Sherwin-Williams outlines new HQ parking plan

With its West 3rd Street façade looking nearly finished today, the parking garage at Sherwin-Williams’ new headquarters had been a subject of debate inside and out of the company. This week, company officials outlined its headquarters parking plan which will have an effect on Downtown Cleveland’s parking situation and future developments (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Plan affects other downtown parkers, developments

This week, Sherwin-Williams released a parking plan for workers at its new Downtown Cleveland headquarters that is due to open sometime in mid-2025. The parking plan was provided to the nearly 3,500 headquarters employees to answer their commuting questions, although the impacts of the plan will effect other workers, residents and visitors in the western part of downtown.

Impacts of the parking plan are also affected by and will affect future downtown developments, including Bedrock’s ambitious riverfront project and possibly a future second headquarters tower for Sherwin-Williams.

Interestingly, the parking plan does not include two interim surface lots previously proposed for company-owned land at the western and northern portions of the headquarters campus. Those lots were proposed by Sherwin-Williams to be the future sites of a second office tower and mixed-use developments including offices, residential and hotels over ground-level retail and restaurants.

So there’s a lot at stake with regards to the commutes of 3,500 headquarters employees, plus hundreds more workers at the growing company who won’t fit into the 1-million-square-foot skyscraper rising west of Public Square. They continue to be scattered at several locations in Greater Cleveland, both downtown and in the suburbs.

The parking plan was created by the development team called Building Our Future which is overseeing construction of the new 36-story headquarters and the global coatings giant’s suburban Brecksville research center. The team is led by a joint venture of Gilbane and Welty building companies.

Sherwin-Williams’ headquarters since 1930 is the Landmark Office Tower at right. Its glassy new headquarters is at far left. Below the old headquarters along the Cuyahoga River is the Riverview Parking lot which Sherwin-Williams employees may not be allowed to use after June 2025. That’s approximately when the new office tower is due to be completed (KJP).

Several employees anonymously shared the parking plan with NEOtrans. Each copy sent was consistent with the other. NEOtrans also reached out to Sherwin-Williams’ Vice President Global Corporate Communications Julie Young and her staff. Young was out of the office today and none of her staff responded to e-mails prior to publication of this article.

The parking plan has been in the works for at least two months. Despite that, company officials announced to headquarters employees this week that “Many everyday operational details are still being finalized, therefore we do not know all of the answers to some of your questions yet.” However, the company is proud of its new garage. “Sherwin-Williams will be one of only a few Downtown Cleveland employers with its own private parking garage.”

Cost of using the headquarters garage will be $10 for daily parking and $225 for monthly parking. Officials noted that “These rates are subject to change based on continuous reviews of downtown parking rates. The monthly fee is more expensive than the daily fee.”

“Monthly parkers have the added benefit of having an assigned space that will always be available to them throughout the workday,” they continued. “Availability is not subject to demand, and this convenience comes with an extra fee.”

That’s higher than the $185 monthly rate for self-park and $195 for valet parking that employees are paying now at Sherwin-Williams’ garage on the first four floors of its current headquarters. For the last 94 years, the headquarters has been in the Landmark Office Tower, 101 W. Prospect Ave.

Plans for the first phase of Sherwin-Williams’ headquarters campus west of Public Square. The surface parking lots at the western and northern edges of the campus were not included in the company’s headquarters parking plans (Property of the Sherwin-Williams Company).

That garage is heated and its entrance on Huron Road has garage doors that can be closed on cold days. There is a 10-year waiting list to park there, company officials said. By comparison, the new six-level garage is open on the sides and thus not heated. But it will offer features the old garage does not.

“Hands-free transponder access will activate high-speed entry and exit gates and can generate real-time availability to a mobile app, so you will know if a spot is open for you before reaching the end of your commute,” the parking plan noted. “EV-charging stations equipped with credit card readers mean employees with electric cars can charge up before their evening commute.”

The new parking garage is private and for the exclusive use of Sherwin-Williams employees, and “not open to the public during Sherwin-Williams business operating hours.” Does that mean it will be open to the public at other times?

“Currently, we are focused on operationalizing the garage for employees during core work hours,” the plan read. “We have not yet determined if after-hours and/or weekend parking will be available. When we know more, we will communicate the decision.”

The garage will accommodate between 900 and 935 vehicles. A majority of these spaces will be designated for daily parking and the remaining will be designated for month parking. The ratio of monthly to daily parking may change over time. There are also 24 bicycle parking spaces; no specialized parking will be available for motorcycles.

Sherwin-Williams laid out concepts for future development of the western and northern parts of its headquarters campus, including a second office tower at lower left and mixed use developments surrounding the headquarters parking garage (Property of the Sherwin-Williams Company).

“Many have asked why the garage wasn’t planned for a larger capacity,” the Building Our Future team said. “Extensive studies showed that a larger garage would have placed a heavy burden on the traffic flow in the neighborhood and created longer wait times for garage parkers — negatively impacting the value of the garage for employees.”

Team members said traffic planning for vehicular ingress and egress, exit wait time considerations and efficiencies, and city code compliance were all factors in determining the garage’s size. Traffic studies and data on workforce use of public transportation, flexible work policies and daily building occupancy also played a role in the final garage size.

“Even on the busiest of days, with hybrid schedules, daily building occupancy and public transportation availability, the Building Our Future project team expects that most people who want to park onsite will be able to do so,” the team said. “Nevertheless, we are exploring options for safe, convenient overflow parking alternatives.”

As noted earlier, the plan said nothing about the 314 surface parking spaces to be located on an interim basis on land owned outright by Sherwin-Williams around the western perimeter of the new headquarters campus, along West 6th Street and St. Clair Avenue. Ultimately, the company hopes to develop those sites with mixed uses north of Frankfort Avenue and a second office tower south of it.

Sherwin-Williams spokespersons have denied the company has any imminent plans for developing those sites. NEOtrans has heard from multiple sources that it does. A company spokesperson also denied in October 2018 that it was even considering a new headquarters while NEOtrans had insider information that it was.

Phase one of Bedrock’s riverfront development has two pieces. Phase 1A is located to the east and south of the Cuyahoga River’s Collision Bend where the Cleveland Clinic Global Peak Performance Center may see construction start by winter. But many Sherwin-Williams headquarters employees park to the north of the bend in the Riverview Parking lot that is the subject of Bedrock’s phase 1B. That option won’t be available to them after June 2025 (Adjaye Associates).

Another 370 parking spaces are at Sherwin-Williams’ to-be-vacated Breen Technology Center, 601 Canal Rd., on land along the Cuyahoga River acquired by Bedrock Real Estate. Those didn’t figure into the company’s parking plan. Neither did Bedrock’s 678-space Riverview Parking lot between Canal and the river where many Sherwin-Williams headquarters employees park now for just $30 per month in an exclusive arrangement with Bedrock.

The Riverview lot wraps around a hairpin curve in the Cuyahoga River called Collision Bend. But the part of the lot that’s farthest from the headquarters is already closed off to parking, in preparation for the construction of the 210,000-square-foot Cleveland Clinic Global Peak Performance Center later this year. That’s considered phase 1A of Bedrock’s riverfront plan.

The clock is ticking on Sherwin-Williams employees being able to use the rest of the Riverview lot, the part that’s closest to the Landmark Office Tower, according to Sherwin-Williams and its Building Our Future team. That’s where Bedrock plans its phase 1B — an office tower, hotel, apartments and public spaces requiring a reroute and redesign of Canal Road — for which no details have been provided.

“The current Tower City/Riverview parking arrangement will continue through June 2025,” they said. “Because we don’t own this property, and we understand that Bedrock has plans for the riverfront site, we don’t know how long this parking option will be available.

Lora Brand, vice president of communications at Bedrock in Detroit, did not respond to an e-mail from NEOtrans seeking updates on its riverfront development in Cleveland.


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