Seeds & Sprouts XXV — Park Place Tech stays, LaSalle Theater available, Grant Thornton moving

This is the twenty-fifth edition of Seeds & Sprouts – Early intelligence on Cleveland-area real estate projects. Because these projects are very early in their process of development or just a long-range plan, a lot can and probably will change their final shape, use and outcome.

Park Place Technologies currently occupied Building No. 2, at lower left, in the Landerbrook Corporate Center in Mayfield Heights. It will reportedly expand into the neighboring Building No. 3 at lower right (Shelbourne). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Park Place Tech to expand in Mayfield Hts.

According to two real estate insiders, despite Park Place Technologies’ enticing offer to relocate elsewhere in the Greater Cleveland area, it appears the fast-growing firm is going to stay and continue to grow in its native Mayfield Heights. The 32-year-old information technology servicing company, located at Landerbrook Corporate Center, Building No. 2, 5910 Landerbrook Dr., plans to expand next door, the sources said on the condition of anonymity.

The company leases the entire 108,000-square-foot Building No. 2 at the three-building campus. A nearly identical Building No. 3, with a street address of 5920 Landerbrook, will be vacated at the end of this month when Progressive Insurance’s lease expires. The huge insurance company is reducing its office footprint including selling five suburban office properties as many of its employees continue to work remotely.

The timing of Progressive’s departure from Building No. 3 is working out perfectly for Park Place. Building No. 2 is connected by an overhead enclosed walkway and below-ground loading dock to Building No. 3 in the 26-year-old Landerbrook office complex. Building No. 1 at the office campus is nearly fully leased with the likes of Cleveland Clinic, Care Source Cleveland, OnX Enterprise, Paragon and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., according to landlord Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC of Brooklyn, NY.

With as-yet undisclosed city assistance, Park Place will renovate and reconfigure the buildings to provide onsite amenities and other facility needs outlined in a request for proposals issued last fall in seeking a campus location that offered 150,000 to 250,000 square feet of office space plus more than 10,000 square feet of data center space with an attached warehouse of up to 30,000 square feet. The company has nearly 500 employees in Greater Cleveland and currently has 53 new/available jobs to be filled, according to its Web site. But a Park Place spokesperson wasn’t ready to officially call its search over just yet.

“We continue to work the search process for our new HQ campus and are evaluating the various options to make the best decision for our employees and company,” said Park Place’s Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Deutsch in an e-mail to NEOtrans. Mayfield Heights Mayor Anthony DiCicco did not respond to an e-mail seeking more information prior to publication of this article.

While Park Place’s RFP ignited a flurry of interest from Northeast Ohio communities seeking to attract the firm, the sources said the company was likely never going to leave Mayfield Heights unless officials in that suburb completely dropped the ball on helping it stay. Some of the most intense interest in attracting the headquarters came from Cleveland city officials and investors seeking to redevelop the city’s Superior Arts District on the east side of downtown. Park Place said in its RFP it hopes to make a decision on its HQ by the end of March.

The LaSalle Theater, 823 E. 185th St. in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood, was listed for sale starting earlier this week (Cresco).

LaSalle Theater on the market

In Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood, a renovated and stabilized 94-year-old LaSalle Theater, 823 E. 185th St., hit the market this week. Its owner, North Shores Development Corp. (NSDC), renovated the building in 2018 for $4.7 million and stabilized the property as a media center along with three ground-floor storefronts and five apartments. Now stabilized, fully leased and provisioned with 39 spaces of off-street parking next door, NSDC is ready to sell the former movie palace to put it back on the tax rolls.

The theater itself, which could seat up to 800 people for performances or 450 people for weddings, dinners and other catered events, is used as a performing arts rehearsal or recording space, an exhibit hall, a stage for high school theater and arts programs, and as a meeting space for businesses and community organizations. The theater also offers a fully renovated kitchen on site, according to cinematreasures.org.

Prior to its purchase by NSDC in 2009, the 18,903-square-foot building was vacant, in foreclosure and at risk of getting demolished. It was briefly a vintage automobile showroom 20 years ago after a nearly 70-year run as an 1,500-seat movie theater that served Collinwood and much of Euclid. Named after a French explorer of the Great Lakes in the 17th century, the LaSalle was designed by the Italian-born architect Nicola Petti (1880-1929), who also designed the Variety, Kinsman, Imperial, Moreland and Cedar Lee theaters in Greater Cleveland, plus theaters in Canton, Toledo and Mansfield, according to the Cleveland Landmark Commission’s website.

Although no asking price for the LaSalle was listed, NSDC paid $250,000 for it, according to Cuyahoga County records. The county appraised the property at $388,000 in 2021 for taxes, public records show. The sale offering posted on LoopNet notes that East 185th is undergoing “a transformational” $11.5 million streetscape renovation project that is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

Grant Thornton, one of the nation’s largest accounting firms, is relocating its Cleveland office to the city’s third-tallest office tower — the 45-story 200 Public Square downtown (Google).

Grant Thornton moving, shrinking

Chicago-based Grant Thornton International Ltd., America’s sixth-largest accounting organization, is moving its Cleveland office from the 31-story One Cleveland Center, 1375 E. 9th St., to the 45-story 200 Public Square in downtown Cleveland. According to a recent filing with the Cleveland Building Department, the audit, tax and financial advisory firm will invest about $1.25 million to retrofit 8,972 square feet of office space in Cleveland’s third-tallest skyscraper.

The change represents a significant reduction — by more than half — in office space for the company, likely a result of increased remote working by employees since the pandemic. Grant Thornton’s local office Managing Partner John Barnes was traveling today and unavailable for comment. The company had reached the end of its lease and decided to reduce space and move from a building that was a borderline Class A property to another that was also borderline Class A but has been making major investments to attract more tenants.

For the past decade, Grant Thornton’s local office has been on the 15th floor of One Cleveland Center where it occupied 19,200 square feet. Prior to that it was in the Halle Building, 1228 Euclid Ave., in Playhouse Square. Back then, the firm moved so that it could increase its Cleveland staffing levels from 115 to 150 employees, according to a press release it issued in December 2012.

According to its permit application, Infinity Construction Co. of Warrensville Heights will carry out the renovation work at Grant Thornton’s new space on the 10th floor of 200 Public Square. Work specified in its application to the city includes demolition of existing space and the construction of a new office space, new walls, ceiling, flooring, electrical, fire protection systems, HVAC and plumbing. “(The) space will be (an) active office with staff,” noted the application which is still under review by the building department.

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