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Cuyahoga County offering $14 million to build Sherwin-Williams HQ, R&D facility

Posted at 4:52 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 18:21:28-05

CLEVELAND — Residents in Cuyahoga County are slowly learning more about how Sherwin-Williams will pay for it’s estimated $600 million project to build a new downtown Cleveland Headquarters and Research and Development Facility in Brecksville.

Cuyahoga County is considering a $14 million incentive grant. While the cities of Brecksville, Cleveland and the state's economic development corporation JobsOhio are also providing incentives to Sherwin-Williams, none of them have released specifics on their plans.

“The company wanted to see demonstrated commitment on behalf of the public sector,” said Cuyahoga County Chief Economic and Development and Business Officer Ted Carter.

Carter says the county’s incentive package factored in the economic activity it would have lost if Sherwin-Williams left.

“Our projection is that it will be a positive return at 10 years,” said Carter.

Carter says the county’s $14 million incentive grant is less than what will come from each city and the state of Ohio. He added that he believes Sherwin-Williams will end up paying for more than half the project itself.

It is a lot of public money going to a private company, but Carter says it is a good use of public funds to keep a home-grown company in the region.

“At the end of the day, we’re stewards of taxpayer dollars and so my litmus test isn’t just my professional judgment or if this is a good deal,” said Carter. “I always ask by barber and my bartender, is this a good deal, what do you think? Both of them are thrilled.”

Some people who aren’t thrilled belong to a local janitor’s union.

SEIU Local 1 representatives told the Cuyahoga County Economic Development and Planning Committee that they were frustrated after roughly 30 union janitorial workers received notice on Dec. 30 that the paint company would be dropping union service members in favor of non-union janitors.

Sherwin-Williams told News 5:

Regretfully, there have been consistent performance and quality issues with the cleaning services provided by ABM over an extended period of time. These issues were reported on a regular basis to ABM, yet the issues were never resolved. After giving ABM repeated opportunities to rectify the issues, Sherwin-Williams provided ABM notice on December 30, 2019 that it would no longer utilize its services at its headquarters building.

The incentive package still has two more readings in front of the full Council before it is approved.

RELATED: Sherwin-Williams announces world headquarters to stay in Cleveland