Sherwin-Williams HQ delayed into 2025

Sherwin-Williams’ new headquarters tower west of Public Square has topped out but isn’t fully enclosed as it was scheduled to be by this time. That means the project will probably not be completed by the end of this year, as planned (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Breen property may offer HQ parking, shuttle

Sherwin-Williams’ headquarters construction management team had hoped to enclose its new 616-foot-tall office tower in Downtown Cleveland by spring. But with April right around the corner, the building has not yet reached that milestone. While delays are happening to a lot of building projects due to supply constraints, Sherwin-Williams has made sure its employees won’t be left out in the cold.

The length of delay is unknown but the global coatings giant has made preparations in case that delay approaches one year. The 36-story, 1-million-square-foot skyscraper rising just west of Public Square was to be completed by the end of this year and accommodate 3,500 employees. Instead of moving in everyone all at once, departments on the lower floors will be moved in while construction is continuing on the upper floors, according to a construction industry source.

Construction management of the new headquarters is by a joint venture of Gilbane and Welty building companies. The new building will be filled with workers from Sherwin-Williams’ 94-year-old headquarters in the Landmark Building, 101 W. Prospect Ave. and from more than 150,000 square feet of space it has leased for nearly a decade in the neighboring Skylight Office Tower, 1660 W. 2nd St.

According to a source familiar with Sherwin-Williams’ office space needs, the company recently extended its Skylight Office Tower lease to Oct. 31, 2025 in case of construction delays. Sherwin-Williams also may stay at its aging headquarters for an undetermined period even though that property was sold June 30, 2023.

Bedrock Real Estate affiliate Sapphire Acquisitions LLC acquired Sherwin-Williams’ headquarters. In its deed transfer, Bedrock gave tenant rights to Sherwin-Williams and allowed it to lease its old headquarters, according to the deed transfer documents recorded with Cuyahoga County.

The Sherwin-Williams headquarters campus will consist of three buildings: a two-story pavilion acting as the front porch to Public Square, a 36-floor office tower and an attached multi-level parking garage. The new global headquarters is expected to open by the end of 2024 (The Sherwin-Williams Company).

The terms of the lease are unknown as it is unrecorded. But Bedrock’s also gave Sherwin’s tenants — Maria’s Executive Barber Shop Inc.; Maria’s Too! Hair Salon; Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper LLC; Prospect Electric LLC; The George Gund Foundation; and Century Federal Credit Union — the rights of subtenants under the deed. Nicola, a law firm, has since announced it is leaving for Terminal Tower.

Another source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Bedrock was unwilling to reserve parking spaces at its Tower City Center/Riverview parking area for Sherwin-Williams below its historic headquarters for any of Sherwin-Williams’ employees. That includes the 158-year-old paint company’s 485 newly added jobs recently assigned to 212,000 square feet of space it has subleased at the Higbee Building, 100 Public Square.

The reason why Bedrock is unwilling is unclear. Bedrock has said that the east end of the Tower City Center/Riverview parking is where most Sherwin-Williams employees park. And it’s where Bedrock plans to construct phase one of its riverfront development which may include a new office tower for Rocket Mortgage, a Shinola Hotel and a residential building.

To advance the start of construction to the end of this year, however, Bedrock has broken out a phase 1A of this development. It features a new-construction, 210,000-square-foot Cleveland Clinic Global Peak Performance Center at the bottom of a restored Eagle Avenue ramp.

NEOtrans has yet to hear from Bedrock’s Vice President of Communications Lora Brand as to why it hasn’t let Sherwin-Williams continue to use its reserved parking below its existing headquarters. Sherwin-Williams’ Vice President of Global Corporate Communications Julie Young also did not respond to an e-mail from NEOtrans seeking more information.

While Sherwin-Williams’ Breen Technology Center will be closed at the end of this year when its research workers move to Brecksville, the 370-space parking lot will reportedly continue to be used by Sherwin-Williams under a lease with landlord Bedrock Real Estate. Shuttles may move workers between the parking lot and the new headquarters even after its new parking deck opens. The company’s old headquarters in the Landmark Building and offices in the newer Skylight Office Building are above and to the right of the Breen Center (Google).

Instead, a source familiar with Sherwin-Williams’ operations said the coatings firm intends to continue to lease its Breen Technology Center, 601 Canal Rd., after its research employees relocate to the new R&D center in suburban Brecksville. The reason why it will continue to lease Breen is so it can use the facility’s 370-space parking lot.

The source said Sherwin-Williams will use shuttle buses to move employees between Breen’s riverside parking lot and the new headquarters — even after the headquarters’ new 920-space parking garage is completed.

At same time Bedrock bought Sherwin-Williams’ old headquarters, Bedrock acquired Breen through an affiliate Savoy Acquisitions LLC. In its June 30, 2023 deed transfer, Bedrock has a permitted exception for the tenant rights of Sherwin-Williams, including an unrecorded lease agreement dated on the same date as the deed transfer.

Because fast-growing Sherwin-Williams is so short on space, it is reportedly moving up the timeline of building a planned second headquarters tower immediately west of the first. But the company and construction managers are trying to balance delivering the HQ1 tower first while seamlessly transitioning into a follow-on HQ2 project.

The source familiar with Sherwin-Williams’ operations said the company’s “unplanned and unprecedented” 20 percent growth in headquarters staff means that previous plans for their departments being all on the same floor as each other is no longer possible.

Construction workers continue to make progress inside Sherwin-Williams’ new headquarters, including finishing spaces on the lower levels like this one so office staff can start moving in while construction continues on the upper floors (The Sherwin-Williams Company).

The company is now “in scramble mode” to find enough office space, the source said. Sherwin-Williams’ HQ staff growth rate is now two and a half times more than the 8 percent growth factor estimated in 2021 when HQ plans were finalized.

Planned at the northeast corner of Superior Avenue and West 6th Street where the future HQ2 tower could rise is a 135-space interim parking lot that may never be built. That site is being used for construction staging for the headquarters campus which, in addition to the HQ1 skyscraper, also includes the 920-space parking garage and a two-story pavilion fronting Public Square.

Surrounding the parking garage on two sides, an upside-down L-shaped interim parking lot is planned with 179 spaces. It will front West 6th and St. Clair Avenue. It is the future site of a mixed-use development that could include additional offices, hotels and/or residential over ground-floor retail and restaurants. Continued use of Breen’s 370 riverside parking spaces would more than make up for the loss of the two interim lots that total 314 spaces.

Sherwin-Williams’ real estate firm CBRE Group has reportedly been marketing the property along West 6th and St. Clair to potential end users. Sherwin-Williams executives are also urging the top brass at its supplier and partner companies to establish offices either in its HQ2 building or in the development site around the parking garage.

And a high-level source told NEOtrans in December that Sherwin-Williams also intends to relocate most workers of its Valspar brand from Minneapolis to Greater Cleveland. That includes up to 300 office workers to the Downtown Cleveland campus and nearly 400 researchers to Sherwin-Williams’ new 600,000-square-foot technology center in suburban Brecksville when it is due to open at the end of this year.


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