“Scheduling became a real problem,” says Quicken Loans Arena CEO Mark Stornes. “We had to work around concert dates, even the circus — up to 200 events a year. Literally, it was hard for players to get around the building.”
Cascade Capital Corp. — The company works with banks and other groups to provide financing for companies looking to grow through investment in new equipment, facilities and human resources. In 2007, the company approved $15.5 million in loans to 24 companies, which were leveraged by $28.4 million in private loans.
Growth Partnership for Ashtabula — Formed a joint economic development district with Geneva and Harpersfield Township. In addition to opening up acreage for development, the project allowed Nordic Air to expand its facilities, and several other land and building owners have expressed interest in expanding.
Greater Cleveland Partnership — Advocated for NASA Glenn to be awarded the Orion Project (the return to the moon and Mars), securing work for some 700 NASA civil servants and hundreds of private contractors.
Also, the facility was small by professional standards, wedged into the corner of The Q, three floors above the team’s locker, training and
The Cavs began looking for a location to build a state-of-the-art, secluded basketball operations hub that players and staff could enter and exit without fanfare. Team officials found an ideal site — an undeveloped, wooded area along Brecksville Road in Independence — but realized that building a practice facility outside the city might set off tax-revenue-sharing fireworks between officials in Cleveland and Independence.
What followed was an impressive high-wire act of collaboration involving both cities, three port authorities, the Cleveland Clinic and the Cavaliers. “Sometimes it’s difficult getting everyone on board with a major move like this,” Stornes says, “so the first thing we did was analyze how everyone involved could end up winning.”
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and former Independence Mayor Fred Ramos formed a key partnership, agreeing to a 50-50 split of income-tax revenue from Cavs players and coaches.
Ron White, community and economic development director for Independence, attended the mayors’ meeting. “Their prevailing thought in the room was, ‘The Cavs want to do this, and we’re not going to stand in their way,’ ” he recalls.
The three port authorities — Cleveland-Cuyahoga County, Summit County and Toledo — reached separate financing agreements for the $27 million construction.
When the 50,000-square-foot facility was completed in November, about 30 staffers began working there. Independence collects city taxes from their paychecks. White says the Cavs’ move brings about $350,000 in annual revenue for the city, about $250,000 of which goes to its schools.
The new facility has about three times more basketball court space than The Q. Other features include cameras built into the ceiling so practices can be recorded, and a doctor’s office staffed with a Cleveland Clinic physician and trainers who can watch MRI tests as they happen. Off the locker room, an aquatherapy room offers a large hot tub, a cold tub and an underwater treadmill with Cleveland Clinic monitoring technology. “We now havethe class training facility of the NBA,” Stornes says.