By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer
Fairlawn-based global polymer company Omnova Solutions Inc. may relocate its headquarters and 140 employees to Beachwood.
The $1.1 billion company said it has been looking at staying in Ohio or going elsewhere for nearly two years.
Fairlawn, meanwhile, continues to woo Omnova and hopes it will stay.
Fairlawn Mayor Bill Roth said his city has been in discussions with Omnova for at least the past 18 months and made what he called a highly competitive package to build a “world-class” headquarters on land near the new A. Schulman Inc. site at Fairlawn Corporate Park. Omnova provides about 4 percent of the city’s tax revenue, he said.
The city’s offer has a total proposed value of nearly $5.2 million, according to public documents. The proposed location is at Cleveland-Massillon and Ridgewood roads, a bit more than three miles from Omnova’s current headquarters.
“I think we’ve given a very generous, good faith offer,” Roth said. “The only thing I’ve heard is they are thinking of moving north. We were told several months ago we were in the mix. I hope, obviously, they change their minds. ... It’s very disappointing if they leave. It’s a quality company.”
The Fairlawn offer included:
• An estimated $500,000 in job creation tax rebates.
• An estimated $2.06 million in real estate tax rebates.
• $710,010 by buying land owned now by Omnova.
• Selling eight acres of land at Fairlawn Corporate Park to Omnova, valued at $225,000 per acre, for $25,000 an acre. Total value, $1.6 million.
• $100,000 in streetscape improvements.
• $150,000 in infrastructure allowance.
The company declined to comment beyond issuing a statement.
Omnova Solution’s statement in full read:
“After nearly two years of extensive analysis, during which time we evaluated numerous options both in and out of Ohio, we are currently in discussions that we hope will allow us to construct a new headquarters building in Beachwood. Because our plans remain subject to various approvals at the local level, however, we continue to consider other possible locations in Northeast Ohio.
“This decision is a reaffirmation of our belief in the great people, resources and institutions of Northeast Ohio, which provides a terrific foundation for us to build our global corporate headquarters to support our future growth. It allows us to broaden our footprint in the region, while still staying very connected and committed to the Akron area.
“Wherever we may choose to locate our headquarters, it’s important to note that Omnova will continue to have a strong presence in Akron. In fact, we have recently invested nearly $9 million to refurbish our Global Technology Center in Akron and add advanced capabilities and systems at our plants in Akron and Mogadore. Together, these three Akron-area facilities employ nearly two-thirds of our Northeast Ohio workforce.”
Omnova Solutions traces its roots to the former General Tire & Rubber Co. that was based at One General Street in East Akron. General Tire’s successor company was called GenCorp. Omnova was spun off from GenCorp in 1999.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.