With the aid of a $500,000 economic development loan from the city, a former cement company's headquarters in
will soon be converted into a 120-person call center.
The Medusa Cement Company occupied the building on Monticello until the late 1990s. Founded 120 years ago, the company was originally called the Portland Sandusky Cement Company. It was later renamed after Medusa, the fearsome Greek gorgon whose gaze turned men to stone. Medusa thrived in the post-war building boom. It moved its headquarters to Houston in 1999 after a merger.
Medusa Holdings, LLC applied for a loan through the city's commercial revolving loan fund program. In exchange for receiving favorable, below market terms, the developer committed to creating 120 full-time jobs. At least 51 percent of those jobs must be made available to or held by low- to moderate-income individuals.
Two-thirds of the $500,000 loan will carry a 3.5% annual interest rate and a 10-year repayment term following a one-year deferral. Up to $200,000 of the loan may be forgiven at a rate of $50,000 per year for every year during which 100 full-time equivalent jobs are maintained at the call center prior to 2018.
"This is an exciting opportunity for the Medusa building to be rejuvenated into a call center," says Suzanna Niermann O'Neill, Acting City Manager for the City of Cleveland Heights. "The whole area between the community center and the Rockefeller building has been refreshed with new restaurants and new businesses."
Nierman-O'Neill noted that this kind of economic development will bring revenue to the city's coffers and that the call center will serve nonprofit organizations.
Source: Suzanna Nierman-O'Neill
Writer: Lee Chilcote