Harbor Shores Inn to hire 150 by spring

By spring, 150 people will be hired to work at a new $26 million high rise hotel and condo complex on the Paw Paw River in St. Joseph.

The Inn at Harbor Shores is a companion project to the Harbor Shores Golf Course. “We’ve been interviewing people over the last several months and again, we’ve got to hit the ground running,” said Ron Schults with Edgewater Development.

The hotel portion of the project is slated to open on April 1, 2014. Applications are already being accepted through “Michigan Works” although the hiring won’t begin until February. “So between February and March, the jobs will be initiated and then we’re going to start training so for the food and beverage, for the hotel operation, laundry services, everything is going to be starting in March.”
Schults says hiring will continue to ramp up through the summer months—topping out at 230.

Today, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was among a group of dignitaries who toured the work-in-progress. “It’s the gateway to Michigan, in that respect, I mean how many people, particularly if you look at the Chicago area, Illinois, Indiana, people are coming into Michigan and their first impression is right here.”
Six of the building’s nine stories have already been constructed. The two top floors will feature condominium units. “We’re starting with the condos on the top two floors of this building are going to be in the high $400,000 and then it goes to $1.6 million for the penthouse suites,” said Schults.

The lower floors will house 92 hotel rooms. “This is going to be a unique four-star hotel facility with a spa with a pool with a marina with a park,” said Jeff Noel with the Whirlpool Foundation. “You can bring your boat over from Chicago, eat here, go to the spa, bring your golf clubs and go over and play golf.”

Plans call for the construction of five more buildings featuring more condos, cottages and the like. Work on the second structure is expected to start about the time the Inn at Harbor Shores building is completed.

Perhaps those who remember what the site used to be, ( a polluted parcel of abandoned factories) have an even greater appreciation for what it has become.

“We used to have 3 million square feet used to employ 6,000 people all the factories that used to be here, and poof, one day they were all gone. All except for the Whirlpool factories, the companies went into bankruptcy, and these buildings were left orphaned. For almost 20 years you had old buildings, concrete slabs, deteriorating roads. You know the last several years has been a rebirth,” said Jeff Noel.

Noel says that another thing that makes the project unique is that it’s a non-profit project. “No one is making a profit on all of this development except the individuals that do some of the construction projects, this is a project in which the community said let’s make it happen and let’s make any profit on it give it right back to the community so this is a project, Harbor Shores, being done by not for profit organizations (The Whirlpool Foundation, The Cornerstone Alliance, and the Consortium for Community Development.

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