Back in 2014, the Cuyahoga Land Bank and City of Euclid worked together to successfully preserve the history of 20001 Euclid Avenue in Euclid, Ohio. When the large building, once home to a General Motors aircraft plant during World War II, fell into disrepair and the building’s landlord abandoned the building, the Cuyahoga Land Bank and City of Euclid stepped in to find a responsible owner to save the building from further deterioration.
Brian Krueger, President and CEO of HGR Industrial Supplies, which buys and sells manufacturing and industrial equipment, wanted to take ownership of the building to save HGR’s employment base and avoid the upheaval of a large-scale move. After the building went through three unsuccessful public tax sales, the property was obtained from state forfeiture by the Cuyahoga Land Bank. The Cuyahoga Land Bank and City of Euclid then turned it over to HGR on the condition HGR would retain its employees in Euclid, make necessary improvements and market the space for additional future tenants.
Over the last three years, HGR has made more than $2 million in improvements to the building, including a new HVAC system and roof, allowing it to expand its operations. And, HGR recently welcomed two new tenants to the building. DriveTime, a national retailer of previously owned vehicles now occupies 100,000 sq. ft. of the building and is using the space as its Midwest regional distribution facility. In addition, NEO Sports Plant, a multi-sports complex and sports bar which made a significant investment in renovating the space, is leasing nearly 70,000 sq. ft. HGR received assistance from JobsOhio to renovate the space to attract DriveTime as a tenant.
“DriveTime brought in 80 employees with room to grow, and the Sports Plant has a total of four full and part-time employees,” says Jonathan Holody, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Euclid. “That space had been vacant for a long time, and there was a point where we weren’t sure what was going to happen with the property. The Cuyahoga Land Bank enabled a new, responsible owner to commit to making substantial improvements and ensure productive use of the property. HGR is certainly living up to that commitment.”
“This was our largest collaboration to date with the Cuyahoga Land Bank and we continue to look for opportunities to work together on other large-scale projects,” said Holody.
“This project is a prime example of successful collaboration between the Cuyahoga Land Bank, the City of Euclid, and a responsible business owner in fostering an economic development opportunity,” said Douglas Sawyer, Assistant General Counsel for the Cuyahoga Land Bank.”