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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Sherwin-Williams Will Reportedly Announce Cleveland HQ, Validating Local Blogger

Posted By on Wed, Feb 5, 2020 at 3:28 PM

  • Sherwin-Williams rendering.
WKYC Channel 3 is reporting that Sherwin-Williams intends to announce Thursday that it will build its new corporate headquarters in downtown Cleveland, "near Public Square," and that it will build a new research and development facility in Brecksville.

If true, the news follows months of speculation and anxiety from regional leaders. It also validates the reporting of local transit and infrastructure blogger Ken Prendergast, who broke every major development on the story of Sherwin's search and has provided depth and nuance as he pieced together  evidence that Sherwin was indeed staying put.

Prendergast used visual evidence, city records, inside sources and auxiliary information — like the fact that CEO John Mokiris and his wife recently moved to a new, 22,000-square-foot mansion in Bay Village — to develop the huge, regionally significant story, even as Sherwin itself remained tight-lipped throughout.

The company employs upwards of 3,000 people in its downtown offices (both corporate HQ and R&D), and more than 4,000 total in the region. Channel 3 reports that the downtown employment leads to roughly $15 million in annual payroll tax revenue for the city of Cleveland.

Public officials have been mum, as is their custom. They've enlisted legal teams to assemble incentive packages for the paint and coatings giant and will presumably cite attorney-client privilege to shield the public from knowing anything meaningful about the exotic incentives they eventually offer. When asked the city and the county to make transparency pledges about forthcoming incentives, they declined to do so. 

In any case, we'll know for sure Thursday. But mad props to Ken.

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