Federal Equipment expands in Cleveland’s Kinsman

Federal Equipment Co. plans to add this office building onto its existing warehouse on East 79th Street to accommodate its growing business (City Architecture). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Latest expansion on Opportunity Corridor, transit line

Historically, when a company outgrows its aging facilities in the urban core, they tend to move out to a larger, more modern structure in the suburbs. But not Federal Equipment Co. which is expanding its presence in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood that it’s called home for more than six decades. It’s the latest real estate investment along the Opportunity Corridor and the Blue/Green light-rail transit lines in an area of the city derisively dubbed as the Forgotten Triangle, until now.

Plans have been submitted to the city for Federal Equipment to add a 10,000-square-foot office to the north side of its 131,894-square-foot warehouse and production facility at 2909 E. 79th St. Offices are currently located on the second floor of the warehouse complex, facing East 79th, as well as at a second facility at 8200 Bessemer Ave. Federal Equipment also has properties at 3319 E. 80th St. and at 6600 Clement Ave. in the city of Cleveland.

Federal Equipment, founded in 1957, refurbishes and supplies used processing and packaging equipment for many industries, including pharmaceutical, chemical, plus food and beverage. It has multiple buildings at those four sites filled with a wide variety of equipment and parts to be more responsive to customers. That also means having an updated and accurate inventory database with people to manage it — hence the expanded offices.

According to a building permit application submitted by City Architecture to the city of Cleveland’s Building Department, Federal Equipment intends to invest about $2.5 million on the expanded office spaces. The work site is 0.8 of an acre, or 35,000 square feet, at the north edge of the company’s existing warehouse structures on East 79th. The new office is only one-story tall but extends eastward from the street alongside a new driveway that will connect East 79th and East 81st streets. Detailed floors plans provided to the city show that the offices contain space for about 34 office workers.

Site plan submitted to the city of Cleveland for a zoning review of Federal Equipment Co.’s expansion plans in the Kinsman neighborhood (City Architecture).

E-mails seeking comment and more information were sent by NEOtrans to Federal Equipment’s Chief Operating Office Matt Hicks and to Burten Bell Carr Development Inc.’s Executive Joy Johnson were not responded to prior to publication of this article.

The site for the new office building is directly across the street from the entrance to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s (GCRTA) East 79th Street Blue/Green Lines light-rail transit station. That decayed 42-year-old station is scheduled to be rebuilt starting next year for $11.75 million and include a new landscaped plaza along East 79th, preliminary plans show. This follows the 2021 reconstruction of the East 79th Red Line station just up the street. GCRTA has invested nearly $60 million in the past decade into rebuilt tracks, signal systems and stations on the Blue/Green Lines “trunk” between East 55th Street station and Shaker Square, where the Blue and Green lines split into the Shaker and Van Aken branches.

The East 79th Blue/Green Lines station project is part of a recently approved, $115.63 million, multi-year reconstruction program of the Blue Line and Green lines branches into Shaker Heights. However, less than half of the funding has been gathered for that program. The projected investment total expands to more than $200 million when the replacement of the Blue/Green Lines trains is counted. GCRTA’s $393 million program to replace all of its trains with a new, standardized fleet is just getting underway and will benefit the Airport-Windermere Red Line first, starting in 2026.

In the months leading up to the Fall 2021 opening of the $331 million Opportunity Corridor Boulevard, adding a new link between the Interstate highway system and University Circle, new developments were announced along the new, 3-mile roadway. One of the largest was a $30 million, 156,775-square-foot cold storage warehouse on East 75th Street whose development was led by Orlando Baking Co., which is located on the other side of the Opportunity Corridor. Nearby, Miceli Dairy Products Co. is expanding across Buckeye Road by renovating a 17,280-square-foot building as a warehouse. Meanwhile, Reserve Premier LLC of Cleveland is building a 182,000-square-foot warehouse on East 55th Street, just south of the Opportunity Corridor.


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