The Battle Creek City Commission has approved some tax abatements for a project to restore the long-vacant Heritage Tower.

The Battle Creek Enquirer says that on Tuesday, a pair of tax exemptions were approved that will allow the developers to avoid a total of $7.9 million in taxes for both the commercial and residential portions of the 80-year-old building. The abatements come in the form a 15-year, $5.28 million Neighborhood enterprise Zone Tax Exemption and a 12-year, $2.6 million Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act Tax Exemption.

The City Commission approved the creation of a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone in downtown Battle Creek earlier this year, the first one created in 20 years. NEZs allow property owners to apply for tax breaks.

Currently, demolition is still taking place inside the Heritage Tower, in preparation for a planned opening of the first apartments in Spring 2019. The plan for the building is retail and restaurant space on the first two floors, with 85 apartments on the upper floors.

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