All News News Posted May 18, 2023 By Amy B.

Marshall groups join forces to preserve and repurpose properties near Ford’s future facility

Historic Bear Creek property is focus of preservation efforts while construction of site for future BlueOval Battery Park Michigan ramps up

MARSHALL, Mich. — The Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance (MAEDA) is working with local historic preservation organizations to develop a plan to preserve the property near Ford Motor Co.’s future electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility.

Groups are drafting a plan to preserve the nearly 23-acre Bear Creek property, which includes a historic barn, three houses and several other historic structures. MAEDA will initially fund the preservation effort with property maintenance funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

“The Bear Creek property has a rich history and we are working to preserve that history and bring it to life by developing the property into a heritage museum and nature center,” said James Durian, CEO of MAEDA. An initial proposal for the effort has been drafted by MAEDA and the group is partnering with other organizations to ensure it is a success.

The Marshall Historical Society, which works to preserve, promote, and protect Marshall’s heritage, is part of the group developing a preservation plan for Bear Creek.

“Historic preservation is the backbone of Marshall, and we are working with local partners to ensure Marshall’s heritage is properly shared and is easily accessible to the community,” said George Whelan, society president. “The Marshall Historical Society is excited to partner with MAEDA and others on this effort and to guide the project to be good stewards of this property.”

Also, this week, MAEDA took ownership of barns and farm structures on the site that will eventually be BlueOval Battery Park Michigan. MAEDA is committed to donating the barns to an organization that can repurpose or move the structures. The organization is setting up a process to accept bids for this repurposing and preservation work.

BlueOval Battery Park Michigan is a $3.5 billion facility that will create 2,500 jobs in Marshall when it opens in 2026 and will bring tens of thousands of jobs to the area much earlier as construction on the site begins.