AKRON — Myers Industries Inc. is looking to move to downtown Cleveland from Akron, where it's been based for 85 years.
The plastics manufacturer and tire service supply company has its sights set on North Point Tower at East Ninth Street and Lakeside Avenue. The move eventually would bring 140 jobs to downtown Cleveland.
At a Sept. 12 meeting of the Cuyahoga County Community Improvement Corp. (CCCIC), Kevin Gehrt, Myers vice president of human resources, told the loan approval committee that the company started a wider site search after it couldn't find the kind of space it was looking for in downtown Akron.
"We tried really hard to stay in Akron. I mean, we have an 85-year history there," he said, praising city of Akron officials for their efforts to find the company a suitable location in the city's downtown. "We just weren't able to find the right property with the right owner, or the metrics and financials to make it work."
Myers Industries is seeking a $400,000 loan from Cuyahoga County's large-scale special attraction program. The seven-year, 3.25-percent loan would be forgiven if the company brings 40 full-time jobs that pay at least $100,000 in wages within three years of the loan closing.
The CCCIC recommended the loan, which must still be approved by county council.
Mr. Gehrt said the company also expects the city of Cleveland to approve a $405,000 loan and grant package and it is negotiating with JobsOhio, the state economic development nonprofit, for additional financial support. The project summary prepared for the CCCIC presentation said the landlord, Hertz Investment Group, will contribute $2.6 million of tenant improvements into what will be a $5.86 million relocation expense.
The move is contingent on approval of the financial incentives. Mr. Gehrt said the company considered locations in Independence and Richfield, Ohio, and Elkhart, Ind.,
After the meeting, Gehrt told Crain's Cleveland Business that the company wanted a location in Akron with the kind of amenities that would be attractive to the kind of talent it seeks to attract. The Akron headquarters is on South Main Street, about 2.5 miles from downtown Akron.
"We wanted some place where employees could walk to a lunch spot," he said.
Myers moved to its current headquarters site in 1963. Mr. Gehrt said the site became a collection of cobbled-together building additions that no longer was functional.
Mr. Gehrt told the committee that Myers expects about 120 people would move into the new headquarters and that will grow to 140 in three years. The North Point office will house the company's global headquarters staff as well as the headquarters for its Myers Tire Supply business unit.
Myers Industries had 2017 sales of $547 million, divided between two business segments.
Myers Tire Supply is a distributor of tools, equipment and supplies to businesses that service passenger car, truck and off-road vehicles tires. Its materials-handling segment manufacturers polymer-based returnable packaging, storage and safety products for industrial, agricultural and other markets.
Jay Miller is a reporter with Crain's Cleveland Business, a sister publication of Tire Business