Last week, in our quest to discover if there are any escalators left in Battle Creek, we discovered an entirely different story.

In McCamly Place, which connects McCamly Plaza Hotel, Kellogg Arena, and Festival Market Square, we found the area in a poor state; un-mopped floors and un-vaccumed carpets, wooden pallets strewn about, empty vending machines, and empty storefronts. We were concerned about this, but decided to get in contact with those involved in Battle Creek's downtown development to learn more about the situation before we started discussing it.

Battle Creek's Assistant City Manager Ted Dearing and John Hart from the Cereal City Development Corporation appeared on the 95.3 WBCK Morning show with Tim Collins on February 1, to discuss downtown Battle Creek in general. In regards to the McCamly Plaza Hotel and McCamly Place, they say the current owners are still working on the deal to transfer ownership to Hilton, in a deal to turn the hotel into a Doubletree Hilton.

This delay in bringing Hilton to Battle Creek could be part of the reason things appeared less than perfect. However, great strides in the condition of McCamly Place are expected to come once a new tenant moves in.

Originally, a Biggby coffee franchise was planned to open in one of the storefronts facing Festival Market Square in Fall 2018, but as of now it isn't there. John Hart says, however, that "within a week" they are hopeful a deal will be signed to have Biggby occupy the storefront, and within 90 days of that signing the goal would be to have the store open.

Hart says that "we suspect come spring" that once Biggby opens the overall space will improve, and other tenants might be attracted to McCamly Place.

From the City's perspective, Assistant City Manager Ted Dearing says that "it has been a bit of a challenge to get from point A to point B" on the Hilton deal. He says that for his office, "we're just trying to do everything we can do to move the project forward".

The complete discussion regarding the downtown hotel and other downtown Battle Creek projects can be seen below.

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