Cuyahoga Land Bank, City of Euclid Secure a Responsible Owner for Historic Building

The Cuyahoga Land Bank and City of Euclid recently worked together to successfully preserve the history of 20001 Euclid Avenue in Euclid, Ohio. Over the past century, the building has
euclidseen several notable uses. It is most prominently know for serving as the site of the famous U.S. Supreme Court Euclid v. Ambler case in 1926. This case played an important role in establishing the legality of zoning ordinances in towns nationwide. The building was also home to a General Motors aircraft plant during World War II, and later a GM Fisher Body plant until the 1970s. The building can now continue its rich history under the new owner HGR Industrial Supplies, a company which buys and sells manufacturing and industrial equipment. HGR’s recent efforts to hurdle from tenant to landlord became a reality, through the cooperation of the City of Euclid and the Cuyahoga Land Bank. HGR was established in 1998 and opened in the facility at 20001 Euclid Avenue as a tenant. Over the last 16 years, the company has expanded and now occupies 500,000 square feet of the 966,000 square foot building. Recently, the building’s landlord lost ownership of the building. During this period the building had fallen into disrepair and needed a responsible owner to save the building from impending deterioration. HGR CEO/President Brian Krueger wanted to take ownership of the building to save HGR’s hgremployment base and avoid the upheaval of a large-scale move. Meanwhile, 20001 Euclid Avenue went through three unsuccessful sheriff’s sales and then into state forfeiture. That’s when the City of Euclid put Krueger in contact with the Cuyahoga Land Bank. “We helped bring the parties together,” said Jonathan Holody, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Euclid. “We wanted to ensure there would be an investment in the building going forward and wanted to avoid a prolonged period of abandonment or speculation.” Once the property was deeded to the Cuyahoga Land Bank, the Cuyahoga Land Bank was able to turn it over to HGR on condition HGR would retain its employees in Euclid and continue its business. With the building being back in the hands of a responsible owner and paying taxes, the necessary improvements can now be addressed and the building can be further marketed for additional tenants. “The Cuyahoga Land Bank got involved because we wanted to get it into someone’s hands that we knew would pay the taxes going forward and could do something to make it an asset to the City and the community.” said Doug Sawyer, Special Projects and Policy Council for the Land Bank. HGR submitted a proposal at the end of February 2014 to the Cuyahoga Land Bank that included plans to fix up the building and expand their business in Euclid. HGR’s plans include adding 15 employees and stabilizing the necessary improvements including a new HVAC system and a new roof, so that the rest of the building can be occupied. “We need to fix inside the structure before the rest of the building can be used, which will take a while,” said Krueger. “We started the day we took ownership. We have structural engineers working on it now.” Once the building is repaired, HGR plans to occupy the majority of the space with its manufacturing business and lease the remainder to other businesses. He believes they will be short-term leases because Krueger expects HGR employment to grow from 105 to 150 within the next few years. “The Cuyahoga Land Bank was a critical partner in this project and they were responsive and easy to work,” said Holody. “They moved quickly and are a great tool for us to have in this region. I think this move positioned HGR to stay and grow in Euclid, which is a good thing.”

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