American Greetings HQ Move Advances With Westlake's Help

Last night, Westlake’s City Council approved a number of ordinances intended to seal the deal, including a 30-year tax exemption that would instead have American Greetings pay towards a fund for financing public infrastructure rather than pay taxes on the increased value of its property.

American Greetings will build a brand new headquarters at Crocker Park. Steve Rubin of Stark Enterprises, which developed the lifestyle center 10 years ago, says once the proper legal documents and bonding process are legalized – maybe within two to three weeks -- the project is ready to proceed. He says just like the Banks Flat East project and other developments, it’s all part of the gradual economic uptick being seen across northeast Ohio.

“I know that our project is a very, very large project," says Rubin. "It’s actually somewhere between $350-400 million, with thousands of jobs, so…I think there’s a reason for people to begin to feel some optimism, we certainly do.”

American Greetings has been in Brooklyn since 1956, and has been that city’s largest employer. Officials there say the greeting card company’s departure will mean losses in jobs and local tax revenue, which makes up about one fifth of the city’s general fund.

American Greetings openly discussed relocation after Brooklyn voters approved an income tax hike in 2009.

Story by ideastream's Brian Bull.

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