180Urban Development returns downtown properties after Battle Creek Unlimited files suit


Battle Creek Unlimited filed a suit against 180Urban Development on Nov. 19 for the return of three properties that were conditionally signed over to the company.

On Monday, Dec. 4, the situation was settled out of court when 180Urban signed the deeds back over to Battle Creek Unlimited.

The president of the development company, David Sciacca, and CEO Alexa Smolinski did not meet several deadlines set as part of the development agreement with the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority and Battle Creek Unlimited. The properties—15 Carlyle St., 64 W. Michigan Ave. and 119 W. Michigan Ave.—were to be returned to Battle Creek Unlimited by Nov. 16.

In October 2015, the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority set up a development agreement with the company. In February 2017, the agreement was passed to Battle Creek Unlimited. Four months later, some amendments were made to the agreement and Battle Creek Unlimited extended 180Urban’s deadline to September.

However, on Sept. 30, 180Urban failed to meet the requirements, which included closing on financing with Arbor Financial Credit Union. 180Urban was given 30 days from Oct. 3 to rectify the situation. The company did not manage to complete the requirements and then failed to return the properties to Battle Creek Unlimited in the 10 days it was given to do so.

Battle Creek Unlimited had been suing for the properties along with attorney fees.

“(Sciacca)’s been cooperative,” said Battle Creek Unlimited President and CEO Joe Sobieralski. “There may have been some miscommunication between BCU and 180Urban. We’re just thrilled we can move past this and get these buildings operable.”

Battle Creek Unlimited intends to solicit proposals for new options for the properties. Announcements and advertisements will likely go out in the latter half of December, with a two-three month period of time for any interested parties to submit a proposal, according to Sobieralski.

Battle Creek Unlimited will also likely organize an open house or tour of the properties at a later date.

“We’re not looking to make any money off these,” Sobieralski previously told the Enquirer. “We’re looking to get these into viable developers’ hands.”

The process will be carried out differently from how 180Urban was handled. A more concrete demonstration of capital will most likely be needed, and the deeds won’t be turned over until the capital stacks are set, Sobieralski said.

Sciacca is also handling a criminal charge of filing a false police report that claimed he had been shot in a confrontation with a stranger at the 15 Carlyle St. property.

Sciacca did not respond to attempts to contact him by press time.

Article Source: Natasha Blakely, Battle Creek Enquirer