Cherry Republic gets creative on summer employee housing

The Traverse City Ticker has a report on Cherry Republic’s creative solution to the summer employee housing crunch:

Cochran Hall at Leelanau School – courtesy Leelanau Schools Facebook Page

Cherry Republic is entering a new partnership with The Leelanau School to renovate a dorm on the boarding school’s campus that will house employees during the summer. The company is committing $30,000 to pay for renovations to the Cochran Dormitory, a small residential house traditionally used by ninth and tenth-grade students during the school year. Renovations will include nearly doubling the footprint of the dorm’s common room, adding a kitchenette, freshly painting all bedrooms, adding laundry facilities, and upgrading bathroom facilities so that each bathroom and shower stall has a private entrance.

In exchange for its investment, Cherry Republic has a five-year contract with The Leelanau School for its own and other Glen Arbor employees to be able to rent rooms at a drastically reduced cost from June to August. While The Leelanau School typically rents out its facilities to outside groups and visitors during the summer (when students aren’t on campus) at a cost of anywhere of $50 to $100 a bed per night, employees will pay an average as low as $10 per night. Rent is set at $300/month for a shared room, or $600/month for a single room, according to Director of Advancement Julie Povolo of The Leelanau School.

“(The rent) is substantially reduced,” Povolo says, noting tenants will have full access to campus amenities, including tennis courts, a bonfire pit, an observatory, and a sports field and track. “The dorm backs up to our fields and woods; it’s a beautiful setting. They’ll be not too far from the river and steps beyond that our Lake Michigan frontage, which has a beautiful beach. Though it’s extra, they can also eat meals here.”

Povolo says the arrangement will provide another benefit to Cherry Republic employees: In addition to the teambuilding and camaraderie that comes with sharing living quarters, the tenants – many of whom will likely be younger employees and students interning or working for the summer – will gain a landlord reference in addition to their employer reference during their stay. “These employees will have a lease with us, not Cherry Republic, so it’s a chance for them to get a second reference, which is pretty cool,” says Povolo.

Cool indeed! Read on for more.