EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — GE Current appears close to a deal to move from its headquarters in East Cleveland’s Nela Park campus to Beachwood. Appearing before Beachwood City Council’s Economic Development Committee this week, GE Current executives outlined their hopes of moving into a 42,000 square foot space on Commerce Park Drive in Beachwood.
“We’re very excited — we look at it as transformational to the area,” Beachwood Mayor Martin Horwitz said of the potential move. “The idea of having a legacy company, a company with a name like General Electric that’s been known not only in Cleveland for 100 years but around the world is just very exciting to us.”
GE Nela Park, known across Northeast Ohio for its Christmas displays each year, has undergone many changes in the last several years. In 2018, GE announced they were looking for a buyer for both GE Lighting and GE Current, looking to sell them together or separately. Last year, GE Lighting sold to Savant Systems - those estimated 700 employees are not part of this move and would remain at Nela Park.
GE Current was sold to a private equity firm now known as GE Current a Daintree Company; they employ around 120 employees, and they are the ones looking to leave Nela Park.
“It’s tragic to me,” said Sean Ward. He is the founder & CEO of the East Cleveland Growth Association, a non-profit with an eye towards economic revitalization in East Cleveland. The news of losing even a small percent of the workforce there was a blow.
“This was the anchor, this was the only real viable corporate entity that we had in East Cleveland and it was something to grow from,” he said.
That’s exactly the reason Beachwood is excited to bring the forward-thinking company to town, breathing new life into a business park and encouraging growth in the surrounding area.
“I don’t look at this as just for Beachwood because Commerce Park borders on Chagrin Highlands, which borders on other cities,” said Horwitz. “To have someone of the caliber of GE Current we hope that that will attract other types of similar high tech industrial businesses and corporate offices both to Commerce Park and to Chagrin Highlands and to other developments in the area.”
Beachwood will take up the issue of the incentive package to facilitate the move on Monday.
“Council seemed very favorable. Everyone on council feels this here is something that’s going to change Commerce Park," Mayor Horwitz said. “I was on council for six years, I’ve been mayor here for three and a half, you know all of the time I’ve been associated with the city, Commerce Park is an aging area that we’re trying to get businesses interested in and this is a very, very, major first step in bringing the kind of caliber we look forward to having.”