Battle Creek Considers “OPRA” for McCamly Plaza Hotel
As Battle Creek works to get the McCamly Plaza hotel open again, City Commissioners are being asked to approve a tool that will encourage developers to rehabilitate the 40-year old property.
The Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) could give freeze the current taxable value for up to 12 years, and even reduce school taxes.
The hotel, located at 50 SW Capital Avenue and 35 W Jackson Street, has been empty since December 2nd, 2019 when the former owners shut the doors.
Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) took over the property last November and has undergone the process of liquidating the assets inside the 14-story hotel.
The first step is for the Battle Creek City Commission to approve the OPRA District. City Assessor Aron Powers said in materials prepared for commissioners that “establishing an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation District does not, itself, have any budgetary considerations. However, the purpose of establishing the district is to allow a property owner to request an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Tax Abatement so that the property owner can receive a property tax abatement for a period of years, which assists the property owner in offsetting the costs of rehabilitating an obsolete property.
If Commissioners approve the district at their meeting on Tuesday, they could then vote to set a public hearing for September 7th."
Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleury is recommending the creation of the OPRA District and holding the public hearing. “The City of Battle Creek is seeking to help rehabilitate the McCamly Plaza Hotel located at 50 SW Capital and 35 W Jackson,” wrote Fleury in her report to the commission.
“The current building suffers from functional obsolescence and is no longer able to achieve its highest and best use. The potential developer has expressed interest in using available economic development tools to assist their efforts. One of the economic tools available in the City of Battle Creek, due to its status as a "Core City", is the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Tax Abatement, where the property qualifies as obsolete property in an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation District.”
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