A curveball thrown at Sherwin-Williams (SHW) regarding its favored research and development (R&D) facility development site has forced the global coatings giant to postpone announcing where it will put its R&D and headquarters (HQ) facilities.
That’s according to sources who spoke off the record because they are not authorized to speak publicly about SHW’s efforts to pursue new HQ+R&D facilities.
They said SHW had been preparing to publicly announce the HQ+R&D sites this week. But when SHW’s favored site for its 350,000-square-foot R&D facility on Scranton Peninsula turned sour, it began discussions with owners of alternative R&D sites.
It also meant having to delay any public announcements. It is possible that the delay could be until sometime after SHW’s annual sales meeting, to be held Feb. 10-12 in Orlando, FL.
The alternative R&D sites were not identified, but sources provided reminders that SHW’s C-suite executives prefer to have the R&D facility near its HQ, meaning in or near downtown Cleveland. That preference has been reported in this blog over the past year.
A site in Brecksville, as mentioned here in NEOtrans, remains a possibility but reportedly doesn’t rank as highly as sites in the city of Cleveland which SHW has called home since 1866.
Multiple sources say SHW has identified the site for its 1.45-million-square-foot consolidated HQ as the 6.82 acres of parking lots owned by the Jacobs and Weston groups just west of Public Square.
|As seen from the Carter Road bridge to Scranton Peninsula,
Sherwin-Williams’ Breen Technology Center is in the fore-
ground and its global headquarters is in the background, in
the Landmark Building at the upper right (Iryna Tkachenko).
The site was selected because it is large, clean, level, undeveloped, available and located in the heart of a major city’s central business district. It is close to transportation, restaurants, supportive business services and increasing numbers of short-term lodging, extended-stay lodging and residential options.
SHW’s HQ+R&D facilities will be developed by a joint venture between Welty Building Co. and Gilbane Building Co. that was incorporated as Welty/Gilbane JV, LLC on Oct. 24, 2019. Welty picked Gilbane on Oct. 8 after soliciting requests for proposals months earlier. Welty was hired by SHW to oversee its HQ+R&D process.
But SHW executives understandably want the facilities situation settled as soon as possible. As noted in SHW’s only written, public statement about the HQ+R&D site search,?Chairman and CEO John Morikis said that the company has a “a less than optimal configuration of headquarters, offices and R&D facilities across multiple locations.”
SHW made that lone public statement Sept. 12, 2019, nearly one year after NEOtrans began reporting on the news that SHW was pursuing a new HQ facility and provided updates on the progress that followed.
Addressing that situation will allow the company to function more efficiently. And the sooner the facilities situation is resolved, the sooner that thousands of SHW employees and, indeed, all of Greater Cleveland can rest easier.
Unfortunately, SHW has not provided since September any official, on-the-record progress reports into its HQ+R&D process for its many interested parties. It’s a process that SHW employees and Greater Clevelanders want and even deserve to know about. Nature abhors a vacuum.