Ferro Corporation (NYSE: FOE) announced today that it will bring together at a single headquarters location approximately 150 employees who currently work at four facilities in Greater Cleveland.
The Company has signed a long-term lease agreement for a two-story, 63,000-square-foot office building at 6060 Parkland Blvd., Mayfield Heights, Ohio, which will become known as Ferro Global Headquarters. Ferro expects employees will occupy their new offices early this fall.
"We are pleased to reaffirm our commitment to remaining right here in Greater Cleveland, which has been Ferro's home since its founding almost 92 years ago," said James F. Kirsch, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We are also very excited that Ferro Global Headquarters will provide a fresh, open environment for our employees, facilitating collaboration, communication and innovation, and strengthening our ability to meet the goals we have set for our growing, global organization."
Ferro Global Headquarters will house corporate departments and business teams currently located at three facilities in Independence, Ohio, and at the Company's current headquarters on Lakeside Avenue in downtown Cleveland.
Ferro intends to market its downtown facility. It will maintain its research and development facility - the Posnick Center of Innovative Technology - in Independence.
Cleveland manufacturing operations at Ferro's original site on East 56th Street off Harvard Avenue and on Wayside Road in the Collinwood neighborhood are unaffected, as is the Company's polymer additives plant in Walton Hills. These local Ferro manufacturing facilities employ approximately 250 people.
"In considering our options for a headquarters facility, our strong preference was for a single-tenant building in a campus-like setting, with employees housed under one roof on no more than two floors," said Kirsch. Other key considerations included location, accessibility, timing of availability, remodeling and operating costs, security and amenities.
"After a thorough search and careful consideration of available properties throughout Greater Cleveland, we determined that the building on Parkland Boulevard most suitably matches our search criteria," Kirsch added.
Ostendorf-Morris Company served as Ferro's broker in the lease transaction and is handling the sale of the Lakeside facility.
Ferro's history dates back to 1919, when Harry D. Cushman invested $1,000 and incorporated Ferro Enameling Company, producing porcelain enamel frit in the East 56th Street plant. (Frit is a complex glass that is a core ingredient in porcelain enamel.) Today, the original plant site remains a key part of Ferro's global operations, which have grown to include manufacturing sites, laboratories and offices in 26 countries.
Ferro businesses have a long history of giving back to the communities in which they operate. The Company's corporate philanthropic giving focuses exclusively on Northeast Ohio, with emphasis on education and economic development, health and welfare, civic, and cultural arts initiatives in Greater Cleveland. Its financial and employee volunteer partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District's Charles W. Eliot PreK-8 school has been in place for 25 years.
"This is our hometown, and we are proud to help it succeed," said Kirsch. "As we look forward to an exciting new era of growth for Ferro, our commitment to strengthening the Greater Cleveland community and improving life for its citizens and future generations remains as strong as ever."