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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Our plans provide Sherwin-Williams the best, most cost-effective long-term solution to enhance our ability to serve customers and attract and retain top talent. Our intent to stay in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio builds on our 155-year legacy as one of the region’s top employers and drivers of economic activity.

Due to current building codes, safety requirements, transportation needs and other Company requirements, the Company could not find a suitable location to co-locate the R&D center and the global headquarters downtown. The Brecksville site will provide a large R&D footprint with flexibility for future expansion and will be only a 20-minute drive to our new global headquarters building. Collaboration will not be an issue given today’s communication technology​​​​​​​.

As part of the exploratory process, Sherwin-Williams conducted a national search and considered sites in several other states. We aren’t providing specifics out of respect for the process and those other states. After a detailed analysis, the proposals from the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, Cuyahoga County, the City of Cleveland and the City of Brecksville have proven to be the most attractive.

Driven by our need to serve our customers at the highest level, a new R&D center and new global headquarters provides the opportunity to improve collaboration, productivity and efficiency, enhance technology and innovation and support recruitment and retention. We currently operate out of a 90-year-old HQ building. In addition to being nearly out of space, the building would require major, significant capital investments to meet future needs.

Since announcing our key partners in September of 2020, there has been a tremendous amount of work done to progress the Building Our Future (BOF) project. While we took a brief pause in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sherwin-Williams and our partners are fully engaged and making considerable progress. The Company remains fully committed to building a new global headquarters and a new global R&D center designed to foster our strong culture of community, collaboration, innovation, employee development and engagement.

We worked with several state and local partners on this project, including the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, the City of Cleveland and the City of Brecksville. We appreciate the support from these partners and we have approvals for all of the economic development packages.

The total economic development package reflects the retention of 3,500 current jobs, the addition of a minimum of 400 new jobs over time, and the overall long-term economic impact of the projects on the region. The final value of the incentives depends on multiple variables. The incentives support leveling the playing field for Northeast Ohio compared to states where the property tax rates are roughly half of the rates in Northeast Ohio​​​​​​​.

Yes, in a very positive way. The City of Cleveland estimates that when the buildings are completed and occupied, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools will receive approximately $4 million in additional annual revenue from Sherwin-Williams.

 

 

In Brecksville, the planned Sherwin-Williams R&D center would be a catalyst that should attract additional office, residential, hospitality and retail to a new mixed development project. The project is expected to drive ongoing economic activity for the City of Brecksville and generate incremental tax revenues for the city and the schools.

Our plans build on our 155-year legacy as a one of the region’s top employers and drivers of economic activity. Combined, the two facilities would house more than 3,500 employees with room to accommodate future growth. Sherwin-Williams estimates adding a minimum of 400 jobs to these facilities over time, an increase of 11 percent to the Company’s current local workforce. Many of these jobs would be professional staff, engineers and chemists.

Our public and private partners estimate significant positive economic impact in Cleveland and the State of Ohio driven by jobs, payroll, tax revenue, incremental jobs created by companies supplying goods on the projects, and the recirculation of wages throughout the regional economy.

The size of the new global headquarters facility remains at approximately 1,000,000 square feet and the size of the R&D facility remains at approximately 500,000 square feet. The overall scope of both sites has not been reduced as a result of changing trends in workplace strategies.

 

 

It is important that we bring our teams together to reinforce our culture of community, collaboration, innovation, employee development and engagement. Access to our coworkers and resources in the workplace supports our sense of employee connection and well-being in a way that prolonged, constant remote work and isolation cannot achieve.

 

 

These elements reflect our strength as a Company and are essential to making us more productive as we continue to win with our customers and retain top talent. As a result of our learnings during the pandemic, we have implemented an updated flexible workplace policy that supports remote work, flex-hours and summer hours.

BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION QUESTIONS

Our initial partners supporting the project are as follows:

 

  • Pickard Chilton Architects, Inc. – Design architect for the global headquarters
  • HGA Architects and Engineers, LLC (HGA) – Base building architect for the global headquarters; Design, base building and interior architect for the R&D Center
  • Vocon Partners, LLC – Interior architect for the global headquarters
  • Welty Gilbane, a Joint Venture – Construction manager
  • Mark G. Anderson Consultants, Inc. (MGAC) – Project manager, project controls and owner’s representative
  • CBRE Inc. – Real estate and economic development advisor
  • Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP – Legal and economic development counsel
  • Hanson Bridgett LLP – Legal counsel
  • inSITE Advisory Group – Economic development advisor

With the validation phase completed for both projects, we continue to work through the site development process and design planning . These plans will continue to be refined and reviewed by the City of Cleveland and the City of Brecksville as required by their respective planning and design organizations. 

For the headquarters site, on July 1, we submitted to the City of Cleveland our conceptual design review package. This is the first step in the City of Cleveland’s three-step design review process. The design review timeline is expected to be as follows: (all dates subject to change).

 

                           Design Process                      Submission                             Public Meeting
                           Conceptual                      July 1                              July 20
                           Schematic                      August 31                             September 14
                           Final                      November 16                             November 30

 

 

For the R&D site, we expect to submit our preliminary development information in early  August with public meetings to follow. This is the first step in the City of Brecksville’s multi-step design review process.

 

As a strong community partner, we understand the impact our new headquarters facility will have in enhancing the heart of downtown Cleveland and spurring adjacent economic growth. Collecting community feedback is important to us and will be a multi-tiered approach. This includes gathering input from a small advisory group made up of representatives from key, local organizations with a strong interest in our Building Our Future project; hosting several small input sessions with local residents, downtown businesses and building managers; and gathering feedback through one-on-one meetings with government, business and community organizations.

 

 

We look forward to discussing our new headquarters with community representatives and gaining their perspective.

During the pause of some project activities since April 2020, we worked with our partners to reconfigure the proposed site so that it is now comprised of 45 acres of the Veterans Administration (VA) site and 74 acres of an adjacent site commonly known as the Dalad site or the Crowland site. This proposed site more than doubles the available VA site property (to 69 acres) for other development opportunities for the mixed-use project and remains subject to standard due diligence and required approvals.

We are a sustainable company and we want our new facilities to reflect that, but it’s too early in this multi-year process to speculate on LEED certification until we have final designs.

We expect to include any required remediation as part of the overall construction process at the Cleveland and Brecksville sites. We will work closely with the Ohio EPA to address any issues that are identified.

Pending agreements call for Sherwin-Williams to invest a minimum of $600 million to build both facilities. Final investment amounts are subject to multiple variables, including building design and budget considerations.

The Company expects to break ground at both sites no later than fourth quarter 2021. Overall, the transition to the new facilities is expected to occur by the end of 2024.

The transition to the new facilities is likely to occur by the end of 2024.

Our current construction and real estate partners estimate several thousand construction workers would be required.

Sherwin-Williams has been and will continue to be a proud supporter of our local communities. We are committed to and value inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) in our workforce. This ID&E commitment is being extended to our BOF project. We have been working proactively with the cities, community leaders and trade partners to ensure this project positively impacts the local economy by providing workforce opportunities for the community. This includes awarding contracts to minority-owned and female-owned businesses, as well as small businesses. ​​​​​​​

 

 

For the global headquarters project, we plan to meet the standard set forth in Cleveland’s Fannie Lewis Law. The Company continues to explore in collaboration with our partners how we can apply our ID&E approach to a broad spectrum of project activities.

We welcome the participation of union labor in the construction of our new facilities. We will work with our construction partners to pay state prevailing wages on the construction components of the project.

No decisions have been made regarding the disposition or redevelopment of the Company’s current R&D center and headquarters, located at Canal Road and W. Prospect Avenue, respectively, or its facility on Warrensville Center Road.

The Company plans to work closely with the City of Cleveland and the existing parking management company to keep the parking lots located just west of Public Square open as long as possible until it becomes necessary to close them with the start of construction. We are still working through the construction details and more information will be shared when it becomes available.


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