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Brecksville: Sherwin-Williams Research & Development Center

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On 1/10/2020 at 10:07 PM, simplythis said:

Why didn't they decide to build the R & D on the Weston Superblock, it definately had enough space for it and

it would have made a denser campus.

Can someone explain to me why they can't build this on the weston superblock as it was originally

mentioned by kjp.

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Its tiem for Cleveland officials to earn their pay. There is alot of undeveloped land of Cle. Im sure froma business decision it would make sense that the RD center beas close as possible to the HQ. This can be resolved the city needs to do a full court press. As much as I want it go on the scranton peninsula how many other projects in the city could use an anchor of this magnitude e.g midtown (could be huge for connecting/development btwn midtown and downtown) opp corridor, lakefront w/ new apts, etc..

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^Dang, that's a tough break for CLE. Let's see how the city reacts...They can still make this work with a little willpower. Plenty of other available space still in the Flats, and a lot of it owned by the city too.

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27 minutes ago, KJP said:

Scranton-Peninsula-pano+from+Tower+City-

 

MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2020

Cleveland's industrial past may shun Sherwin-Williams R&D; but HQ is safe

 

In an old, post-industrial city like Cleveland, toxins from its manufacturing past exist below the surface and slow the city's efforts to revitalize. The latest project affected is Sherwin-Williams (SHW) proposed site for its new, consolidated research facilities.

While the downtown headquarters site SHW picked is secure, the near-downtown research and development site and as many as 1,000 jobs may not be. Instead, the jobs could land on a newly cleaned property in suburban Brecksville, according to two sources.

The sources spoke off the record because they were not authorized to speak publicly about SHW's pursuit of a new headquarters plus research and development (HQ+R&D) facilities.

SHW planned to announce its HQ+R&D decision next week, another source said. It isn't known if SHW's last-minute discovery of polluted land at the favored R&D site will delay the global coatings firm's announcement.

 

MORE:

https://neo-trans.blogspot.com/2020/01/clevelands-industrial-past-may-shun.html

 

I sure hope powers that be are leveraging GIS to find a good site IN the city. It'd be a relatively simple analysis to locate something like this within the city (looking at utilities, land needs, safety, etc.), but only if they're given the proper information and data. I'd hate to see this end up in Brecksville.

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1 hour ago, simplythis said:

Can someone explain to me why they can't build this on the weston superblock as it was originally

mentioned by kjp.

It seems like that would be the idea location for R&D, unless there is some kind of environmental concern. There appears to be plenty of space and it would be right next to the HQ. Of course it might require the HQ tower to be a little taller than 30 stories.  😉

Edited by skiwest
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If this land is so polluted that a company with the resources of SHW is running away from it I cannot see this land EVER being developed without the city and other governmental bodies stepping in, and we know how fast they move.  If SHW punts this land may be what it is for years to come and could stifle the development of the entire peninsula to some extemt which is probably just as big a concern as SHW locating the research facility in Brecksville.

Edited by Htsguy
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I'm confused as to why they would pick a site without checking soil.  Considering all the work they did on the superblock, why would the same due diligence not be done there?

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4 minutes ago, Htsguy said:

If this land is so polluted that a company with the resources of SHW is running away from it I cannot see this land EVER being developed without the city and other governmental bodies stepping in, and we know how fast they move.  If SHW punts this land may be what it is for years to company and could stifle the development of the entire peninsula to some extemt which is probably just as big a concern as SHW locating the research facility in Brecksville.

 

Somebody wake the mayor!  😜

 

You're right.  This is a chance in a lifetime to put a big development down there.   There should be a full-court press from city leadership to find federal funds to clean it up!  

 

 

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1 minute ago, mack34 said:

I'm confused as to why they would pick a site without checking soil.  Considering all the work they did on the superblock, why would the same due diligence not be done there?

I hate to be so cynical, but tax breaks and/or state/fed remediation? I could see the city, county, and state stepping in to save this, seems like a good chess move on SW's part? 

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Question @KJP...given the timing of your two most recent blogs, was this information just uncovered in the past few days or were some of your sources holding back information?   They seemed so sure in your first blog that the R and D was going on Scranton in your initial post last week.

Edited by Htsguy
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1 minute ago, GISguy said:

I hate to be so cynical, but tax breaks and/or state/fed remediation? I could see the city, county, and state stepping in to save this, seems like a good chess move on SW's part? 

Thats my thought also!!

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I personally think its a smoke screen by SW.  i think they are using KJP to negotiate better pricing on whatever they are looking at.   I still like the tower city auditorium location for the new R&D facilities. 

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9 minutes ago, Htsguy said:

Question @KJP...given the timing of your two most recent blogs, was this information just uncovered in the past few days or were some of your sources holding back information?   They seemed so sure in your first blog that the R and D was going on Scranton in your initial post last week.

 

@Htsguy This was either something that was a late-discovery and/or being kept quiet or SHW was expecting the city/state to fund the remediation of the Scranton Peninsula site and the city/state hasn't responded as quickly as SHW would have liked. A source told me cryptically "This is all about money."

Edited by KJP
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12 minutes ago, mack34 said:

I'm confused as to why they would pick a site without checking soil.  Considering all the work they did on the superblock, why would the same due diligence not be done there?

 

They haven't officially picked any site for anything yet.  

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1 minute ago, KJP said:

 

This was either something that was a late-discovery and/or being kept quiet or SHW was expecting the city/state to fund the remediation of the Scranton Peninsula site and it hadn't responded as quickly as SHW would have liked. A source told me cryptically "This is all about money."

I'm shocked🙄

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4 minutes ago, StapHanger said:

 

They haven't officially picked any site for anything yet.  

 

And even when someone does "pick" a site, it doesn't necessarily mean anything....cough -- new CPD HQ -- cough cough....

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14 minutes ago, KJP said:

 

@Htsguy This was either something that was a late-discovery and/or being kept quiet or SHW was expecting the city/state to fund the remediation of the Scranton Peninsula site and the city/state hasn't responded as quickly as SHW would have liked. A source told me cryptically "This is all about money."

So they’re negotiating with the city through your blog essentially lol

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1 minute ago, inlovewithCLE said:

So they’re negotiating with the city through your blog essentially lol

 

I can guarantee that they are negotiating with the city directly and using leaks to @KJP to exert additional pressure. My assumption is that they got the subsidy they wanted for the HQ by putting out of state sites in the mix. Now they are pitting Brecksville against Cleveland to get more from Cleveland. Since these are both county sites I don't think the county will get too involved on the R&D site. 

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53 minutes ago, simplythis said:

Can someone explain to me why they can't build this on the weston superblock as it was originally

mentioned by kjp.

 

They could if they wanted to. It would mean a lot of bigger and more expensive buildings, however. The HQ could be put entirely or almost entirely on the Jacobs lot, leaving perhaps as much as 200,000 to 300,000 square feet of offices, a million square feet of parking decks and the 350,000-square-foot R&D facility for the Weston lots. But this would likely be much more expensive for SHW -- even though they could write a check for cash to pay for it. But they don't want to and that's how the rich stay rich.

Edited by KJP
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5 minutes ago, KJP said:

 

They could if they wanted to. It would mean a lot of bigger and more expensive buildings, however. The HQ could be put entirely or almost entirely on the Jacobs lot, leaving perhaps as much as 200,000 to 300,000 square feet of offices, a million square feet of parking decks and the 350,000-square-foot R&D facility for the Weston lots. But this would likely be much more expensive for SHW -- even though they could write a check for cash to pay for it. But they don't want to and that's how the rich stay rich.

I bet @jbee1982 will help pay for it if it means a taller building on the Jacobs lot.😉

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The news from KJP this morning is a major disappointment.  Does it mean that Scranton Peninsula site could be a dead zone for decades instead of a dynamic new neighborhood?  It does seem strange that after all the due diligence by SHW, we get this last minute curveball on "soil".  Unless this is a negotiating strategy over money.  If the preferred R & D site is truly out - I would hope that SHW would locate all its facilities on the sufficiently large Weston property.  It would mean a bulkier, possibly higher presence on the west side of the square.  I agree with other posters that the city should do whatever possible to keep the whole enchilada downtown.  And Sherwin Williams commitment to Cleveland will be much more impressive if they don't move 1/6th of the jobs out to the burbs. 

Edited by CleveFan
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1 hour ago, GISguy said:

I hate to be so cynical, but tax breaks and/or state/fed remediation? I could see the city, county, and state stepping in to save this, seems like a good chess move on SW's part? 

 

It has to be federal.   We're talking CERCLA here, which is pretty much the main driver of industrial sprawl in America for the last 40 years.

 

With Lou Stokes or Steve LaTourrette in Congress, maybe.  

 

We don't have that kind of clout anymore.

 

More in a bit....

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I'm as confused as anyone by the timing of this news. Why were these pollutants discovered so late? If they were discovered earlier, then why has the city/state been slow to respond? Is SHW just dangling the threat of a move to Brecksville to light a fire under their behinds?

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It's inconceivable to me that they wouldn't have expected the soil to be polluted. In any experience I've had with industrial sites/industrial rivers, it's pretty much an initial assumption that you'll be encountering PAHs, PCBs, and toxic metal concentrations and then it's just a fun bonus if the levels happen to be low or you find no concentrations.

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1 hour ago, GISguy said:

 

I sure hope powers that be are leveraging GIS to find a good site IN the city. It'd be a relatively simple analysis to locate something like this within the city (looking at utilities, land needs, safety, etc.), but only if they're given the proper information and data. I'd hate to see this end up in Brecksville.

 

Would you prefer it was in Minneapolis?  Or perhaps Dallas?

 

Hasn’t it been long known, or at least suspected, that the Scranton peninsula has soil stability issues?  I’m not a civ-E, but I’ve read plenty of references to same here.   

I have been an environmental engineer, part time.   My dad was Ferro’s environmental and safety director, one of the pioneers in the field.   I’m speaking here with close to the authority Ken has on railroads.

 

CERCLA issues can and have been found late in the game, and more often than not they are show stoppers.   This is exactly why the Opportunity Corridor was designed like it was.  And yes, if you could get SW interested in some of that cleaned land, that would be ideal.   God knows the area could use the jobs.

 

And yes, it’s early days.   CERCLA issues on the peninsula are not confirmed.  Let's hope they don't exist, or are minor enough to make an NFA quick and reasonably cheap.  But if they exist, that means whoever tried to sell SW on this piece of land molested the canine in truly epic fashion.

 

There is no way in Creation that a company with SW’s deep pockets is going to take a chance on assuming liability for someone else’s decades old mess.  It would be fiduciary malpractice on an epic scale.  And that means the city can either spend millions clearing it, or they can do what inner ring suburbs do when they can’t market a piece of land, and build a “pocket park”.  Because no one else will touch it now.  The alarm has been raised.

 

If there’s no cleaned and suitable spot in Midtown or on the OC, Brecksville is probably the region’s best bet.  It’s in Cuyahoga County.   It’s right off 77.  It can be made transit accesible. It’s huge, and not old industrial property. To attempt to undercut them would be grossly counterproductive.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the very good.

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4 hours ago, jbee1982 said:

We need the last open space filled with a tower that is at least as tall as Erieview tower. Otherwise, the skyline will be lopsided. I'd rather have an empty parking lot than a building that screws up our skyline. I'd rather wait for another building that can do the site justice. Just my opinion.

 

Where's it going to come from?  Who's going to build it?   I'm very much a believer in the taller the better, but someone has to be big enough to pay for it.

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I agree. This may be an opportunity to get concessions. Given the extensive boring/sampling done on PS/Weston, I find it inconceivable that the same would not have been done on the Scranton site, especially given the history of the flats and the river. SW may be a paint manufacturer, but they're also experts in organic/inorganic/polymer chemistry. They know the impact of industrial pollutants. After all, they got their start right there on the Cuyahoga River.

Edited by Frmr CLEder
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12 minutes ago, E Rocc said:

 

Would you prefer it was in Minneapolis?  Or perhaps Dallas?

 

Hasn’t it been long known, or at least suspected, that the Scranton peninsula has soil stability issues?  I’m not a civ-E, but I’ve read plenty of references to same here.   

I have been an environmental engineer, part time.   My dad was Ferro’s environmental and safety director, one of the pioneers in the field.   I’m speaking here with close to the authority Ken has on railroads.

 

CERCLA issues can and have been found late in the game, and more often than not they are show stoppers.   This is exactly why the Opportunity Corridor was designed like it was.  And yes, if you could get SW interested in some of that cleaned land, that would be ideal.   God knows the area could use the jobs.

 

And yes, it’s early days.   CERCLA issues on the peninsula are not confirmed.  Let's hope they don't exist, or are minor enough to make an NFA quick and reasonably cheap.  But if they exist, that means whoever tried to sell SW on this piece of land molested the canine in truly epic fashion.

 

There is no way in Creation that a company with SW’s deep pockets is going to take a chance on assuming liability for someone else’s decades old mess.  It would be fiduciary malpractice on an epic scale.  And that means the city can either spend millions clearing it, or they can do what inner ring suburbs do when they can’t market a piece of land, and build a “pocket park”.  Because no one else will touch it now.  The alarm has been raised.

 

If there’s no cleaned and suitable spot in Midtown or on the OC, Brecksville is probably the region’s best bet.  It’s in Cuyahoga County.   It’s right off 77.  It can be made transit accesible. It’s huge, and not old industrial property. To attempt to undercut them would be grossly counterproductive.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the very good.

I think it’s reasonable for people on a site called “Urban Ohio” to not want a highly prized employment asset to end up 16 miles from the city center. It’s not “good”. Pushing more jobs further out to the fringes has countless negative externalities. IMO it’s a wash whether these jobs end up Brecksville or Ljubljana. I don’t care nearly as much about relative regional strength as I do about the viability of the urban core, and I don’t think the correlation between the two is nearly as strong as I’m sure some would suggest. 

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E Roccs comment "because the alarm has been raised" is what scared me when I first read KJPs blog. If SW dosent touch this land, who will?

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I agree if SW doesn't touch Scranton, what does that mean for future development of the area? 

 

With that said, as much of a nice surprise as it was to hear last week that this location was in consideration for r&d, this wasn't a location too many people thought of.  So as disappointing as this news is, we still have a other locations that may not pose as such a "risk" as the sp.  What about more dense and taller development on the Weston Block (that makes us forumers happy)?  You can't get much closer to your new headquarters than that.  What about other parcels in the immediate area? There's another lot on St. Clair and West 9th.  There are a few smaller parking lot parcels that exist in the immediate area.  I am not sure how these parcels are shaped and who owns them.  But based on their footprint, maybe building a little taller would be the way to go here.  As we have discuss on here, it's easy for us to tell a company how to spend their money.  This area is obviously going to change dramatically in the next few years which is exciting to think about.  These parking lot parcels that are not the Weston Block seem like good candidates.  Look at what Amazon has done around their location near Downtown Seattle.  

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11 minutes ago, Jenny said:

E Roccs comment "because the alarm has been raised" is what scared me when I first read KJPs blog. If SW dosent touch this land, who will?

 

It could turn into a river version of Dyke 14, undeveloped and useful for birds & wildlife with walking paths, etc.

 

https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/433

 

 But heck, here's hoping this soil issue can be settled quickly and safely on the local level. 

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41 minutes ago, Jenny said:

 If SW dosent touch this land, who will?

That's why I feel the city, state and fed need to take responsibility in cleaning it up now while there is still incentive the R&D location could be relocated there. 

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13 minutes ago, Mildtraumatic said:

That's why I feel the city, state and fed need to take responsibility in cleaning it up now while there is still incentive the R&D location could be relocated there. 

 

Theoretically this would be a perfect project for JobsOhio's revitalization program... The common complaint is that they're too stingy with the money unless specific jobs are already lined up for a site. Which, in this case, they would be.

Edited by mu2010
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1 hour ago, bumsquare said:

I think it’s reasonable for people on a site called “Urban Ohio” to not want a highly prized employment asset to end up 16 miles from the city center. It’s not “good”. Pushing more jobs further out to the fringes has countless negative externalities. IMO it’s a wash whether these jobs end up Brecksville or Ljubljana. I don’t care nearly as much about relative regional strength as I do about the viability of the urban core, and I don’t think the correlation between the two is nearly as strong as I’m sure some would suggest. 

 

It's Cuyahoga County.   It's on RTA's turf.  Ljublana is neither.   Likewise Minneapolis.

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1 hour ago, Jenny said:

E Roccs comment "because the alarm has been raised" is what scared me when I first read KJPs blog. If SW dosent touch this land, who will?

 

Exactly.   If someone in local government got them to publicly look at it, all but commit to it, then pull out at the last second that is a foul up as bad as Jackson's rumored blow-off of Pixar.

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Just out of curiosity, I checked to see where SHW's main competitor PPG's R&D facility is located. It's in Alison Park/Hampton Township. According to Google, it's a 13-mile, 22-minute drive in normal traffic up state routes 28 and 8 from PPG's HQ in downtown Pittsburgh. A multi-structured, connected campus atop an exurban hillside....

 

An article with photos about it:

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/inside-ppgs-secretive-rd-lab-paint-giant-creates-high-tech-coatings-aid-self-driving-cars/

 

PPG R&D site.jpg

Edited by KJP
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