New owner will rehabilitate historic Battle Creek house into office
MARSHALL, Mich. – The Calhoun County Land Bank Authority today announced Executive Growth Properties LLC purchased 373 Riverside Drive in Battle Creek. The house was built in 1852 by Warren B. Shepard, who is remembered for being Battle Creek’s first schoolteacher.
The structure will be rehabilitated through the Land Bank’s Transform This Commercial Property program. Work will begin this summer and take approximately two-and-a-half years to complete.
“I have worked diligently over the last two years to find ways to return this property to the tax rolls,” said Calhoun County Treasurer Brian Wensauer. “Hans Stark and his team at Executive Growth Properties have significant experience with preservation and a solid plan to save this historic structure.”
The property was listed for sale in March. Hans Stark was one of two buyers to submit plans to rehabilitate the property. Stark worked on the eight-year historic preservation and restoration of 651 Capital Ave NE, as well as several other rehabilitation projects.
“I’ve driven by this 18th century home hundreds of times and for years have been impressed by its history and charm,” Stark said. “My goal is to return this property back to its true roots and preserve an important piece of Battle Creek’s history.”
Stark plans to turn 373 Riverside Drive into commercial office space with seating and a kitchenette on the first floor and a loft office on the second floor.
“At the Land Bank, we strive to find new and creative ways to salvage historic structures, and this project is a great example of the Land Bank and Treasurer working together to help reclaim this gem for the Battle Creek community,” said Krista Trout-Edwards, executive director of the Calhoun County Land Bank. “After much due diligence and planning around this property, we’re eager to see 373 Riverside Drive take shape over the next several years under Mr. Stark’s direction.”
The rehabilitation project will be completed in three phases. The first phase will wrap up in November of 2019 and will include replacing the roof and windows and removing the chimneys. Phase two will extend into the summer of 2020 and include interior and exterior work such as new electric, plumbing and the addition of front and back porches. The final phase will wrap up in the summer of 2021.
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The Calhoun County Land Bank Authority is a separate legal authority that collaborates closely with the Calhoun County Treasurer and local municipalities to eliminate blight improve downtowns and promote local economic development.