Wednesday, February 5, 2020

SHW: HQ lands west of Public Square, R&D to Brecksville

Parking lots belonging to the Weston (foreground)
and Jacobs (just beyond) groups are slated to be
developed with Sherwin-Williams' massive new
headquarters facility and up to 1 million square
feet of structured parking (Garfield12323).
Tomorrow, as has been reported on this blog many times in recent months, Sherwin-Williams (SHW) will announce that its new, consolidated headquarters facility will be built on parking lots owned by the Jacobs and Weston groups west of Public Square, according to several sources.

A press release will be issued tomorrow by SHW. It is doubtful that any site plans or renderings of the new HQ facilities will be included. The current headquarters with about 3,150 jobs is located in the Landmark Building, 101 Prospect Ave., with other SHW offices in the neighboring Skylight Office Tower.

The fact that SHW is not only staying but will relocate and add to downtown as many as 1,800 office jobs, company-wide training facilities and development of nearly 7 acres of windswept parking lots in the central business district is a tremendous victory for downtown Cleveland. SHW's HQ will reportedly measure 1.45 million square feet and represent a $1 billion investment.

The jobs will be consolidated downtown from throughout Northeast Ohio and from other states. There will also be significant spin-off developments that have been pending for months on nearby properties downtown.
An unofficial conceptual rendering of what the SHW HQ on the
Jacobs/Weston lots could look like, based on sources involved
with the project. It is unlikely that a supertall tower will rise as
part of this project considering the amount of land that SHW
will be acquiring for its new HQ (Geowizical).
Construction on the new headquarters could start as soon as one year from now. It will create thousands of construction jobs and benefit many of SHW's contractors like Welty Building Co., Gilbane Building Co., Vocon Partners LLC architects, First American Title, Enviroprobe Integrated Solutions Inc., Environmental Works Inc., DRS Enterprises, Strategic Environmental Services Inc. and many more.

But it isn't a complete victory for the city of Cleveland although it is one for Greater Cleveland. Also in play was SHW's consolidated research and development (R&D) facility with up to 1,000 jobs, including about 400 R&D jobs to be relocated from Minneapolis. The R&D facility will go to the former Veterans Administration Hospital site in Brecksville, being redeveloped as Valor Acres by the DiGeronimo Companies.

It was one of two finalist sites for the R&D center that included Bedrock Cleveland's riverfront phase of its CityBlock development. Cleveland will lose 350-400 R&D jobs with the closure of SHW's John G. Breen Technology Center, 601 Canal Road. As many as 300 jobs will be relocated from SHW's automotive and performance coatings groups, 4440 Warrensville Center Rd., Warrensville Hts.

A month ago, SHW took a harder look at Brecksville after it abandoned its favored site for the R&D facility -- about 9 acres of land owned by Scranton-Averell Inc. on Scranton Peninsula. The site, across the river from the Breen Center, was apparently polluted with wood preservatives by decades of use as a lumber mill and storage yard.
Valor Acres, the 100-acre former Veterans Administration
Hospital property in Brecksville, is owned by the city. It
awarded DiGeronimo Companies rights to clean up and
develop the site at I-77 and Miller Road (DiGeronimo).
Sources said the property owner didn't respond to offers to clean-up the site and and to development overtures in a timely manner. A Scranton-Averell representative didn't answer questions submitted by NEOtrans via e-mail or even return a reply receipt.

Just a few days ago, Bedrock company officials were reportedly very confident that they would land the R&D facility and be an anchor for its ambitious plans for developing the riverfront below Tower City.

But a source said the proximity of SHW's HQ didn't matter for the R&D facility once it was decided that it wouldn't be attached to the HQ. So, in that respect, it is fortunate for Greater Cleveland that the R&D facility didn't end up in another state.

The R&D facility will measure about 350,000 square feet, compared to 140,000 square feet at the existing Breen Center. One building at Breen dates from 1948 and the other from 1993. Some of the 170,000 square feet of buildings at the R&D facilities in Minneapolis that SHW acquired in the Valspar acquisition are much older than Cleveland's R&D center. But like Cleveland's, Minneapolis' buildings were recently renovated.

In the coming weeks and months, more details about SHW HQ+R&D projects will become known, including site plans, massings, renderings and other design elements for both the downtown Cleveland and Brecksville sites.



  1. How did Jackson/City of Cleveland fail to keep the R&D component in Cleveland?

    1. You can't force a property owner to be responsive in accepting an R&D facility on it (Scranton Peninsula), nor can you force SHW to accept a property that would be very expensive to develop with R&D (Bedrock site).

    2. Was Midtown ever a viable option?

  2. Although good news still disappointed about the R&D facilities but it could be a lot worse