Week in Review: 7 key stories from Feb. 21-25, 2022


Additional games: The Cleveland Cavaliers are betting an on-site sportsbook will add to the fan experience at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The Cavaliers announced Thursday, Feb. 24, that they have reached a multiyear partnership with Caesars Entertainment Inc., making Caesars an official sports betting partner and the official casino partner of the team. The partnership includes plans to open a 10,355-square-foot retail sportsbook inside the northwest atrium area of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. The sportsbook will have betting windows for cash wagering and will be open year-round. The venue will include a full-service bar and VIP lounge. All costs will be covered by the Cavaliers and Caesars.

Going STAG: A warehouse fully occupied as a national distribution center for Coca-Cola at 8295 Batavia Road in Macedonia has been purchased by STAG Industrial Inc., a Boston-based real estate investment trust, for $12.9 million, according to Summit County land records. The seller of the warehouse, through Hammonton Square LLC, was NFI Industries Inc., of Camden, New Jersey. NFI is a logistics, warehousing and real estate development company that is privately held. The building dates from 2003. STAG is a massive real estate operator and owner, with a portfolio of more than 500 buildings in 40 states with about 100 million rentable square feet. It focuses on owning properties that are net-leased to operations that also maintain them.

Living large: The owners of Barrette Outdoor Living Inc. are considering an initial public offering that could value the business at more than $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Canadian private equity firm TorQuest Partners and pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec have held preliminary talks with advisers about taking Barrette public this year. A final decision on pursuing an IPO hasn’t been made and the firms could decide to keep the Middleburg Heights-based business. Barrette makes and sells products including vinyl, aluminum and steel fences and railings, as well as composite decking, according to its website.

Healthy moves: Woodside Health, an Independence-headquartered private equity firm with substantial medical office building experience, has sold five such buildings for a total of $75 million. Two properties in Middleburg Heights, with three buildings, are part of the deal. They are the Southwest General Middleburg Medical Center, at 18780 E. Bagley Road, and Middleburg Medical Arts I & II, at 18660 E. Bagley Road. The other two properties are Rome Towers in Gilbert, Arkansas, and Dominion Crossing in San Antonio, Texas. The portfolio Woodside shed contains about 280,000 square feet of medical office space. Woodside characterized the sale as its largest since the firm’s 2008 founding.

Howdy, partner: Medical device and technology company Lazurite Holdings on Tuesday, Feb. 22, announced an expanded collaboration with University Hospitals Ventures that includes an investment in the company from the innovation and commercialization arm of University Hospitals Health System. The amount and details of the investment were not specified. This is UH Ventures’ first investment in Lazurite. The company also has expanded its partnership with UH Ventures to include additional research and studies related to Lazurite’s ArthroFree wireless camera system. Last August, Lazurite announced a collaboration with UH Ventures on a human factors study of the ArthroFree system and said it hoped that study would launch a broader, longer-term partnership.

What’s cooking?: The Cleveland area has two semifinalists — Brandon Chrostowski and Jill Vedaa — for the 2022 James Beard Awards, the highest honors in the U.S. culinary scene. The James Beard Foundation on Wednesday, Feb. 23, announced the semifinalists for the honors. Chrostowski, of the EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute in Cleveland, is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurateur category. He is the only Ohioan among 20 nominees in that category. Vedaa, of Salt+ in Lakewood, is a semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes category, which includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. This is her third time as a semifinalist. She has not previously made it to the round of finalists. The Beard foundation will announce the finalists on Wednesday, March 16.

Entrepreneurial spirit: The KeyBank Foundation made a five-year, $5 million grant to JumpStart Inc. to help the business development nonprofit and KeyBank accelerate the growth of local entrepreneurship. JumpStart and Key on Thursday, Feb. 24, said they will leverage “established programming developed under a previous four-year grant partnership” to “amplify support to regional entrepreneurs,” with a focus on “bridging resource gaps for Black, Latino/Hispanic and women-owned small businesses and tech startups.” Among other initiatives, the funding “will be used to deepen the reach and outcomes” of JumpStart’s Small Business Impact Program, a 12-week small-business accelerator that provides industry-specific mentoring, technical services and up to $10,000 in grant capital per participant. Support from KeyBank helped JumpStart grow and expand that program. Other small-business initiatives supported by the KeyBank grant include one-on-one advising, educational programming and networking opportunities.



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