A project to redevelop the former Shelborne Park Apartments on Battle Creek’s north side is underway and is expected to be completed this year to accommodate fall students at Kellogg Community College.
Annex Student Living, an Indianapolis-based developer, launched the project called Annex of Battle Creek this month at 109 Springview Drive, across North Avenue from the KCC campus. Margaret Osborn, who handles the company’s marketing efforts, said this week the company has about a $6 million budget with plans to prepare the 64-unit property for occupancy this fall.
The property, which has been vacant since early 2014, is marketed as student housing — similar to other Annex projects across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky — but Osborn said the facility will be opened to “anybody deemed appropriate to live there.”
Rob Martinson, the company’s vice president of development, told the Enquirer in November the company felt “there’s a need for a quality student housing project close to campus.”
“This particular community has been severely overlooked the past couple of years in the extreme disrepair it currently sits,” Martinson said last year. “We want projects to be a catalyst to further investment and developments, not only for the school, but the community in general. This project serves all those purposes.”
Annex Student Living already has begun the marketing process aimed at KCC students. The company has five floor plans listed for the redevelopment project with monthly rent tentatively priced from $460 to $770. There are floor plans available for one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at the complex.
KCC does not offer student housing or dormitories nor does it partner with any local housing complex, as the college is considered a commuter campus, college spokesman Eric Greene said in November. Greene said the reason for this is because “there’s not a huge number (of students) that are demanding housing from KCC.”
The college is not planning a formal partnership with the complex, he said.
However, KCC President Mark O’Connell will address the Annex project during his president’s report at Wednesday’s KCC board meeting.
“While we do not have a formal affiliation with the Annex, they have placed ads in our school paper and will host information tables on campus this spring,” according to O’Connell’s report in this week’s meeting agenda.
Osborn said the redevelopment will be an 100 percent renovation where “no surface will be left untouched.” This echoes Martinson’s comments from last year when he said the property is “a complete mess” with leftover clothes, mattresses, food and decaying drywall — as well as a number of squatters.
The Shelborne Park complex was built in 1966 and remodeled in 1997, according to city records. Its last known manager was KMG Prestige.
The complex’s former ownership group, Shelborne Park Limited Dividend Housing Association, said it had financial troubles and closed the property in March 2014, serving notices to vacate to all remaining residents. Before Annex acquired the property, much of it had fallen into disrepair with broken windows, damaged roofs and siding and overgrown trees and brush sagging onto several of its buildings.