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Sherwin-Williams’ new HQ will be tall, but it will also make the distance to the Warehouse District seem shorter

Sherwin Williams Phase 1.jpg
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 06:59:54-04

CLEVELAND — It will be months if not years before Sherwin-Williams breaks ground for its new downtown headquarters just off Public Square, but the plans released this month are giving downtowners a chance to imagine what the new skyline could eventually look like.

While the building could change the skyline in Cleveland, Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative Director Terry Schwarz says the impact will also be felt horizontally, not just vertically.

Experts say the distance between the Warehouse District and Public Square could feel shorter once the Sherwin-Williams project is completed because the parking lots can be hard to walk through and expose pedestrians to the elements in all weather.

“It isn’t that huge of a distance but it feels like it is just because of the empty space as you’re walking across the parking lot prairie,” said Schwarz.

A series of new buildings constructed during Phase 1 of the project, with the potential for more construction in future phases, and ground-level retail along some of the footprint will help fill in that prairie, better linking Public Square to the Warehouse District.

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The new HQ building would be fewer stories than Key Tower and 200 Public Square. It's not clear exactly how tall it might end up being.

“Plus, you put all these employees in the middle of that space so people might go to lunch in the Warehouse District or go to the train in Public Square,” said Schwarz.

Those Sherwin-Williams workers looking for lunch or a coffee break are going to be running into people like Latoya Flowers, who ends up around Tower City when she’s taking breaks from classes in the Campus District.

A largely-underused bike rack sits in the middle of the massive parking lots that will one day house Sherwin-Williams' new HQ.

“It may be good for business,” Flowers said, talking about the new headquarters. “It’s going to be tight on traffic and parking because it’ll take up some more space but it should bring some exciting things to the city.”

The added activity is a neighborhood connection nearby projects are already banking on.

Later development could create new places to live, work, and shop, connecting the Warehouse District to Public Square.

75 Public Square is being renovated by The Millennia Companies into more than 100 apartments and two commercial retail locations on the ground floor, right across the street from Public Square and next to the new headquarters.

“It’s going to help anchor the corner as will Sherwin-Williams, who is building their headquarters right next door,” said Millennia Asset Manager Cheryl Wearsch.

Monday, workers were digging in the lot taking additional test samples the day before Sherwin-Williams presents this proposed project to the City of Cleveland.

A few feet away, K&D Group is renovating 55 Public Square into a new office, residential space, and a new restaurant which will have a rooftop that overlooks Public Square. K&D’s Doug Price told News 5 he hopes that the restaurant also helps fill the gap in sit-down restaurants that exists between East 4th Street and the Warehouse District. The cherry on top is that the Sherwin-Williams pavilion planned for the parking lot across the street from his building won’t block 55 Public Square.

“This building in front of us will only be two stories, or approximately two stories, according to what I’ve seen, so 55 keeps its real high profile on the square,” said Price.

RELATED: Sherwin-Williams concept art for new headquarters shows tower standing 36 stories tall

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