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Cleveland Unveils Proposed Sherwin-Williams Incentive Package

The City of Cleveland is offering roughly $25 million total in grants in the proposed incentive package for the construction of  a new downtown Sherwin-Williams headquarters.

The deal, announced Thursday would include $13.5 million for construction, and a job creation incentive grant capped at $11.5 million over 15 years. The city is also offering a 30-year non-school TIF (Tax Increment Financing), which would provide Sherwin-Williams a rebate estimated at $2 to $2.5 million annually.

“We’re using the same tools that we’re normally using,” said Cleveland’s Director of Economic Development David Ebersole. “This is just a significant project, so the numbers are a little bigger.”

The construction grant would be tied to the retention of Sherwin-Williams jobs, Ebersole said.

The high dollar amount will be made up by the revenue brought in by the new headquarters, said Mayor Frank Jackson.

“We will be retaining all of the headquarter jobs, and we will be getting at least 140 additional jobs as associated with the headquarters,” Jackson said.

The new jobs are expected to bring in about $12.5 million annually for the city, Jackson said, although those numbers are based on preliminary estimates and could change as the development moves forward.

The number of new jobs coming to Cleveland is less than what’s expected for the research and development plant announced for Brecksville, Jackson said. Cleveland did compete for the R&D facility, he said.

“But the logistics of having 70, 80 acres of land, plus another large acreage for a headquarters, we just couldn’t do it in Downtown Cleveland,” Jackson said.

Money for the incentives package will come from the Economic Development department, Jackson said, which pulls from the city’s General Fund. The city is considering using bonds for some of the grant money.

Cuyahoga County  is considering its own Sherwin-Williams incentive package, including a $14 million grant toward construction. The State of Ohio and City of Brecksville are working on their own incentives.

Cleveland City Council still needs to approve the proposed incentive package. The city expects to introduce it next week and it will get “at least two committee hearings and a thorough consideration by council,” according to a statement from a council spokesperson.

Sherwin-Williams’ new headquarters is slated to take the place of three parking lots in Cleveland’s Public Square. The city is working with the Greater Cleveland Partnership to assess the parking needs of downtown as those 800 to 1,000 spots are removed, Jackson said.

But the new building will be better for the city than the parking lots, he said.

“I know there’s always been a conversation, when I was in council, about surface parking lots downtown and how, were they the highest and best use of our prime real estate in Downtown Cleveland,” Jackson said. “That question has been addressed at this point, because that’s where this project will go.”


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