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Clone of Brecksville Closing In On Sherwin-Williams Incentives Decision

Brecksville City Council will hold a final vote later this month on millions in proposed incentives to bring home the new Sherwin-Williams research and development facility.

Six ordinances related to the proposed development passed a second reading Tuesday.

The Sherwin-Williams R&D center, set to be built in Brecksville’s Valor Acres project, is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the city as part of a larger regional expansion that includes a new headquarters in the heart of Downtown Cleveland.

The complex set of proposed initiatives in Brecksville have widespread support, said Mayor Jerry Hruby. The facility is set to be an anchor for Valor Acres, he said, occupying 75 acres of the mixed-use development going in at the former site of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital on Miller Road.

“It’s sort of setting a higher bar for that development,” Hruby said. “I believe there will be companies that will be interested in coming to that development just because Sherwin-Williams is there.”

The proposed incentives package includes two primary economic development ordinances. One would allow Sherwin-Williams to receive a rebate on income taxes, though how much it gets back is dependent on total income of the employees at the Brecksville site.

If employees’ collective income totals less than $40 million, the city would not rebate any of the company’s income taxes. But if the total is between $40 million and $55 million, the city will return 35 percent of taxes collected to Sherwin-Williams. Anything above $55 million would result in a 40 percent return. That agreement would last 15 years.

The proposed legislation also includes a tax increment financing agreement, or TIF, which would reduce the development’s property taxes by only requiring 25 percent on any improvements to the property. That agreement would last 30 years.

Even 25 percent is an improvement over the taxes the land is currently generating for local schools, Hruby said.

“This was land that sat there since 2011, when [Veterans Affairs] left, and prior to that, it was a non-taxing land and improvements on the property, the school wasn’t receiving anything,” Hruby said.

Cleveland unveiled its incentives package last month, including a TIF and grant for construction. Cuyahoga County is considering its own incentives, including an additional construction grant amounting to roughly $14 million. The state of Ohio has not yet revealed its incentives.

The Brecksville council is following standard procedure and taking three readings to pass the incentives, Hruby said, rather than speeding ahead with voting — giving residents a chance to express concerns or ask questions.

“There are some residents who have expressed various concerns, but those are very minimal,” Hruby said. “Most seem very satisfied once they have an opportunity to speak to us.”

The incentives package also calls for the creation of a localized police and fire station on the development, as part of a partnership between Sherwin-Williams and the city.

 “The idea of having a fire station there onsite, and a mini police station, is just to better serve that development, just to better serve that end of our community,” Hruby said.

Also included are requirements for Brecksville, with the city agreeing to support and expedite road improvements, including an interchange at I-77.

“We realize it’s a win for us, and we’re looking forward to working with [Sherwin-Williams] for many, many years,” Hruby said.


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