Even though Horrocks is planning a move out of the downtown Battle Creek area, a new source of fresh produce could be moving in soon.

The project is a partnership between Sprout, Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU), and developers Cody and Caitlynn Newman, owners of the Record Box in Battle Creek.    The Newman’s company, Restore 269, plan to develop the old Anson Hotel at the corner of West Michigan Avenue and Carlyle Street, right next to the Record Box.  The plan is to bring a deli with fresh produce and a co-op market to the ground floor of the old hotel at 119 West Michigan.

119 West Michigan, 1940 Anson Hotel Willard Library Photo

BCU announced more than a year ago that it would spend $800,000 to repair the roof and façade of the building and the one next door.   Much is needed to be done inside.  The building has been empty for several years and a faulty drain pipe from the roof was dumping thousands of gallons of rainwater inside the building for some time, damaging the floors on every level.

City of Battle Creek Downtown Development Director John Hart was a guest on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins.   “Cody Newman as the architect and Jeremy Andrews of Sprout have been working on putting in a little greengrocer in the downtown.  It’s going to be about 4000 square feet of space.  And it’s going to be in the form of a cooperative so would be Sprout but will also be a little food Co-op arrangement inside of there as well so people can join up and take shares in that.   All of those details are still being worked out.  It certainly looks like it’s a go.”

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Hart says the grocery space will occupy the ground floor of the building.  “The building will be set up for incremental development so it won’t all be developed at one time.   The upstairs will be residential.”

Andrews said Sprout will be the majority shareholder in the market and deli, which would offer grocery pickup through an app, and have dine-in space for grab-and-go foods, comfort foods, and plant-based meats, all sourced by local farmers and producers. He would also like to offer local beers on tap and locally produced wine.

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