On an early December morning, Cuyahoga Land Bank contractors began work to demolish a dilapidated 77,000 square foot structure for the future site of Heinen’s new food production plant in the City of Warrensville Heights. The demolition process included the removal of the building, asbestos remediation, building cleanout, and fencing and debris removal which cost totaled at $610,000.
Heinen’s is purchasing the property from the Cuyahoga Land Bank and reimbursing all costs related to the demolition. Heinen’s plans to build a nine million dollar, 70,000 square foot food production plant. “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. It leverages the shipping and receiving infrastructure that we currently have in place at our present warehouse facility. It also 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 of Warrensville Heights has been actively facilitating for a long time. Heinen’s forty 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, expansion will spur economic growth and revitalization in Northeast Ohio.” Heinen’s went through the Cuyahoga County’s Western Reserve Fund a revolving loan fund that offers gap financing to job creating and job retaining projects in the county.
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 tax delinquent. With this information, the partners reached out to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to handle a foreclosure on the property.
“Because of a team effort between the County Development Department, County Prosecutor Office, the City of Warrensville Heights, and the Cuyahoga Land Bank, we were able to provide Heinen’s the opportunity to expand in Warrensville Heights. Thus bringing in new jobs and reducing blight,” said the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Director of Acquisitions, Dispositions and Development Cheryl Stephens.“Through a collective focus on jobs and economic development, this project is now a reality.”
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, but it will also revitalize a blighted area that has been vacant for several years. I am delighted that we were able to collaborate successfully to keep a successful family-owned business here in Cuyahoga County.”