Sherwin-Williams to Build Downtown Cleveland HQ, Brecksville R&D Center

CLEVELAND — The Sherwin-Williams Co. today announced it plans to build a new global headquarters downtown and a new research and development center in the Brecksville suburb. The minimum investment is expected to be $600 million to build both facilities, the company said. New job creation is estimated at 400; construction jobs at 7,000.

In making the announcement, the company stipulated the plans are “contingent upon completion of standard due diligence, approvals of incentives and other matters at the state, county and city levels, and resolution of business and legal matters that accompany such major real estate investment projects.”

“Our plans to continue investing in Cleveland and northeastern Ohio build on our 154-year legacy as one of the region’s top employers and drivers of economic activity,” said Chairman and CEO John G. Morikis in a prepared statement. “Driven by our continued need to serve our customers at the highest level and retain and attract top talent, we intend to create a next-generation workplace environment that ignites creativity, collaboration and industry-leading innovation.

“We currently operate out of a 90-year-old headquarters building that has served us well but is no longer conducive to meeting our future needs,” he continued. “The major planned investment in Cleveland and northeastern Ohio we are announcing today reflects our confidence in the continued strength of the region and its people and our public partners’ ability to deliver on their commitments.”

The headquarters would be built just west of Public Square between St. Clair and Superior avenues and would be approximately 1 million square feet. The R&D center in Brecksville would be built off I-77 at Miller and Brecksville roads. It would serve as the corporate anchor for a new mixed-use development project and would be approximately 500,000-square-feet, the company said.

Combined, the two facilities will house more than 3,500 employees with room to accommodate significant future growth. Many of the 400 new jobs will include professional staff, engineers and chemists. 

Construction jobs to build both facilities are estimated at 7,000.

Sherwin-Williams is working on the project with the state of Ohio, JobsOhio, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and the cities city of Cleveland and Brecksville. Approvals of incentives packages and other matters remain pending and are expected over the next several months.

“The process to date has been an outstanding example of an effective public-private partnership, with particularly strong leadership from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted,” Morikis said.

The CEO commended a long list of public officials and development leaders. They include JobsOhio President J.P. Nauseef, Ohio Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and his economic development team, Cuyahoga County Council President Dan Brady, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley, Cleveland’s economic development team, Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby and Brecksville City Council President Mike Harwood.

“[They] all have demonstrated ongoing support for our company’s ongoing success as we near the final stages of our plans,” Morikis said. “We also thank Team NEO, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Downtown Cleveland Alliance and Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority for their work and assistance.”

Sherwin-Williams says its footprint in Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland has generated more than $4 billion in employee payroll and $140 million in taxes over the past 10 years. Based on current site plans, city officials estimate that when the new global headquarters is occupied, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will receive an estimated $3 million in additional annual revenue from Sherwin-Williams.

“We are pleased to be a partner with Sherwin-Williams on this highly competitive project,” said DeWine in a prepared statement. “The state of Ohio, JobsOhio and our regional and local economic development partners have been focused on keeping one of Ohio’s leading companies right here where they belong. Sherwin-Williams is an important part of the Cleveland and northeastern Ohio community, and the announcement today will provide good jobs and strong economic activity for Ohioans for years to come.” 

Sherwin-Williams said it conducted a national search and explored multiple potential sites in other states as part of this project. “After a detailed analysis, the proposals from the state of Ohio, JobsOhio, Cuyahoga County, the city of Cleveland and the city of Brecksville have proven to be the most attractive in enhancing our ability to serve customers and retain and attract top talent over the long term,” the company stated in its announcement.

Over the past 10 years, the Sherwin-Williams Foundation, the company and its employees have given more than $20 million to support local communities. Sherwin-Williams employees also serve on more than 100 nonprofit boards in northeastern Ohio, and this philanthropic spirit contributed to the decision to remain here, the company said.

“Sherwin-Williams has been a part of the fabric of our community for 154 years. A new global headquarters in Cleveland lays the foundation for the next chapter for both Sherwin-Williams and our city’s history,” said Mayor Jackson in a prepared statement. “Cleveland has two of the largest business districts in Ohio, with world-class health care and arts and entertainment options, all connected to our thriving residential neighborhoods. The robust and vibrant quality of life here attracts the world’s best and brightest talent, as does our proximity to 25 colleges and universities in northeastern Ohio. Sherwin-Williams recognizes these important strengths of Cleveland.”

Added Brecksville Mayor Hruby, “We are excited about Sherwin-Williams plans, which would bring an infusion of jobs and additional tax revenue into our community. We believe the new R&D center in Brecksville would be a catalyst to attract increased office, residential, hospitality and retail investment.”

The R&D center and global headquarters project is a multiyear process, and the transition to the new facilities is not expected to occur until 2023 at the earliest. No announcements have been made regarding construction partners, and no decisions have been made regarding the disposition of the company’s current R&D center and headquarters at Canal Road and West Prospect Avenue, respectively.

Pictured at top: AP file photo of the existing Sherwin-Williams headquarters in downtown Youngstown.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.