were additional surprises in the sewer lines as they dug up the street. The project costs were thus increased, and this also added time. The project involves a transformation of the street scape as well, and it will be quite appealing when it is done.
For more information about the designs of the project go to the Battle Creek Unlimited website to view the designs, plans, etc. The project is referred to as the ‘Downtown Transformation’. A lot of the funds used for this project are federal funds, and the total cost of the project is $85 Million. The entire transformation is expected to take three years.
Will the new transformation help to draw in new businesses to create a downtown atmosphere required to sustain the area? I have seen some other cities make a similar investment, and some have been successful with it, and others have not.
Allegan is beautiful, but often devoid of people despite the streetscapes.
Downtown Allegan is a city that made such an investment, and although the downtown is quite beautiful with boardwalks, shops and streetscapes, the times I have visited have shown the area to be devoid of people.
More tourist centered locations in other States have been successful with such a development. One that comes to mind is Sarasota Florida. Below is a photo of their downtown, and it is a lively and active area, even in the middle of the week.
Parking issues are resolved with meters that one can swipe a credit card with, and the area constantly turns over with cars and people throughout the day.
One can find gift shops, coffee shops, restaurants, cigar shops, and all manner of stores throughout the downtown to capture the interest of visitors thoughout their stay in the area.
It further contributes to a successful hotel business in the area as well. Will Battle Creek be able to navigate the necessary barriers to create such an environment? Will our city see a sustainable return on investment once this project is finished?
Sarasota Florida has developed a sustainable downtown.