Home Entertainment company Short’s Brewing Co. buys Bellaire Inn to address housing crisis

Short’s Brewing Co. buys Bellaire Inn to address housing crisis

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Short’s Brewing Company wants to hire workers for the summer season. But affordable housing in Northern Michigan is still hard to come by.

So he bought a motel.

Short’s, one of Michigan’s largest breweries, with a brewery in downtown Bellaire and a production facility in Elk Rapids, announced Friday that it has purchased the 26-unit Bellaire Inn at 728 E. Cayuga St. with l intention to transform it into temporary transitional accommodation. for seasonal workers in the region. The purchase price was not disclosed.

“We’ve missed (non-local) applicants because they can’t find housing, and we’ve seen employees leave the state due to lack of affordable workforce housing,” Scott said. Newman-Bale. , CEO of Short, in a press release. “We are working on preparing some housing projects, but that is not helping us this season.”

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Short said he was “working quickly” to convert and update the 26 units inside the motel in Bellaire, which sits just east of Torch Lake and is a popular northern Michigan summer tourist destination. . Each will be fully furnished with a bathroom, fridge and microwave. All utilities will be included. Short plans to reserve space for its new hires first, then offer local businesses the option in the remaining units to house their staff as well.

“It’s not about long-term solutions, but rather a place for summer help and new full-time staff to land while they find accommodation in the area.” Newman-Bale said in a press release. “There is still a major need for workforce housing in Northern Michigan.”

Exterior of Short's Brewing Company in Bellaire.

Short’s, founded in 2004 by Joe Short, is known for its wide variety of specialty and experimental beers, but also for its year-round favorites such as Soft Parade, a 7.5% fruit beer. alcohol by volume, and Huma Lupa Licious, a 7.7% alcohol beer. APIs. His craft brewery is a hot spot in Bellaire, now occupying several downtown storefronts.

But as it grew, like other northern Michigan businesses, it faced a shortage of local workers due to exorbitant housing prices in the area and a limited number of units. rents, compounded by the highest rate of inflation in 40 years.

Short’s, 20% owned by Heineken, also plans to build The Bellaire Marketplace across the street in downtown Bellaire, a three-story development with a mall on the first floor and two floors of housing above. above. The company also says it is talking with area residents to secure land contracts and additional housing at market rates and for labor.

Spirits of Detroit writer Brian Manzullo covers craft alcohol for the Free Press. Contact him: [email protected] and on Untappd, bmanzullo and Twitter, @BrianManzullo and @SpiritsofDET.