Medical Mutual rents former American Greetings space

Electricians, plumbers, painters and drywall installers set to start work on $ 23 million project in Brooklyn as Medical Mutual of Ohio begins repairing some of the damage caused by the 2016 departure of American Greetings Corp. from the suburb of Westlake.

This is because a 324,539 square foot office lease was entered into on May 23 between the insurer and Cleveland American LLC, a subsidiary of Industrial Commercial Properties LLC, based in Solon, and Industrial Realty Group LLC. , based in Los Angeles, in the former offices of the company. card company.

Ray Mueller, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Medical Mutual, said the company plans to start consolidating multiple suburban operations into one in Brooklyn in early 2020.

The health insurer is deciding which staff will move to Brooklyn and will notify them internally later this summer. Medical Mutual now has large offices in leased space in Beachwood, Copley and Strongsville. The company announced to the suburb that it would locate approximately 750 workers in Brooklyn.

The company’s desire to consolidate suburban office space surfaced in 2017 with a letter of intent to lease space at One American Road at the same time as it acquired its downtown headquarters from The Rose complex. Building at 2060 East 9th St. Medical Mutual said its chief employee counting the 10-story downtown building will remain unchanged as the suburb consolidates.

Both tangible and intangible gains are being sought with the consolidation of suburban offices in Brooklyn.

“Along with the financial benefits, we see the opportunity for better employee collaboration,” Mueller wrote in an email to Crain’s Cleveland Business about the recently concluded lease. “The space available at the Brooklyn site allows us to bring together teams that in the past were spread over multiple sites. This allows employees to have more direct contact and to work more efficiently to better serve our members.

Andi Udris, director of economic development for Brooklyn, said Medical Mutual had meticulously reviewed the details involved in the major move to Brooklyn.

“They wanted to make sure the city had completed repairs to the access road in 2019,” said Udris, ready for employees to take up the space in early 2020.

Medical Mutual and the owner plan to invest a total of $ 23 million in building improvements, under a community reinvestment law between the city and the company. The CRA cuts the business and owner’s property tax bill for improvements to half of what they would otherwise be for 10 years, though it must provide annual fees and other concessions to the city, according to the agreement.

Brooklyn also accepted a job creation incentive for Medical Mutual to create 750 jobs in the city and a payroll of at least $ 57 million in the suburbs. As part of the incentive, once the company has staff in place for a year, the suburb will reduce its checks totaling $ 1.3 million to $ 5 million over six years, according to the. number of workers actually located in the city.

Chris Semarjian, the owner of Industrial Commercial Properties, declined to comment on the project.

However, Udris described the improvements to the old American Greetings headquarters as significant.

“They are in the process of completely remaking and modernizing the building,” Udris said. The 2020 occupancy date stated in the lease also reflects the scope of construction, as it allows up to 18 months to complete the work.