|Posted on July 13, 2014 at 8:30 PM|
CLEVELAND, June 30 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has sold its landmark Standard Building to Weston, Northeast Ohio’s largest privately held industrial building owner and manager, in a deal that is scheduled to close on Monday, June 30.
Built in 1924 by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the Standard Building – originally named the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Cooperative National Bank Building – is an elegant 21-story tower that overlooks the busy downtown intersection of Ontario Street and St. Clair Avenue. The 400,000 square foot landmark has a grand terra cotta façade and outstanding views of the surrounding city and Lake Erie.
Weston plans to transform the formidable office building into approximately 287 residential one and two bedroom rental suites. (The configuration may vary if office space is introduced on the first four stories.) Development is projected to commence in 12 to 18 months with completion slated for two years out.
“Weston is extremely enthusiastic about this opportunity,” Weston CEO T. J. Asher said regarding the purchase. “We are good at making things viable. The Standard Building is a bit of diversification for us as we enter the residential market from the industrial but it speaks loudly of our commitment to Cleveland and our desire to be a viable part of this community.”
BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce congratulated Weston on their purchase of the Standard Building. “The Standard Building is a significant part of the Brotherhood’s heritage, but it has reached a point in time where considerable assets are necessary to repurpose the building,” Pierce said, “and it is very gratifying that the Asher brothers and Weston have committed those assets and will maintain this treasure as a cornerstone of downtown Cleveland life.”
The BLET’s Bylaws require that the National Office be located in the Cleveland area, and this is unaffected by the sale of the Standard Building. One of the stipulations of the sale agreement is that BLET will lease back the space in the Standard Building that the Brotherhood currently occupies for a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years. “The lease back provision gives the Brotherhood the time necessary for the Advisory Board to select a new headquarters location in the Cleveland area, without disrupting our day to day operations,” Pierce said.
The BLET is the oldest labor organization in the United States. Cleveland was selected in 1870 as the union’s headquarters city due to its central location for serving U.S. and Canadian members. From 1910 to 1989, the union’s national office was located in the Engineers Building, across Ontario Street. That building was sold in 1988 to make way for the Marriott Tower.