The are still in the planning process, but funding for the multi-million dollar construction project is starting to roll in.
American Greetings took its plans off of the city’s Planning Commission agenda in September . According to American Greetings spokesperson Nancy Lesic, the final presentation has been delayed because “the company’s plans are still general.”
“They believe that in the next few weeks, they can further develop the plans and be in a much better position to show the Planning Commission a more accurate plan with additional specifics and details,” she said.
While the plans are being finalized, the funding is starting to show up.
The Cleveland International Fund recently announced that it will raise up to $65 million for the project, along with $10 million for an expansion at including a hotel, offices, residences and retail.
“We are pleased to work with businesses in the local community, like CiF,” said Zev Weiss, chief executive officer at American Greetings, in a release. “The financing they are providing will help us construct a new world headquarters that is more reflective of our company’s creative culture.”
According to Lesic, the entire headquarters will cost from $150 to $200 million. The company will also receive a $15 million loan from the state, along with a $2.5 million grant. American Greetings will provide the balance of funding for construction.
To that end as well, American Greetings has recently decided to hire a new architecture firm to design the company's new creative studios.
“American Greetings wanted to give the architects some additional time to further develop the plans,” Lesic said.
The State Controlling Board also recently released $1 million to the city of Westlake for infrastructure improvements associated with the expansions at Crocker Park and the American Greetings offices.
“It’s a multi-million dollar private investment we’re proud to see in Westlake,” said State Rep. Nan Baker. “It’s a wonderful company to have in Westlake and American Greetings is going to have at least 1,500 to maybe 2,000 full time jobs, which is a great asset for us to have come to our city. It’s all about jobs and getting people back to work, and I’m glad we can do that.”
The city also has plans to go out to bond for no more than $43 million, once the plans are approved.
“As soon as they submit a plan they’re ready to commit to, then we’ll go forward with the bonds,” said Mayor Dennis Clough. “If it keeps jobs here, it’s positive.”