Horrocks To Move From Downtown Battle Creek
Horrocks Farm Market is probably moving out of downtown Battle Creek. City Development Director John Hart confirmed that he was notified of the move in a phone call from owner Kirk Horrocks this week.
“We’re excited that Horrocks will stay in Battle Creek and bring some life back to Lakeview Square Mall,” said Hart. “But we’re also disappointed to lose such a great store from our downtown area.”
An email from Assistant City Manager Ted Dearing was sent to the Battle Creek City Commission on Monday.
“Representatives from Horrocks reached out to John Hart today to notify him that they have closed on a purchase of the former JC Penney site at the Mall. They have ultimately decided that the mall is the direction they want to go with their business. They have not made any decision yet about the future of their property on Capital S.W. We certainly expect that store to close however, they did express a willingness to consider a location at the Milton. They are willing to keep the lines of communication open and we are grateful that they will remain in Battle Creek. This should also be a nice boost to the mall. We will keep you posted on any new information we receive. Thank you.”
The idea of Horrocks moving to the mall has been talked about for more than two years, ever since Sears closed their Lakeview Square location. Hart said he and other officials have been working with the Horrock family to try to keep them downtown, showing them the progress as improvements continue to be made to the area around the current store and downtown. He said they’ve had discussions to open a satellite grocery somewhere downtown.
Hart said the three former anchor stores, Sears, Macy’s, and Penney’s are independently owned and not owned by Lakeview Square Mall. Horrock’s is buying the J.C. Penney location outright.
Hart says there’s no timeline on when the move might happen, as there are many things to be done in the way of site planning approval. “They’ll be opening a store that’s very different from anything the mall has had so far.” Mayor Mark Behnke confirmed the news and said that even though there’s no date for the move, he thought it could happen this summer.
Established in 1959, Horrocks is a family-owned specialty grocery and produce store. They started with a store in Lansing and opened the Battle Creek store in 1992, ironically after Sears moved to the Lakeview Square Mall. The late Jack Reynolds who sold appliances for Sears at both stores said sales increased 10-fold when they moved to the Mall in 1983.