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Cleveland: Downtown: Sherwin-Williams Headquarters

RISK OF CLOSURE

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6 minutes ago, jstuski said:

Long time reader, first time to reply.    Not too long ago @KJP asked that we follow up with local government, which I did, asking them to do what they can to keep SW in Cleveland.  The only response I received was from Anthony Brancatelli, who stated:  "Thanks for contacting me regarding Sherwin Williams.  The City of Cleveland made an incredibly generous offer for them to build on Public Square.  If they turn it down, then it is on them for leaving Cleveland."  

 

 

Great first post! I wonder how generous it was... 🙄🤣

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On 8/1/2019 at 4:38 PM, Geowizical said:

Edit: Although, by the wording of the article, it makes it seem as though Vocon is developing plans for SW to build in downtown no matter if R&D is separated or not. Is this the case because Valor Acres has already been designed, or because SW is staying downtown?

 

What I don't know who hired Vocon -- Sherwin-Williams or a civic booster organization like GCP. But yes, Vocon was developing plans for downtown sites.

 

On 8/1/2019 at 5:45 PM, jstuski said:

Long time reader, first time to reply.    Not too long ago @KJP asked that we follow up with local government, which I did, asking them to do what they can to keep SW in Cleveland.  The only response I received was from Anthony Brancatelli, who stated:  "Thanks for contacting me regarding Sherwin Williams.  The City of Cleveland made an incredibly generous offer for them to build on Public Square.  If they turn it down, then it is on them for leaving Cleveland." 

 

 

Yes, an outstanding first post, with some pretty important information I've never heard before. I would love to hear about the incentive package. 

Edited by KJP
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"The boss rolls up in a new Lamborghini and tells his staff 'The greatest part about America is that hard work breeds wealth. So if you work hard and dedicate yourself tirelessly to the task at hand, I can get another new Lamborghini next year.'” -- Overheard in a Cleveland bar.

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In addition to sounding out to the local officials about keeping SW downtown, maybe the higher ups at SW could use some reminders too. Remind them of all the companies who went the other way, out to the burbs (Eaton, American Greetings, etc) who now have trouble finding talent, and those stuck in the burbs for personal vendettas (cough - Progressive - cough) who have to open downtown outposts for the same reason. Are there any Fortune 500 companies around the country who have moved out of downtown recently? I've only heard of them coming in.

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Gilbert is currently building a 912 foot tower in downtown Detroit. I wish we had someone here like him. He basically put Downtown Detroit on his back.  He did what Progressive should do, move and consolidate all their offices downtown.

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14 hours ago, PoshSteve said:

In addition to sounding out to the local officials about keeping SW downtown, maybe the higher ups at SW could use some reminders too. Remind them of all the companies who went the other way, out to the burbs (Eaton, American Greetings, etc) who now have trouble finding talent, and those stuck in the burbs for personal vendettas (cough - Progressive - cough) who have to open downtown outposts for the same reason. Are there any Fortune 500 companies around the country who have moved out of downtown recently? I've only heard of them coming in.

 

Serious question, is there actually any legitimacy to Eaton and American Greetings struggling to attract talent? I feel like this idea has grown from “they probably will” to “they are” to “they regret moving” without any actual facts. Like a bad game of telephone. 

 

As for Progressive the downtown outpost is tiny strategy team of 40 people and has nothing to do with them struggling to attract talent. In fact Progressive has been expanding their presence in the suburbs with purchases of buildings, new construction, and thousands of new jobs.

 

That being said I would love to have these companies downtown. 

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31 minutes ago, JSC216 said:

 

Serious question, is there actually any legitimacy to Eaton and American Greetings struggling to attract talent? I feel like this idea has grown from “they probably will” to “they are” to “they regret moving” without any actual facts. Like a bad game of telephone. 

 

As for Progressive the downtown outpost is tiny strategy team of 40 people and has nothing to do with them struggling to attract talent. In fact Progressive has been expanding their presence in the suburbs with purchases of buildings, new construction, and thousands of new jobs.

 

That being said I would love to have these companies downtown. 

That is a good question.  I don't know if this is sort of an "urban legend" as it relates to Cleveland (I am 100% percent sure it is the case for coast cities) which is promoted by all us urban crazies on this board as I have never actually seen any studies supporting this...maybe just some antidotes here and there.  My gut is that these firms may not have a problem attracting local talent but do have more issues with attracting talent from east coast urban centers and MBAs and the like from the top schools where they do recruit.

 

I am sure there are top people at Progressive who would like to move downtown, but keep in mind that they have a fiduciary duty to their share holders first and foremost and not the city of Cleveland.  They have spent a huge sum of corporate assets the past decade building and expanding on the east side and they might have a hard time justifying the cost of building a new corporate headquarters.  Also, it is very true that over the years they have built up a work force which is very happy to work close to their suburban homes and would probably have a hissy fit if forced downtown.

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22 minutes ago, Htsguy said:

My gut is that these firms may not have a problem attracting local talent but do have more issues with attracting talent from east coast urban centers and MBAs and the like from the top schools where they do recruit.

 

I’m curious if there is any measurable difference between downtown and suburban companies though, or if it’s just a regional attraction issue. I would guess that unfortunately this talent would chose suburban offices in coastal cities over downtown offices in Midwest cities like Cleveland the majority of the time. 

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27 minutes ago, Htsguy said:

That is a good question.  I don't know if this is sort of an "urban legend" as it relates to Cleveland (I am 100% percent sure it is the case for coast cities) which is promoted by all us urban crazies on this board as I have never actually seen any studies supporting this...maybe just some antidotes here and there.  My gut is that these firms may not have a problem attracting local talent but do have more issues with attracting talent from east coast urban centers and MBAs and the like from the top schools where they do recruit.

 

I am sure there are top people at Progressive who would like to move downtown, but keep in mind that they have a fiduciary duty to their share holders first and foremost and not the city of Cleveland.  They have spent a huge sum of corporate assets the past decade building and expanding on the east side and they might have a hard time justifying the cost of building a new corporate headquarters.  Also, it is very true that over the years they have built up a work force which is very happy to work close to their suburban homes and would probably have a hissy fit if forced downtown.

 

I was going to mention that Progressive more than likely has too much in sunk costs to move off of I271 at this point.  it'll be years down the road before it can be justified.

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Couldn't they partner with any of the developers working on larger projects downtown as a small commitment just to get their name on the side of the building. This could work great for Sherwin Williams and the Jacobs lot; build it 5 stories taller for future growth, but in the mean time lease to Progressive. (Could work for nucleus too, but that's a whole different thread.)

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18 minutes ago, JSC216 said:

 

I’m curious if there is any measurable difference between downtown and suburban companies though, or if it’s just a regional attraction issue. I would guess that unfortunately this talent would chose suburban offices in coastal cities over downtown offices in Midwest cities like Cleveland the majority of the time. 

Don't want to get too far off topic but I can provide a personal story.

 

In the mid 80's I was working for a small downtown law firm and wanted to make a change (a more dynamic environment and more $$).  I applied all over town and interviewed extensively for a position with Progressive as my job search went on.  I was offered a position that paid 60% more than my current salary and after careful consideration turned the offer down.  At the time I did so I did not have any other job offers, although I did have a few irons in the fire.  There were a couple of reasons I did not take the job but the primary consideration was I could not see myself going to work in a squat one story flex space off of Wilson Mills Road five days a week. 

 

A couple of months later I took a job with a larger law firm in the Huntington Building,  The salary was about 20% less than the Progressive offer.  Bottom line for me was that even back then I would rather work downtown for less $$ than in the far off suburbs.  Never regretted the decision.  It was a quality of life issue for me (of course a quality of life that may not appeal to others).

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You're my hero, Htsguy. I probably would have done the same thing, even though that wasn't so en vogue to do so in the 1980s. I think we were pretty far ahead of our time.

 

I will say that the worst time I ever had working at Sun Newspapers was when I had to cover the Avon Lake beat for them. As soon as a Cleveland beat writer position opened up, I jumped at it.

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"The boss rolls up in a new Lamborghini and tells his staff 'The greatest part about America is that hard work breeds wealth. So if you work hard and dedicate yourself tirelessly to the task at hand, I can get another new Lamborghini next year.'” -- Overheard in a Cleveland bar.

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8 minutes ago, Htsguy said:

It was a quality of life issue for me (of course a quality of life that may not appeal to others).

 

Yeah it really comes down to personal preferences and what people value the most, and how highly they value that. I work downtown and location was definitely a big factor in my selection, as it would be for most people on this site. Unfortunately a lot of people view working downtown negatively due to the commute, traffic, and paying for parking. I will say the comments and fear of crime downtown have kind of disappeared from those discussions in the last several years, at least from what I have heard/read. 

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2 hours ago, JSC216 said:

 

Serious question, is there actually any legitimacy to Eaton and American Greetings struggling to attract talent? I feel like this idea has grown from “they probably will” to “they are” to “they regret moving” without any actual facts. Like a bad game of telephone. 

The employees at AG love the new place. Saying it's a drastic improvement over their moldy dump in Brooklyn is an understatement. 

 

Now as to whether the artists would rather be in a signature building downtown on the Jacobs lot? I don't know. But regardless of location the company has always been able to attract top talent. It's still a very lucrative and somewhat stable career for creatives. 

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On 7/19/2019 at 1:58 PM, Htsguy said:

I would be more concerned if he lived in Dallas

This kind of sh*t infuriates me; the ceo doesn’t own the company, why should where he lives determine the hq location of a public firm for the next several decades when this guy could possibly be elsewhere/retired/whatever in the next few yrs?? Same situation with Eaton, where’s the oversight from the board & shareholders on this?

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42 minutes ago, CleCaneFan said:

This kind of sh*t infuriates me; the ceo doesn’t own the company, why should where he lives determine the hq location of a public firm for the next several decades when this guy could possibly be elsewhere/retired/whatever in the next few yrs?? Same situation with Eaton, where’s the oversight from the board & shareholders on this?

This decision will be made by the Board. There is no way that where the current CEO resides will have any impact on where the Board believes the next HQ site will be. They are likely considering Brecksville because they are making a strong offer - hopefully downtown Cleveland's is stronger.

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On 7/29/2019 at 2:29 PM, Chazz Michael Michaels said:

Add in a Sherwin Williams tower and now we are getting somewhere

 

With renewed hope for SWHQ downtown, I present my next Unofficial Google Sketchup Rendering: a showcase of the skyline-impacting potential of SWHQ along with all others in the mix.

Rendering based off of the Amazon HQ renderings as seen in @KJP's most recent blog post: http://neo-trans.blogspot.com/2019/08/hq-r-search-shrounded-in-fog-of-sherwin.html

 

I hope SW goes all-in on a supertall skyscraper. It could become the tallest in the city and potentially break 1000 ft, joining the group of 1000+ ft buildings outside NYC and Chicago.

Based on the Amazon renderings, the second tower, we've assumed could function as R&D, looks to be in the 600 ft range, and I've depicted that below. My realistic guess is a final height in the more conservative 400-500 ft range, yet still standing its ground to add in some nice height to near-Public Square.

 

If our skyline ends up looking like this in 6-7 years or so (maybe sooner), I'm going to be a very happy camper. 

Too bad all the Cleveland merchandise will have to be changed 🤣

 

From the Southwest:

InWorks2.thumb.PNG.4dc00ba076a80432c7df204ebf38754e.PNG

 

From the Southeast:

Inworks3.thumb.PNG.fead2e6d1eae2dccb0bd7b22f2d6130c.PNG

 

From the North:

image.thumb.png.b3d8fbc837ce78d7ff6e9a25816a0ef6.png

 

From above:

image.thumb.png.1ecf2fed8b4eaabaa41e2402758d2fb5.png

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On 8/2/2019 at 12:11 PM, JSC216 said:

 

I’m curious if there is any measurable difference between downtown and suburban companies though, or if it’s just a regional attraction issue. I would guess that unfortunately this talent would chose suburban offices in coastal cities over downtown offices in Midwest cities like Cleveland the majority of the time. 

Again, just another anecdote. My office used to be headquartered in Highland Heights, not far from Progressive. At the time, the furthest away we attracted talent from was Avon.

 

We've since moved downtown, and approximately 50% of our office is now comprised of people who have moved from outside the region (Boston, SF, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, other cities in Ohio, etc., just to work at our firm—many of whom had never been to Cleveland before their interviews.  

 

While we are a small company and don’t have the brands or benefits associated with Progressive, AG, or Eaton, our move downtown was definitely the game changer that enabled acquisition of talent from outside the region. 

 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Eaton and co. can still acquire the talent they need—but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not acquiring the “top talent” they’d otherwise be able to acquire with a downtown footprint. 

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Those are outstanding graphics, @Geowizical. And there are "three or four" more potential high rises out there, stirring in the minds of developers in Cleveland and Chicago. The downtown Cleveland residential market is evolving and fairly quickly. BTW, that 3-4 more towers doesn't include the new Justice Center, which is still out there somewhere. But the county should have the resources to build it in a few years once the bonds for Gateway and the convention center mature.

 

Ironically, I said in my blog that SHW HQ is a once-in-a-career whale for real estate developers. I completely forgot the new Justice Center which would be twice the size of a combined SHW HQ+R&D.

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"The boss rolls up in a new Lamborghini and tells his staff 'The greatest part about America is that hard work breeds wealth. So if you work hard and dedicate yourself tirelessly to the task at hand, I can get another new Lamborghini next year.'” -- Overheard in a Cleveland bar.

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13 minutes ago, KJP said:

And there are "three or four" more potential high rises out there, stirring in the minds of developers in Cleveland and Chicago. The downtown Cleveland residential market is evolving and fairly quickly. BTW, that 3-4 more towers doesn't include the new Justice Center, which is still out there somewhere. But the county should have the resources to build it in a few years once the bonds for Gateway and the convention center mature.

 

So I'm assuming these 3-4 more towers haven't been announced/proposed yet? A mix of local and out-of-town developers is intriguing...

 

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6 minutes ago, Geowizical said:

 

So I'm assuming these 3-4 more towers haven't been announced/proposed yet? A mix of local and out-of-town developers is intriguing...

 

 

Correct

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"The boss rolls up in a new Lamborghini and tells his staff 'The greatest part about America is that hard work breeds wealth. So if you work hard and dedicate yourself tirelessly to the task at hand, I can get another new Lamborghini next year.'” -- Overheard in a Cleveland bar.

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Thanks for posting those, Geowizical!  It's always great to have a visual that ties it all together.

 

I do hope that if S-W does build a new tallest for Cleveland that they come up with something a little more interesting design-wise.  Not that I wouldn't take what they've proposed!

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20 minutes ago, X said:

I do hope that if S-W does build a new tallest for Cleveland that they come up with something a little more interesting design-wise.  Not that I wouldn't take what they've proposed!

 

I agree 100%. I think there is 0 chance they use the Amazon plans if someone else is developing new concepts. I'm just not talented enough to design such an interesting skyscraper, so I used the Amazon one as a placeholder instead. If they do decide to go supertall, there's going to be a lot of pressure to create something unique that also meshes nicely with the current heavy hitters of the skyline for sure.

 

But here's an idea, maybe they make it look like one massive paintbrush handle sticking out of the ground 🤣

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44 minutes ago, Geowizical said:

 

I agree 100%. I think there is 0 chance they use the Amazon plans if someone else is developing new concepts. I'm just not talented enough to design such an interesting skyscraper, so I used the Amazon one as a placeholder instead. If they do decide to go supertall, there's going to be a lot of pressure to create something unique that also meshes nicely with the current heavy hitters of the skyline for sure.

 

But here's an idea, maybe they make it look like one massive paintbrush handle sticking out of the ground 🤣

Actually, there never was an Amazon model. These models were the SHW models that they were working on prior to the Valspar acquisition.

These models never were announced as everything was put on hold once they acquired Valspar. City of Cleveland used theses drawings in their

attempt to lure Amazon2.

 

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On 8/2/2019 at 10:57 AM, JSC216 said:

 

Serious question, is there actually any legitimacy to Eaton and American Greetings struggling to attract talent? I feel like this idea has grown from “they probably will” to “they are” to “they regret moving” without any actual facts. Like a bad game of telephone. 

 

As for Progressive the downtown outpost is tiny strategy team of 40 people and has nothing to do with them struggling to attract talent. In fact Progressive has been expanding their presence in the suburbs with purchases of buildings, new construction, and thousands of new jobs.

 

That being said I would love to have these companies downtown. 

 

There's a lot of legitimacy to it. Are AG and Eaton able to attract employees? Sure, but are they attracting the best local and national talent? Heck no.

I know MANY people who would rather take less $ to work downtown over a suburban location if given the choice.

 

Another Example:

As for Millennia's other potential downtown projects, Sinito isn't dropping many hints. He said his business needs 30,000 square feet for its headquarters - up from the 21,000 square feet the companies occupy at Sinito's Thornburg Station development on Rockside Road. He wants to buy, not lease. And he's looking at buildings that could accommodate several uses, including more apartments.

There is vacant land next to Thornburg Station, where Sinito originally planned to build a new headquarters complex as his company grew.

But his plans, and the market, have changed.

"When we think about recruiting and we think about really good employees, I think that there's a lot of excitement downtown," Sinito said. "People that are younger than me, they want to work down there."

 

https://www.cleveland.com/business/2014/04/millennia_companies_to_buy_gar.html

Edited by Clefan98
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6 hours ago, Clefan98 said:

 

There's a lot of legitimacy to it. Are AG and Eaton able to attract employees? Sure, but are they attracting the best local and national talent? Heck no.

I know MANY people who would rather take less $ to work downtown over a suburban location if given the choice.

 

https://www.cleveland.com/business/2014/04/millennia_companies_to_buy_gar.html

FYI AG gets thousands of applicants from all over the world for an opening position.  They hire the best prospective artists in the field. Same with Hallmark in Kansas City. They’re not hurting for talent. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by surfohio
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So I have an inside on the rumors of SW tower even though I'm no longer in Cleveland. I have a buddy who is in the Financial division of SW right outside of Cleveland. He says it's just not in the budget right now, there's nowhere near the amount of capital. They're looking for finance options at the moment, but after the acquisition of Valspar it's been scraping really close to the bottom dollar.

Edited by tastybunns
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42 minutes ago, tastybunns said:

So I have an inside on the rumors of SW tower even though I'm no longer in Cleveland. I have a buddy who is in the Financial division of SW right outside of Cleveland. He says it's just not in the budget right now, there's nowhere near the amount of capital. They're looking for finance options at the moment, but after the acquisition of Valspar it's been scraping really close to the bottom dollar.

 

Your source is partially correct. SHW isn't building anything for a couple more years until the Valspar debt is down to levels more common across the coatings industry. See this article here: http://neo-trans.blogspot.com/2019/03/new-sherwin-williams-hq-plans-may-stir.html

 

But they have already written their RFP and I believe it has been released. If not, they have sent out feelers because most sources I've spoken with are aware of the RFP, the proposed uses, and the square footage involved. And SHW's company-wide e-mail blast advising everyone not to talk to the media after I wrote this article http://neo-trans.blogspot.com/2019/05/sherwin-williams-hq-will-it-be-ohios.html was a nice non-denial denial.

 

BTW, I wrote a little too much about sources in my first draft of this response. I'm glad @Tastybunns saw the first draft. I hope very few others did. 🙂

 

 

Edited by KJP
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"The boss rolls up in a new Lamborghini and tells his staff 'The greatest part about America is that hard work breeds wealth. So if you work hard and dedicate yourself tirelessly to the task at hand, I can get another new Lamborghini next year.'” -- Overheard in a Cleveland bar.

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^so if the concern is capital/debt levels, what if another developer built the tower(s) for SW and they just signed a long term lease?  Isn't that what's really on the table here?

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Just now, gottaplan said:

^so if the concern is capital/debt levels, what if another developer built the tower(s) for SW and they just signed a long term lease?  Isn't that what's really on the table here?

 

Long-term leases count as debt.


"The boss rolls up in a new Lamborghini and tells his staff 'The greatest part about America is that hard work breeds wealth. So if you work hard and dedicate yourself tirelessly to the task at hand, I can get another new Lamborghini next year.'” -- Overheard in a Cleveland bar.

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Just now, freefourur said:

 

Wouldn't they be able to sell their current building to offset the debt?

 

Sure. Or it could be done as part of a trade. That's just my thought, not from any source or anything.

 

I will say this -- two sources of mine who were worried a month or two ago that Sherwin-Williams could leave downtown are less worried now. They couldn't say why. But they are VERY close to the situation. They caution that they won't feel 100 percent at ease until some agreements are in place.

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"The boss rolls up in a new Lamborghini and tells his staff 'The greatest part about America is that hard work breeds wealth. So if you work hard and dedicate yourself tirelessly to the task at hand, I can get another new Lamborghini next year.'” -- Overheard in a Cleveland bar.

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Sherwin-Williams could also be worried about lead paint liabilities.  Asbestos cases bankrupted Armstrong-World Industries, an otherwise very strong company.

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5 hours ago, Dougal said:

Sherwin-Williams could also be worried about lead paint liabilities.  Asbestos cases bankrupted Armstrong-World Industries, an otherwise very strong company.

 

That would be a reasonable explanation if things were on hold. They're not. 

 

5 hours ago, gottaplan said:

^so if the concern is capital/debt levels, what if another developer built the tower(s) for SW and they just signed a long term lease?  Isn't that what's really on the table here?

 

BTW, and even though long-term leases count as debt, they don't count until the tenant starts occupying the building. That starts later than debt instruments necessary to start construction. So if a turnkey developer builds a building for SHW, then SHW could move in by the end of 2022 and have the long-term lease start counting against it debt, right around the time that the SHW gets it debt-to-equity ratio down to industry norms.

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"The boss rolls up in a new Lamborghini and tells his staff 'The greatest part about America is that hard work breeds wealth. So if you work hard and dedicate yourself tirelessly to the task at hand, I can get another new Lamborghini next year.'” -- Overheard in a Cleveland bar.

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8 hours ago, KJP said:

I will say this -- two sources of mine who were worried a month or two ago that Sherwin-Williams could leave downtown are less worried now. They couldn't say why. But they are VERY close to the situation. They caution that they won't feel 100 percent at ease until some agreements are in place.

 

*Relaxes slightly in chair*

 

 If you were to start a "Holy Crap, Sherwin Williams is Leaving Downtown Doomsday Clock" right now (pardon my french), on a scale of 1 (definitely staying) to 10 (definitely leaving), how would you gauge the response you mentioned? And how would you compare that to, say, the beginning of the year or since last you heard?

Edited by Geowizical

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13 minutes ago, Geowizical said:

 

*Relaxes slightly in chair*

 

 If you were to start a "Holy Crap, Sherwin Williams is Leaving Downtown Doomsday Clock" right now (pardon my french), on a scale of 1 (definitely staying) to 10 (definitely leaving), how would you gauge the response you mentioned? And how would you compare that to, say, the beginning of the year or since last you heard?

 

Already made it

https://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/taxday?iso=20200415T00&p0=417&msg=Holy+Crap%2C+Sherwin+Williams+is+Leaving+Downtown+Doomsday+Clock&font=slab

 

Please dont quote me as serious lol. The title is so long it doesnt even fit on the page.

Edited by tastybunns
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9 hours ago, KJP said:

BTW, I wrote a little too much about sources in my first draft of this response. I'm glad @Tastybunns saw the first draft. I hope very few others did. 🙂

 

Trip to the wayback machine may bring that back 😉

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