McCamly Plaza Hotel has new owners and will soon have a new look and name.
Following months of litigation, Battle Creek Unlimited gained ownership of the 239-room hotel on Nov. 3. On Monday, the city’s economic development organization announced plans for a complete renovation and rebranding of the property via 50 Capital Ave. Development Corporation, with intentions to open in early 2022.
“When you talk about a hotel that is that large, having a flag hotel driving business travel and disposable income is only going to bolster all of our other economic development downtown with brew pubs and restaurants and things like that,” said BCU President and CEO Joe Sobieralski.
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In a lawsuit filed with the Calhoun County Circuit Court in January, BCU said the hotel’s former owner Neil Freeman and a number of LLCs had failed to meet deadlines for rebranding into a Hilton Double Tree. BCU had lent $3.5 million out of the Direct Investment Fund to the owners of McCamly Plaza Hotel to make necessary upgrades for the rebrand by 2018.
Terms of the settlement agreement and purchase were not disclosed.
The property opened in 1981 as the Stouffer Battle Creek Hotel. The 15-story building is adjacent to the Kellogg Arena, a 6,500-seat concert and event venue.
The hotel has not been open since November 2019 after the city announced its owners were shutting it down for six months to make the renovations, laying off about 65 employees.
BCU said improvements will include new mechanical equipment, a façade makeover, guest room renovations and upgrades to the event space. It plans to bring two new internationally recognized hotel brands to Battle Creek and will contract with a hospitality management group to oversee day-to-day operations.
“We are eager to return this iconic property back to its glory with a complete refresh. Having a modern, well-run and updated hotel in the heart of downtown is essential to the economic prosperity and continued revitalization of downtown Battle Creek,” Sobieralski said. “This will not be a quick reprogram. We have several months of planning, design and financing ahead of us. Our goal is to have the property renovated, rebranded and opened in early 2022.”
Suburban Inns, a Hudsonville-based hospitality management company, has been retained by BCU to assist with rebranding and renovations. Suburban Inns designs, builds, owns and operates eight hotels in Grand Rapids, Holland and Midland.