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Tower without power now has power again

Update 4:15pm

The power is back on at Battle Creek's Heritage Tower. 

Consumer Energy shut off electricity to the building due to a dispute with the 80 year old building's owner. 

The power outage affected wireless and 911 service in part of Battle Creek.   

The utility issued a statement after restoring power to the tower:

"Consumers Energy understands how important it is to the city of Battle Creek to have a fully functioning 911 system and cellular telephone service. Finding a solution to this issue was a priority for us, and we worked closely with the local officials and many others to find this temporary solution."

 

Original Post   4:48pm

A power outage this week could force the last tenants out of Battle Creek’s Heritage Tower. The owner apparently failed to pay the building’s utility bill.  

The 80 -year-old Heritage Tower is acknowledged as an Art Deco gem. But in recent years, various problems have left the 19-story building largely vacant.

Cheryl Beard is with Battle Creek Unlimited. She says the economic development group is willing to work with the owner to help bring the city’s iconic downtown tower back to life.

“If the owner is interested in selling…maybe we look for parties that are interested in acquiring it. If that’s what they desire,” says Beard, “Or with coming up with a plan for redevelopment and searching for tenants.”

Efforts to contact the Florida business that owns the Heritage Tower have been unsuccessful.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.