Economic Development and Real Estate

Battle Creek market ranks high for corporate site selection

March 18, 2015
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downtown Battle Creek
Battle Creek is one of the top markets of its size in the country for corporate site selection. Courtesy Battle Creek Unlimited

Battle Creek and Michigan are considered two of the top markets in the nation for corporate real estate projects.

Site Selection, a corporate real estate strategy and economic development magazine, published this month its 2014 “Governor’s Cup” rankings of corporate economic development or capital investment projects across the country.

Battle Creek ties for the No. 8 ranking in the U.S. for total projects for metropolitan markets with populations under 200,000. The market saw eight projects completed last year.

Michigan ranks No. 7 in the nation in the state category for total projects with 230 projects.


The magazine’s “Governor’s Cup” ranking recognizes the top-performing states, metropolitan areas and micropolitan markets for total projects and projects per capita completed on an annual basis.

Site Selection recently added the projects-per-capita ranking to allow states with smaller populations to compete with densely populated states.

The magazine’s annual ranking includes projects with one or more of several characteristics: a minimum capital commercial investment of $1 million; roughly 20,000 square feet or more of new construction; or the creation of at least 50 jobs.

Battle Creek market

For the third-consecutive year, the Battle Creek market is ranked among the top 10 metropolitan markets of its size for total corporate projects completed.

The market is tied with Gainesville, Ga. and Jackson, Tenn. for the eighth spot.

Jim Hettinger, executive director of Battle Creek Unlimited, said Battle Creek has always had a strong competitive position due to its ability to offer shovel-ready sites and the resources to make final adjustments to those locations.

“It’s the principle of infrastructure readiness,” Hettinger said. “This has always been a comparative advantage for Battle Creek.”

Hettinger added that the ranking is “further evidence when it comes to relationship building and prospect development in a hyper-competitive environment,” that his nonprofit development organization’s team “possesses deep expertise and skills, which they utilize very well.”

Battle Creek’s ranking is based on eight out of 10 economic development projects meeting the magazine’s ranking requirements.

The total investment for the 10 projects completed in the market last year reached more than $195 million and included investment from a variety of organizations: Advanced Special Tools, DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Endres-ReConserve of Michigan, Gallagher Uniform, Nexthermal, Post Foods, Shouldice Brothers Sheet Metal Works, TODA America, TRMI and WKW Roof Rail Systems.

State rankings

Site Selection ranks Kentucky as the top per-capita state in 2014 for completing 258 corporate projects, while Texas ranks first for total projects with 689.

Michigan’s seventh-place ranking for 230 completed projects in 2014 is down from its fifth-place ranking for 312 projects in 2013.

On a regional level, the state ranks fifth in the “east north central region” on a per-capita basis with 23.2 facilities in 2014, compared with its second-place ranking in 2013.

The state also maintains its third-place ranking in the region for total facilities last year.

For 2014, Ohio ranks first in the region for per-capita projects with 50.2 and also ranks first in the region for total projects with 582.

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