The City of Battle Creek could create its first new Neighborhood Enterprise Zone in over 20 years at their meeting next week.

According to the City Commission’s agenda for their Tuesday, July 17 meeting, one resolution would create a NEZ in the downtown if it’s approved. Neighborhood Enterprise Zones are chosen areas of a city that allow property owners inside of them to apply for NEZ Tax Abatements, with the goal of encouraging residential development.

The last time Battle Creek created one was the Park Hill Neighborhood in 1998.

This proposed NEZ would compose one block bordered by Michigan Ave, McCamly St, Jackson St, and Capital Ave. Businesses in this block include Mildred’s Apparel, Western Michigan University, and Capital Offices LTD; critically, this block also includes the Heritage Tower, which is planned to contain several residential units once its overhaul is finished.

A public hearing on the potential NEZ was held at the City Commission meeting on June 5, but according to the minutes no citizens chimed in.