The COVID-19 Pandemic has slowed economic efforts everywhere, including downtown Battle Creek, but a new $250,000 grant from Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) will pave the way for another downtown restaurant.

Torti Taco will be moving into the old Operation Grad building at 56 East Michigan Avenue.   Elliot McKone LLC, owner of the building, will get the quarter of a million dollar grant through the downtown Real Estate Improvement Fund.   The plan is for Torti Taco to move into the ground floor, with outdoor patio dining space.

Tim Collins

The second floor will include residential units, thanks to help from the City of Battle Creek via Community Development Block Grant dollars. The fun was made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  The program helps developers overcome obstacles toward revitalizing vacant spaces in Battle Creek, by getting them up to code, fixing structural and mechanical problems and helping with other upgrades needed.

“Downtown Battle Creek’s resurgence continues with the revitalization of yet another facility,”  said Joe Sobieralski, president and CEO of BCU. “It’s encouraging to see an outside developer like  Elliot McKone recognize the potential in Battle Creek, and that they’ve partnered with a local  favorite in Torti Taco. Yet another Battle Creek staple will join the downtown momentum.”

“We’re excited to bring this long vacant building back into service,” said Tim VanderStel, member of Elliot McKone. “We’re glad to partner with Torti Taco – and are confident they’ll draw even more people to downtown Battle Creek.”

56 East Michigan Avenue Battle Creek-Google Street View

In addition to the grant to the developer, Torti Taco will receive $75,000 to add another location to their Battle Creek operation.

Torti Taco’s new downtown location will complement its existing operations on Beckley Road.  “We’re ready to bring something new and different to downtown,” said Javier Fortoso, owner and operator of Torti Taco. “We are grateful for the support from the City of Battle Creek, BCU and our customers in the community.”

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