Cuyahoga Land Bank demolition crews got to work early this morning, taking down a dilapidated 77,000 square foot structure in order to make way for a new Heinen’s food production plant. The demolition is the culmination of a $610,000 effort to remove the building, which also includes asbestos remediation, cleanout, fencing and debris removal.
Heinen’s is purchasing the property from the Cuyahoga Land Bank and reimbursing all costs related to the demolition. On the site, they plan to complete a $9 million, 70,000 square foot food production plant, where Heinen’s will have a full bakery, cut and package their Heinen’s Own meat products and prepare meal solutions for both Heinen’s Gourmet case and their Grab-N-Go section.
“The Cuyahoga Land Bank was instrumental in the acquisition and clean-up of this site, which is contiguous to our present warehouse,” said Heinen’s Director of Finance Daniel Musil. “This allows us to build our new food production plant, leverages the shipping and receiving infrastructure we currently have in place at our present warehouse facility and grants access to future potential expansion. The food production plant will be utilized to expand the wide array of meat, prepared food and bakery products, enhancing our selection for customers.”
“The Heinen’s expansion project has been a top economic development priority that the City has been actively facilitating for a long time. Heinen’s 40 year history in Warrensville Heights and Northeast Ohio demonstrates their commitment to revitalizing the region,” said Warrensville Heights Mayor Brad Sellers. “Without the assistance of the Cuyahoga Land Bank, I can’t promise you this effort would have come to fruition as quickly as it did.”
The creation of a home for Heinen’s food production plant in Warrensville Heights began two years ago for the Cuyahoga Land Bank, when Warrensville Heights Economic Development Director Pequita Hansberry reached out for assistance.
“When Heinen’s approached the city regarding an expansion project in Warrensville Heights, I immediately reached out to the Cuyahoga County Department of Development and the Cuyahoga Land Bank for assistance,” said Hansberry. “The Department of Development and the Land Bank worked diligently to locate the owner of the vacant building and assisted Heinen’s, the City and other parties with the acquisition. Now, two years later, Heinen’s will construct a $9 million warehouse and production facility on South Miles Road that will spur economic growth and revitalization in Northeast Ohio.”
Heinen’s wanted to expand their warehouse and had attempted to purchase the dilapidated property on approximately five acres adjacent to them with no success. With some research, the Cuyahoga Land Bank discovered that the property in question had a $1 million lien on it and was significantly delinquent on its taxes. With this information, the partners reached out to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to handle a foreclosure on the property.
The foreclosure completed, the Cuyahoga Land Bank took title to the property earlier this year and an environmental analysis uncovered the need for asbestos remediation, which was conducted prior to today’s demolition.
“Because of a team effort between the County Development Department, the City of Warrensville Heights and the Cuyahoga Land Bank, we were able to provide Heinen’s the opportunity to expand in Warrensville Heights, bringing in new jobs and reducing blight,” said the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Director of Acquisitions, Dispositions and Development Cheryl Stephens. “Through collaboration and a collective focus on economic development in our community we were able to acquire tax delinquent land, cleanse it of liens, demolish vacant and abandoned structures, finance acquisition and development costs and offer all of this to a private, for-profit business quickly.”
“This project is yet another example of how the Cuyahoga County Western Reserve Fund is a great financial resource that assists businesses with business growth and land reutilization,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. “The expansion of the Heinen’s food production plant will not only create additional jobs for our region, it will also make use of a blighted area that has been vacant for several years. I am delighted that we were able to collaborate successfully with several stakeholders to ensure that this project would become a reality and to keep a successful family-owned business here in Cuyahoga County.”
“This Cuyahoga Land Bank demolition will facilitate continued economic development by one of Cuyahoga County’s most successful local businesses, all while putting five acres of delinquent land to productive use,” said Cuyahoga County Council President C. Ellen Connally. “This project will be a boon to both Warrensville Heights and Cuyahoga County.”