Breaking news surrounding the future of American Greetings.
19 Action News has learned employees were informed Friday morning that American Greetings World Headquarters will be moving next to Crocker Park in Westlake. The building is currently located in Brooklyn.
The move will happen in 2014, once the new, 700,000 square foot world headquarters is complete.
American Greetings' 2,000-employee headquarters has an annual payroll of more than $150 million. The Company and its employees paid more than $14 million in local and state taxes last year.
American Greetings CEO Zev Weiss shared the following statement with AG associates:
To All Associates:
We want to personally share with you the exciting decision that the new home for American Greetings will be in Crocker Park in Westlake, Ohio. The Company will build its new headquarters facility, to be known as the American Greetings Creative Studios, at this location and we expect to move into that space in approximately three years.
As you know, the process of making this decision has taken some time. But it is a major decision that will impact the future of American Greetings and its associates for many years to come. It also was a difficult decision because it means leaving a location that American Greetings has called home for more than 50 years. During the next three years, we hope to work with the City of Brooklyn, Cuyahoga County, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and others to look at possible other uses for our current facility.
The relocation study was launched last year to consider how our facility could help position American Greetings for continued growth and enable us to adapt to changing industry needs. We realized that we must have an environment that more accurately reflects and effectively supports our creative and innovative culture. Our headquarters must reflect who we are now and what we want to be in the future.
We are confident that moving to Westlake is the right business decision for our consumers, our retailers, our associates, shareholders and American Greetings – both now and in the future. And we are pleased that we are maintaining our commitment to Cuyahoga County and northeast Ohio by staying in the area.
Crocker Park is a vibrant retail center, with a variety of stores in step with the latest trends and appealing to a wide range of consumers. This will create an energy and synergy that will inspire our ability to create products that meet the needs of our consumers and retailers.
Crocker Park also is a lifestyle center that will be attractive to our current and future associates. You will be able to shop, dine and find a variety of leisure activities nearby. It is easily accessible from several local freeways. The amenities and environment at Crocker Park will give our associates in every department a place to flourish, and maximize their performance, innovation and creativity. That is why we're re-naming our headquarters the American Greetings Creative Studios.
While all the sites we considered, including our current location in Brooklyn, had attractive features, we couldn't replicate this total experience anywhere else.
It is exciting to think about the kind of facility our Creative Studios will be. It will be designed for you – to accommodate and encourage your best ideas, your best thinking and your best work. It will put American Greetings in a position to grow, to continue to be successful and to produce excellent products for decades to come.
At the same time, we realize that moving will affect the personal lives of some associates and their families. With three years to consider and adjust to these changes, and the prospect of working at an amazing complex, we think associates will be delighted when we move to our new home.
Thank you for your patience during this time of decision-making. We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this project. And we look forward to an exciting and successful future for our associates and American Greetings.
During the next several weeks, there will be Brown Bag meetings for associates to ask questions about the relocation. Please watch imAGine for information on how to register to attend.
With best regards,
Zev Weiss Jeff Weiss
Chief Executive Officer President and Chief Operating Officer
Also, a Westlake Joint Summary was issued. Click here to view details of the Westlake Crocker Park location.
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