A new community initiative is currently in the works by the FireKeepers Casino Hotel which will be an area located in a former fire station that will offer restaurant dining, as well as a food pantry and greenhouse to be used for the local school districts. The casino announced the idea back in May and have been steadily working towards an opening date which has now been announced for this October.
On the 7th of October the former Battle Creek Fire Station #4 will be opened as the Fire Hub and include a full scale retail restaurant as well as a bakery. The local school districts will benefit form a food pantry as well as greenhouses as the casino plans on providing produce for school meals.
Food and Beverage Vice President for FireKeepers, Michael McFarlen, stated that the property has been under construction since May and challenges have arose in regards to the project. According to the Detroit Free Press, McFarlen stated that the interior of the building needed remediation for asbestos as well as lead paint. The soil around the property was also tested for heavy metals as the building is located in an area that was used for industrial means.
Additional issues FireKeepers came across while working on the space including cleaning up properties nearby as well as cleaning. A unique feature to the property is also taking some time. FireKeepers ordered a pizza oven to be custom made from Italy which has yet to arrive.
Originally set to be known as the Hub, the Fire Hub is expected to offer several opportunities for the community. The food pantry of the facility will work alongside the Food Bank of South Central Michigan as well as Patty Parker with the greenhouses providing a free salad bar for the Battle Creek schools. 80% of the profits from the restaurant will go towards a fund which will be used to help local charity organizations. The remaining revenues will be used to invest into the property.
The Fire Hub plans on opening by the early October date so they can host a themed event for the Halloween holiday. The event will be centered on the community as well as nutrition.