The roof of the Rockefeller Building, above the 17th floor of John D. Rockefeller’s classic structure at 614 W. Superior Ave., offers a front-row seat to the construction of another addition to the downtown Cleveland skyline — the global headquarters of Sherwin-Williams (all photos contributed or by KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM
Nov. 29, 2021 may be remembered as the day that construction work began on Sherwin-Williams’ $300-plus-million global headquarters. To others, it may be known as the date when one of downtown Cleveland’s largest “parking craters” died. Even though the official groundbreaking ceremony isn’t scheduled until 5 p.m. Dec. 15 (hopefully with no further delays), it looks like quite a bit of work may be under way by that time.
NEOtrans is the place to follow what will be the largest building construction project in downtown Cleveland since the $400 million, 1-million-square-foot new convention center project opened in 2013. But most of that work was below ground. The new SHW HQ will be the fourth-tallest tower in downtown Cleveland, at 36 stories and 616 feet high, and will be the tallest structure built downtown in 30 years. Key Tower, Ohio’s tallest, was completed in 1991.
To orient the reader, this Sherwin-Williams headquarters site plan is being provided. All of the photos here were either taken from the Rockefeller Building, at lower left, or from West 6th Street between the Rockefeller and the headquarters site. This site plan is expected to receive final approval tomorrow, Nov. 30, by the City Planning Commission (Pickard Chilton).
Considering this historical event and the scale of this project, NEOtrans will post regular construction updates and photos throughout the two years of work. So please subscribe to NEOtrans because we’re usually first and always free when it comes to Greater Cleveland real estate, economic, construction and transportation news.
Although final designs for the new headquarters aren’t due to be approved until tomorrow, construction has started because site preparation permits were approval by the city’s Building and Housing Department. The permit was requested by Independence Excavating which was doing the site preparation this week. Construction materials were delivered to the site in late October.
More than half of downtown’s largest ‘parking crater’ is no more. The 7-acre sea of parking has been taken up by construction of the new Sherwin-Williams headquarters. And more parking spaces will soon be gobbled up by construction workers, namely the part west of Frankfort Avenue that continues into the lower-left corner. Left of that will be a 920-space parking garage for the new headquarters.
It is also not unusual for construction on a large project to start before a formal groundbreaking ceremony. Although work began in early April for the Artisan, 10600 Chester, a groundbreaking ceremony for the 24-story, 267-foot-tall residential-over-retail tower wasn’t held until July 29. The Artisan will be the tallest building in University Circle.
The new SHW HQ project is already causing spin-off development. Among the projects are the renovation and conversion of 55 Public Square and the Rockefeller Building into apartments, offices and ground-floor retail/restaurants. The $80 million rehab of 55 Public Square has begun while the $120 million Rockefeller Building project may get rolling in January.
With under-renovation 55 Public Square (left) and 75 Public Square as a backdrop, assembly of a heavy-duty construction crane was under way to lift and set into place large pieces of construction materials and equipment. Once the site is excavated, the two tower cranes to construct the 616-foot-tall office tower will follow. It should be noted that the 55 and 75 Public Square renovation projects were motivated at least in part by the promise of the new Sherwin-Williams headquarters next door.
Also underway is the $80 million renovation of the Renaissance Hotel into a luxury Cleveland Hotel, located across Superior from the new SHW HQ. Future projects could include the demolition of the Rockefeller garage for a major development and the proposed, but on-hold Magellan development.
Construction of the new SHW HQ is expected to take about two years. Construction management teams will be based out of the Gilman Building, 1350 W. 3rd St., that Welty Building Co. acquired last week. SHW also plans a second-phase office tower across West 6th from the Rockefeller Building where companies with which SHW does business could set up shop and where additional SHW offices from Hinckley Parkway and possibly Minneapolis could be relocated. However, there is no announced start date for that next phase.
Work gets underway on the new 616-foot-tall Sherwin-Williams headquarters west of Public Square while the 658-foot office tower 200 Public Square east of the square watches. This view is from West 6th Street.
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