“Is Sherwin Williams moving its HQ to CLT?”

Dear El Cardinale,

I heard that Sherwin Williams is considering moving its Headquarters to Charlotte. What do you make of it?

– Painting the Town

Dear Painter,

Cleveland has been the home of the Sherwin-Williams Company for more than a century. But in September Sherwin-Williams announced it was exploring relocating. The vision for their new home is an exciting one. One million SF of modern office space and a 250,000 innovation and research lab.

Charlotte has been short-listed. Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas are also contenders, in addition to a scenario to remain put.

The Charlotte Business Journal has reported that John Boyd of The Boyd Co. believes the primary drivers behind Sherwin-Williams’ decision are airports and the workforce. Boyd also said the announcement designed to encourage Ohio officials to make big efforts to keep the company at home.

I am representing a company considering Charlotte, Dallas, and Chicago as cities for a new HQ. The CEO was in town last week and I shared with him the following insight.

Not long ago, I said to some friends that Charlotte is like a little Dallas. We were talking about the development that seems to be happening on every corner. Like Dallas, Charlotte has an element of flash demonstrated by fancy malls, expensive cars and golf courses.

This is not the city that I grew up in. As a child, Charlotte felt a lot more like Greenville today. Small, manageable and everyone knew each other.

Charlotte today is awesome. I love it. There are so many interesting people who have moved here. They are getting involved in business, government and in their neighborhoods. Every day there are new restaurants, job announcements, and development plans announced.

Candidly, where the Dallas comparison fails is that I find Dallas boring, homogenous and dirty. It seems that people have to live in air conditioning in Dallas. And Dallas is the heart of Texas. It comes with a lot of positives, but leadership looks and feels like white guys with cowboy hats. Charlotte is friendlier, cleaner and more welcoming.

Hopefully Sherwin-Williams is getting similar intel and insight as it scouts potential homes for its next HQ.

Real estate transactions can be fraught with frustration and pitfalls.

Sometimes the hardest part turns out to be working with your broker, the person who is supposed to help you through the complexities. Veteran commercial real estate broker and client advisor John Culbertson discovered that brokers’ interests aren’t always aligned with those of their clients. He realized there was a better way to advocate for clients and get the deal done.


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