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News Releases

Ian H. Frank Named Chair of Construction Practice at Frantz Ward

Nov 1, 2017

Article from Cheryl Hanley, Director of Marketing/Business Development, Frank Ward LLP

Frantz Ward LLP is pleased to announce that partner Ian H. Frank has been named Chair of the firm’s nationally-ranked Construction Practice Group, a robust group of nearly a dozen attorneys devoted solely to the construction industry."

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Euclid Warehouse to Become Next Home for Amazon

Oct 10, 2017

By Stan Bullard, reporter for Crain's Cleveland Business


Marking the transition of a huge property from traditional retail to e-commerce, Amazon announced on Thursday, Sept. 28, that it has agreed to lease a 1.7million-square-foot fulfillment center that will be constructed on the site of long-distressed Euclid Square Mall.

Investment in the property is expected to exceed $175 million. In a twist from typical single-story warehouses, the property will have three floors that will create a property with 1.7 million square feet of space. It will have a footprint of 650,000 square feet -- a site with enough land for 11 football fields. 

When the warehouse is finished in 2019 on the site south of I-90 between East 260th Street and Babbitt Avenue, Amazon said in a news release that it will hire about 1,000 people to work there. Staffers will pick, pack and ship customer items such as electronics, books, housewares and toys.

Sanjay Shah, Amazon's vice president of North America customer fulfillment, credited two factors for the site's selection in its release.

"Our growth in Ohio is the result of an outstanding workforce and incredible customers," Shah said.

Amazon committed to lease the property from Seefried Industrial Properties of Atlanta, a serial warehouse supplier for the online retailer.

Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail was quoted in the release as saying, "While some saw a vacant mall, we saw an opportunity for growth and development. This project is a fantastic addition to the investment we are seeing in our industrial corridor and will provide valuable employment opportunities for our residents."

Without naming the name of the prospective user earlier this year, the suburb OK'd incentives for the project, rezoned the site, and approved designs for the fulfillment center.

State and local economic development officials, tongue-tied by long practice as the project was pursued, were effusive about the advent of Amazon. That is especially the case because it is in addition to a previously approved plan that also replaces Randall Park Mall in North Randall with a warehouse that will be 25% larger than the one in Euclid.

Joe Roman, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, issued a statement that read, "Amazon's confidence in Greater Cleveland continues. In the last 30 days Amazon has committed to creating 3,000 new jobs, investing more than $350 million of capital and repurposing over 125 acres of 'dead-mall' property. The GCP remains committed to the company's long-term success in Northeast Ohio."

Roman acknowledged that securing the project too collaboration from public and private partners, including JobsOhio, TeamNEO, the city of Euclid, Cuyahoga County, the Ohio Department of Transportation and the State of Ohio. GCP assisted the project with technical and other forms of assistance, and will provide ongoing services to the company through construction and once the project is complete.

Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO, said, "The economic development system worked well at all levels to ensure Amazon chose Euclid for this investment."

Cuyahoga County Executive Amond Budish added, "These Amazon projects provide two great advantages: 1) 3,000 new jobs; and 2) valuable repurposing of two dead malls." Cuyahoga County, he said, will support the company with workforce development and infrastructure assistance as necessary to ensure the project's success.

Before proceeding, Seefried has to close on the purchase of the mall and adjoining properties to assemble a nearly 70-acre site as well as demolish the mall and retail buildings on the site.

The move returns industrial use to the site.

A Chase Brass & Copper Co. mill was put on the property in 1929. It was razed in 1975 by Jacobs Visconsi Jacobs Co., a predecessor of Richard E. Jacobs Group of Westlake, to develop the mall."


Oct 10, 2017

The Ohio Legislature continues to work at a modest pace with committees and taskforce meetings being held.   At the local level, the County Council has worked on a steady number of ordinances and resolutions as they gear up for their all important budget hearings. Below, are issues CEA is working on or monitoring at the state and local levels of government. 

Apprenticeship Training In Construction Recognized By Tuition Reimbursement Program
ApprenticeOhio and 10 community colleges (Columbus State, Cuyahoga, Edison State, Lorain County, Marion Technical, North Central State, Rhodes State, Sinclair, Stark State and Washington State) will offer reimbursements to students who finish pre-apprenticeship and registered apprenticeship programs.  The programs include the fields of construction, advanced manufacturing, computer programming, health care, and business services among others.  

Anti Prevailing Wage Bill Heard At The Statehouse
On September 19th, The House Economic Development Commerce and Labor Committee held its second hearing on HB 163-Prevailing Wage.  The bill is sponsored by Representative Roegner (R-Hudson) and Representative  Riedel (R- Defiance.)   The bill weakens prevailing wage by allowing local governments to voluntarily apply prevailing wage law. 

Supporters of the bill include The Associated Builders and Contractors of Ohio (ABC), The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, Honerlaw Construction and Remodeling, Claggett & Sons Inc, Laurelville Fire, Hamilton Township, City of Shelby, The National Federation of Independent Buisnesses (NFIB), and The Ohio Fair Managers Association.

Some of the arguments by proponents on why the bill should be passed were that the legislation restores local decision making and that prevailing wage had worn out its usefulness as a Depression era policy.   Other supporters stated free enterprise and competition would be helped by the bill.   Witnesses told the committee that quality and safety concerns were unwarranted. 

Democratic members Rep. Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) questioned witnesses about devalued training, less educated workers, and studies that showed safety issues on non prevailing wage projects.   CEA continues to reach out to House members to tell the real story about prevailing wage and how it benefits Ohio.   CEA and its lobbying team continue to educate lawmakers on this vital issue.   

Hit the Road for CEA
If there are topics you want to share with government leaders or you want to help give a name and a face to the timely issues of prevailing wage and unemployment compensation, please join us at the CEA Legislative Drive In on Wednesday, November 29, in Columbus. 

Cuyahoga County Council Hears Motor Vehicle License Tax, Contracting Ordinance , and Sustainability Department Plan

Ord. 2017-0003 Motor Vehicle License Tax - Allows the County to levy an additional $5 tax per motor vehicle.  The bill had its first hearing before the Public Works Committee.  CEA’s lobbying team attended the hearing.   Director Michael Dever of Public Works, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) Director Grace Gallucci, The American Society of Civil Engineers, The Mayor of Fairview Park, and the City Manager of Cleveland Heights testified on the bill.  Council will have at least one more hearing on the legislation that would produce an extra $4-5 million a year to be used for road and bridge projects starting in 2019.  CEA supports Cuyahoga County user tax. (Read testimony)
Ord. O2017-0004 To modify the requirements of contractors - The ordinance made changes to NON public improvement contracting.  CEA reviewed the legislation and submitted written testimony to the Public Works Committee advocating for keeping strong protections in current law for quality contracting. CEA also reached out to the Procurement and Public Works Departments to discuss the bill.  The bill passed out of committee, and it will now be up for a second reading.  (Read testimony)

Res. 2017‐0168 Adopting the 2017 Cuyahoga County Sustainability Plan – The resolution is being sponsored by Council Members Miller, Simon, Conwell along with County Executive Budish, and the Department of Sustainability.  Here is a description of some areas CEA members might be interested in:
Have a goal to measure all greenhouse gases in the County by 2018
Discuss creating a tax as a funding stream
Track equity and inclusion and speak out on state and federal issues
Consider sustainability as measure for County vendors
Use land for solar, look to build micro grid, enhance land use

CEA Pleased to Host Cuyahoga County Council Members Scott Tuma and Councilwoman Shontel Brown
CEA members were able to ask questions and share time with these County Council members.  CEA heard about the priorities that Tuma and Brown are working toward.  Members had the opportunity to discuss a variety of issues including quality contracting, license fee legislation, diversity and inclusion efforts, disparity study background and timelines, economic development programs, and the state and County budget.   CEA appreciates Councilpersons Tuma and Brown attending.  We also appreciate the help of Councilman Anthony Hairston in this event. 

Jack Petsche Runs for Brecksville City Council 
CEA member Jack Petsche is running this November for an at large seat in Brecksville.   Jack will face a field of five other candidates with four people advancing to Council.   Feel free to learn more at

Here are some general city updates.  Council took another legislative step toward establishing a special improvement district on either side of Superior Avenue inside the Innerbelt.  This district would be arts centered. The Cleveland Superior Arts Improvement District would be between East 18th Street and East 26th Street south of St. Clair Avenue and north of Payne Avenue on the East Side. Council agreed to spend $200,000 to have companies remove non-working phones and sell the materials for scrap. City officials believe there are about 1,700 outdoor pay phones across Cleveland.
The controversial Marion Motley Park Project has also been in the news.

On October 19th at 12pm, the City Club will host a Mayoral Debate between candidates Frank Jackson and Zack Reed.