BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A field behind Walmart and Consumers Energy on 6 Mile Road in Emmett Township was empty on Feb. 22, 2019. but the plan existed to turn the land into more than 300 apartments.
Emmett Township Supervisor Tim Hill said plans have been approved for a development similar to the Pine Knoll apartments in Battle Creek. All that was left to figure out was where to place a water and sewer connection for developer Richland Residential to move forward.
"Emmett is kind of transforming itself from more of an agricultural community to rural, and having these apartment complexes, any kind of development, quite frankly, is a big plus," Hill said.
He said the township has been strained by businesses leaving the area, and the development helps. He hoped the company could break ground in early spring. He said rent may be comparable to the Pine Knoll complex, which he said averages around $600.
Some argue the need for cheaper living options is greater.
"I don't think luxury apartments, no, because there are some people who are without jobs, or low income, and would probably want more of like an affordable, you know, apartment," said Battle Creek resident Jessica Conine.
Mike Larson enjoyed his quiet neighborhood a few miles up 6 Mile Road from where the complex would be built, but said the pros of a new complex outweigh the cons.
"Any opportunity that we can bring in good development and housing, that's gonna bring people into our community, let's take advantage of it," Larson said.
That was the goal according to Hill, to bring in more development, raise property value, and help people moving in looking for jobs.
Hill said he hopes this project also dovetails into a partnership with Battle Creek to open up a second entry into the Harper Village area for shopping.
The plan was to extend Glenn Cross Road across 66 to 6 Mile Road, and eventually to 6 1/2 Mile Road.