Updated 7:49 p.m.
A possible buyout of American Greetings by the Weiss family is putting the brakes on the planned building of its new world headquarters at Crocker Park, the Plain Dealer reported Wednesday.
The news comes one day after the city cancelled a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the hiring of a contractor for the project.
That was when city leaders got wind that this was about to happen, said Ward 6 councilman Mark Getsay.
"Given the complexity of this kind of a situation, possibly taking a public company private, I'm not overly surprised they're doing this," said Getsay, a certified public accountant.
According to Crain's Cleveland Business, the company stated that it still intends to go ahead with the project and that any delay will be short. It also reported that Stark Enterprises, which owns Crocker Park, intends to continue work on the project.
Getsay said the city would not move any further on the project, such as hiring a contractor, until this decision is settled.
"I've never been involved in taking a company private," Getsay said. "From what I've been told, it's something that can happen quickly. But it can also go very slowly. We want to do this project right, so we have to work through this. There are no hard feelings."
Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough was away from his office Wednesday afternoon and could not be reached for comment.
Here's earlier coverage of the American Greetings project:
- American Greetings announces move to Westlake
- American Greetings move to Westlake could help real estate, developers
- City Council approves tax exemption for American Greetings
- American Greetings boosts Westlake economy
- City Council OKs American Greetings plans
- American Greetings gets $1.25 million from state
- City leaders discuss contractor bids