This article has been updated to include information on property values.
Library ebook distribution firm OverDrive has begun construction of its headquarters in Garfield Heights, Ohio, the company announced today. The 95,000-square-foot facility on a 12-acre tech campus will house more than 300 employees.
The campus will include more than five acres of open space dedicated to outdoor use, including outdoor meeting space, a pond and walking path. The LEED-certified building will include two indoor basketball courts, a fitness and wellness area, and digital test labs and training centers for school and library training sessions.
Premier Development Partners is the project’s lead construction manager. Davis Smith Certo Architects Inc. is responsible for exterior architectural design services and Vocon Inc., for interior design services.
According to the minutes of a 2010 Garfield Heights city council meeting, Overdrive plans to invest $5.45 million in the project, create 90 new full-time jobs within the first three years of operations with an average hourly wage rate of $26.50/hour exclusive of benefits, and maintain 83 existing full-time jobs.
According to county real estate records, the land and existing building were purchased for about $1.1 million in 2010, and today are worth about $1.8 million. Other sites which were considered include Valley View, Ohio, and Florida.
The city received a grant from the Department of Development for up to $200,000 for road improvement to get to the new headquarters, with OverDrive paying the balance. In 2010 the town entered into an “enterprise zone agreement” with Overdrive to provide incentives for development of the campus, in the form of a ten year tax exemption. The agreement specified that construction would be completed by May 2012.
From the state Controlling Board, OverDrive received a $50,000 rapid outreach grant. OverDrive will also receive a 50 percent job creation tax credit from the state for seven years, an estimated $484,000 value, in exchange for which the company would be required to maintain operations at the project site for ten years. The plan also has the support of Cuyahoga County, which approved a loan of up to $1 million towards the project.