Center of it All!

An Innovative Transit Oriented Developmet.


A $100 Million Investment Connecting Housing, Transit, and the Community Creating a New BATA Operations Center & TC Housing Commission Workforce Housing Partnership Project Located in Garfield Township, Michigan


To meet the growing demands of public transit in our region, BATA secured land to create a new headquarters facility on Lafranier Road in Garfield Township in August of 2022.  The new facility will serve as BATA’s operations and administrative headquarters and better serve the public transportation needs of both Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties.


Download the Project Brochure


Transit Oriented Development:

BATA and the Traverse City Housing Commission are working to create the first, and one of the largest, rural transit-oriented development projects in the Midwest, establishing a national model for other communities to follow. This initiative is unique and will help address two of the top challenges facing this community: access to transportation and workforce housing. Up to 20% of a low-income family’s annual household budgets goes toward transportation according to ALICE statistics.


Project Description:

New BATA operations center and workforce housing project (The Flats at Carriage Commons and Habitat for Humanity).

  • BATA: Administration, operations, maintenance/service and bus garage facility that will be approximately 80,000 sf in size, employ up to 130 people and park up to 100 vehicles indoors with room for future expansion.
  • Flats at Carriage Commons: Five (5) multifamily buildings with more than 200 units. Rents are expected to fall between $680 and $820 per month (including all utilities).
  • Habitat for Humanity: Fifteen (15) single family homes.
  • Childcare: Stand-alone childcare facility.
  • Conservation: Permanent preservation of 20 acres of wooded wetland protecting the headwaters of Mitchell Creek.



More than 50 acre parcel located at the northeast corner of LaFranier and Hammond Roads in Garfield Township centrally located for both transit and housing needs. The location of this project uniquely supports the LaFranier Corridor linking housing, transportation, health care, assisted living, higher education and other public and community services located nearby, while preserving more than 20 acres of forested wetlands.



  • Summer 2022: Land purchase finalized
  • Fall/Winter 2022/2023: October project kick off and continue to secure additional funding
  • Spring 2023: Sitework begins - ground breaking ceremony held in May
  • 2024: Phase One completed
  • 2026: Project completed


Economic Impact:

  • More than $90 million of long-term infrastructure economic impact will be integrated into the community.
  • Fifty new full-time positions will be created as a result of the project in the sectors of public transit, childcare, retail, and housing.
  • The project will employ more than 75 primary construction workers throughout the construction phases and generate more than $15 million in short-term local spending.
  • Located in Garfield Township, our region’s economic center, this project will serve as the area’s ONLY Qualified Census Tract (QCT) and is located in the middle of the county’s only Opportunity Zone (OZ 5513).
  • Providing direct and frequent access to public transportation to the low-income demographic of the area will have a direct economic benefit as well as the incentive for further development throughout the opportunity zone.



  • This project is leveraging significant funding resources from the Federal Government, State of Michigan and local sources with nearly one-third of the initial resources secured.
  • Transit: Funding from Federal and State Departments of Transportation and supplemented with authority capital funds.
    • Federal Funding from the Federal Transit Administration: $13,000,000
    • State Funding from MDOT: $10,000,000
    • BATA Board Allocated Capital: $5,412,000
    • Sale of Cass Road Facility: $2,000,000
  • Housing: This project will leverage funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Low-Income Housing Tax-Credit with other program funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. In June 2022, the State of Michigan passed a budget bill that included a grant of $6,000,000 toward the first phase of the housing portion of the project.


Project Goals:

  • Address critical regional workforce housing needs.
  • Connecting people to more readily available transportation options.
  • Improve health outcomes for the households served.
  • Relieve traffic congestion in job centers like downtown Traverse City and the South Airport Road corridor.
  • Reduce workforce transportation and housing costs.


Project Costs:

  • More than $90 million combined
  • Transit Phase: $30.4 million
  • Residential Phase: $65 million


Project Benefits:

  • Green: Wetland areas throughout the parcels will be conserved through easements granted to the Grand Traverse Community Land Conservancy creating a walkable nature preserve for bird watching. Increased transit use and a more efficient parking layout means less asphalt and more green spaces reducing the number of required parking spaces from 1.5 to 1.1 spots per unit. BATA’s facility will be a green-ready facility built to accommodate the electrification of its transit fleet.
  • Sidewalks & Multiuse Paths: Accessible sidewalks and multiuse paths will border the project site to improve overall walkability and multimodal connectivity.
  • Café: Space available for a local coffee café or sandwich shop, offering beverages and light grab-and-go food fare.
  • Bus Transfer Area: Provides connectivity for various BATA routes offering direct connections from high-density developments on LaFranier Road to downtown Traverse City and other places of employment in Garfield Township and beyond. Linking housing and public transit so people can get anywhere in Grand Traverse or Leelanau Counties linking jobs, retail, education and health and wellness necessities.
  • Park and Ride: Park and ride lot near the bus transfer area with up to 40 parking spaces to encourage public transit usage and reduce traffic congestion in downtown Traverse City. More efficiently serving close to 40,000 people and 18,000 housing units that encompass the northeast and southeast portions of Grand Traverse County.


Other Project Details and Information:

  • The November 2022 millage renewal request is not for the construction of BATA’s New Operations Center.  BATA already secured federal and state grants for the project and is continuing to secure additional funding sources as needed.

  • The new facility will be located on the northeast corner of the intersection of LaFranier and Hammond Roads in Garfield Township, an area currently served by BATA's City Loop 2 and is also anticipated be served by City Loop 7.

  • BATA and Traverse City Housing are working on a joint development that would combine workforce housing and public transit. This project would be a prime example of smart land use. Combining housing and transportation in a planned development demonstrates the value of diverse entities working together to create tangible solutions to community challenges
  • BATA and Traverse City Housing have entered into an agreement to purchase property on the east side of LaFranier road near the corner of Hammond Road and across the street from the Ridge 45 apartment complex. The full parcel is approximately 52 acres and is large enough to accommodate both projects and incorporate future growth while preserving a considerable amount of green space and wetlands. The LaFranier property is in a prime location for both housing and transportation with direct connections to north/south and east/west corridors.
  • BATA’s Hall Street Transfer Station in downtown Traverse City will continue to serve as BATA’s main transfer hub. 


Media Coverage:

August 12, 2022:  TC Housing Commission & BATA Close On LaFranier Property, Prepare To Move Forward With Housing/Transit Center | The Ticker (

March 22, 2022:  Plan to attach new BATA headquarters to workforce housing passes | WPBN (

Nov. 26, 2020: TC Record Eagle - New BATA HQ plan goes before GT County Road Commission

Aug. 13, 2020: The Ticker - BATA Lands $13.3 Million In Federal Funding For New Transit Facility

Aug. 13, 2020: Up North Live ABC / NBC 7&4 - BATA receives more than $13 million to build new transit facility

Jan. 4, 2020: TC Record Eagle - BATA, TC Housing Commission eyeing land



Email Kelly Dunham for more information.


Updated: 11.30.23