Sherwin-Williams sets new HQ groundbreaking date

As glass tower in the downtown Cleveland skyline, Sherwin-Williams' new headquarters will be a remarkable skyscraper for the city.

Sherwin-Williams’ new headquarters tower will be the fourth-tallest building in downtown Cleveland’s skyline, reaching 36 stories and 616 feet above the corner of West 3rd Street and Superior Avenue. But the exact site where the golden shovels of a groundbreaking ceremony will turn shovels of dirt isn’t exactly clear. The new date for that ceremony is — 5 p.m. Dec. 15, 2021 (Pickard Chilton). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Permit application has VIP event in three locations

After a last-minute change in plans, Sherwin-Williams (SHW) has set a new date for a groundbreaking ceremony for its new, $300-plus-million global headquarters in downtown Cleveland. The event will instead be held from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 15.

The location appears to be roughly the same location as before — on the parking lot closest to the west side of Public Square. But it’s not easy to tell from the event coordinator’s permit application to the city, submitted today.

Most of the permit drawings outlining the location of the tents for the $30,000 groundbreaking event show it will be held at the northeast corner of the Public Square parking lot. That’s commonly called the Jacobs Lot because the Jacobs Group owned for 31 years prior to SHW acquiring it last year. But the address listed on the permit application is 1431 W. 3rd St., which is the northwest corner of that lot. And an overview map of the event has the parking lot circled on the other side of West 3rd . That’s called the South Weston Lot, which would be about 1426-1430 W. 3rd.

Documents and maps submitted to the city for permit approval aren't exactly clear as to where the Sherwin-Williams groundbreaking ceremony will be held.

Three drawings and a letter included in a city permit application for Sherwin-Williams’ rescheduled groundbreaking ceremony offer confusing information as the event’s specific location. The letter says 1431 W. 3rd St., which is the northwest corner of the so-called Jacobs Lot on Public Square. But the first map at left included a simple circling by a pen of the northeast corner of the South Weston Lot. Yet most of the detailed drawings show the event being at the northeast corner of the Jacobs Lot (B&H).

One of the drawbacks to having so many surface parking lots in downtown Cleveland is that one looks very much like the other, so someone can easily get disoriented as to which parking lot the event may be held. The new SHW HQ will erase several acres of those parking lots which detractors refer to as “parking craters.”

According to a letter sent today by Bob Javorsky, a licensed minister/wedding officiant at AAble Rents of Euclid to the Cleveland Building and Fire departments, AAble Rents proposes to install four tents for SHW’s groundbreaking event.

The first would be a 200-square-foot tent next to a valet area for entry into a larger, 1,911-square-foot tent — measuring 39 by 49 feet — in the parking lot at 1431 W. 3rd for the purpose of a dinner to celebrate the Sherwin-Williams groundbreaking. Up to 45 people at a time will be allowed in the largest tent, including diners and event workers. A 400-square-foot tent will be used for food preparation. The last, a 600-square-foot tent, will house a restroom trailer. The tents are due to be set up Dec. 6 and taken down Dec. 17, the permit application showed.

The Jacobs Lot is the likely location where the groundbreaking ceremony will be held for the new Sherwin-Williams headquarters complex.

This the Jacobs Lot on Public Square, as seen from the 1400 block of West 3rd Street. The groundbreaking ceremony will likely be somewhere on that lot which the Jacobs Group owned for 31 years until Sherwin-Williams acquired in last year for its new HQ. From left, the skyscrapers are Key Tower, 200 Public Square and Terminal Tower. SHW’s HQ tower, to rise behind the photographer, will be slightly shorter than 200 Public Square (KJP).

Javorsky did not respond to an e-mail from NEOtrans seeking more clarity as to the event location. Considering that City Hall will be closed Thursday and Friday this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, Monday may will be the next opportunity to clarify or correct the event’s location in the permit application.

Julie Young, SHW’s vice president of global corporate communications, said last week that the original groundbreaking event that was scheduled for 3 p.m. Nov. 16 was postponed due to a “scheduling conflict.” It was to be a media event with no meals offered and held in temporary tents to be erected at 226 W. Superior Ave., according to its permit application. That event, also estimated to cost $30,000, was to be carried out by Lasting Impressions Event Rentals of Bedford.

Young didn’t respond to an e-mail late today from NEOtrans seeking more information about the why the event programming and hired caterer/coordinator was changed for the new groundbreaking event. A permit application for the Nov. 16 groundbreaking had not been approved by the city before the event’s date arrived. However, a source on the SHW HQ development team said the groundbreaking event was not delayed by the city. The source refused to elaborate.

Revised site plan for the new Sherwin-Williams global headquarters in downtown Cleveland.

Among the designs up for review and possible final approval by the City Planning Commission Nov. 30 will be a slightly revised site plan for the new Sherwin-Williams headquarters. The most prominent change is the shrinking of the parking garage’s footprint by increasing its height from four levels to five. It will remain at 920 parking spaces, however (Pickard Chilton).

One possible reason for the rescheduled groundbreaking was because refined, final designs for the headquarters project aren’t scheduled to be reviewed and possibly approved by City Planning Commission until Nov. 30. It may not be a good look for SHW to hold a groundbreaking ceremony two weeks before the city can give a green light to the project. Also, HQ construction materials began showing up on site in late October.

In its latest submittal of HQ design documents to the city, SHW added signage and lighting details for the 36-story, 616-foot-tall HQ tower. The HQ development team also made some refinements to the 920-space parking garage north of Frankfort and west of West 3rd. At Planning Commission’s suggestion, SHW’s HQ development team increased the garage’s height from four levels to five by reducing its footprint, thereby opening up more land north of the garage along St. Clair Avenue for surface parking and future spin-off development.

Spin-off development could include redeveloping or replacing the Gilman Building, 1350 W. 3rd, which Akron-based Welty Building Co. acquired this week from Realife Real Estate Group. Welty, in a joint venture with the Gilbane Building Co., is SHW’s global HQ’s construction manager. The Gilman will likely be used over the next two years as a construction office for the SHW HQ, two sources said. After that, its future is unclear. Terms of the transaction were not available at this time.

SHW’s existing HQ is located at 101 W. Prospect Ave. in downtown Cleveland. Ground was broken Oct. 22 for SHW’s research and development (R&D) facility in suburban Brecksville that will replace a cramped, outdated space on 601 Canal Rd. in Cleveland. Combined, the HQ and R&D projects represent a $600+ million investment by SHW in Greater Cleveland.


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