American Greetings Breaks Ground on New World HQ in Westlake

American Greetings broke ground on August 26 on its new headquarters building at the Crocker Park development in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake. Expected to cost between $150 million and $200 million, the project is scheduled to be completed in two years.

American Greetings broke ground on Aug. 26 on its new headquarters building at the Crocker Park development in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake. Expected to cost between $150 million and $200 million, the project is scheduled to be completed in two years.

The greeting cards company first announced its intention to build a new  headquarters building in Crocker Park in May 2011. A year later, it unveiled the first plans for the facility. Work was scheduled to start by 2012, but the project encountered some problems along the way and was delayed.

American Greetings finalized the transaction to relocate its world headquarters this March. On July 1, it announced the sale of its 1.6 million-square-foot facility in Brooklyn to Industrial Realty Group, one of the largest commercial and industrial property owners in Ohio. Under the terms of the deal, American Greetings will continue to lease space in its current location until the completion of its new world headquarters.

The American Greetings Creative Studios, as the new headquarters is called, will meet all of the company’s needs in spite of the fact that it will be smaller than the Brooklyn facility. Designed by RTKL, it will contain 600,000 square feet of office space and 60,000 square feet of retail on the first floor. A glass-enclosed skyway will connect the building to a five-story parking structure.

The project is good news for the city of Westlake, the Cleveland area and even the state, as it prevents an important company from leaving Ohio. American Greetings will bring more than 1,500 employees to the new location, becoming Westlake’s largest employer and providing a major economic boost to the entire area.

The greeting cards company has hired Washington, D.C.-based MGAC — a project cost, risk and owner’s representation firm — to manage all aspects of the project. The company will provide cost and risk management services, furniture, audio-visual and security systems procurement, and move management services. American Greetings plans to move to the new location in the summer of 2016.

Photo credit: RTKL