History of HGR

HISTORY OF HGRLearn more about HGR’s history of our location and our founding.

HGR is the leading online marketplace for buying and selling industrial surplus. We were founded in 1998 with a 150,000 square foot lease in a historic warehouse in the heart of Euclid, Ohio.

We’ve become a large presence in the industrial equipment market with over 10,000 industrial equipment items listed on our website and 4 locations. But HGR had humble beginnings that laid the foundation of who we’ve become today.

Learn more about the history of the land of our corporate headquarters and HGR’s growth to today.

History of HGR

Over 200 years of rich historical events mark HGR’s corporate headquarters location, 20001 Euclid Avenue in Euclid, Ohio. From the days of small family-owned farms to World War II plants to modern-day manufacturing facilities, 20001 Euclid has seen it all.

Follow our timeline to see what changes HGR’s Euclid warehouse has witnessed in the last two centuries.

HGR’s Journey to the Ownership of the Historic Property 20001 Euclid

logan family farmhouseThe 1800s: The Logan family owned and farmed the 68-acre land parcel around Euclid Avenue in the Village of Euclid.

Circa 1912: The Logan family sold their 68-acre parcel of land to Ambler Realty.

Circa 1912-1996: Ambler Realty and the Village embark on a bitter legal war over the land’s usage, with Ambler arguing for commercial development and the Village fighting to keep the lion’s share of the parcel residential. Rulings on both sides result in appeals working up to the United States Supreme Court.

November 22, 1926: The Supreme Court rules on Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., in favor of the Village, with James Metzenbaum arguing for the Village and former Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, arguing for Ambler. The landmark case makes headlines across the country as a definitive decision that enables fledgling zoning laws. The Plain Dealer reports it as being “hailed with great enthusiasm by advocates of zoning; the decision is certain to be one of the most far-reaching ever handed down by the Supreme Court.”

construction of cleveland pneumatic aerolJuly 7, 1942: Zoning notwithstanding, exciting plans for Euclid, Ohio are announced via the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s front-page headline: $20,000,000 War Plant for Euclid.

July 14, 1942: The Defense Plant Corporation breaks ground on a “vast wartime plant” on a parcel of land between East 196th to East 204th bordering Euclid Avenue. The U. S. Government spends $5,000,000 to develop the 64 acres. However, all numbers are sketchy.

September 15, 1942: A flummoxed Euclid Board of Zoning approves shifting the zoning of the land associated with the plant from apartments to factories, two months after construction began. More than 100 protestors attend the meeting. “A government representative told them the government had already taken over the property,” reported the September 18, 1942 edition of the Euclid News-Journal.

1943- 1945: Cleveland Pneumatic Aerol leases the plant and manufactures landing gear and rocket shells for the WWII effort.

August 1945: V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day). War contracts are terminated. 20001 Euclid reverts to the government and becomes a vacant “war baby.”

October 1946: Some offices of the Cleveland Ordinance District move into 20001. The structure also houses governmental surplus goods and federal government office space.

January 1947: Ferguson Tractor buys Euclid’s war baby for $1.9 million from the War Assets Administration, creating plans to realize a tractor factory fizzle.

Note: The area’s other war baby was the Cleveland Bomber Plant in Brook Park, which became the Cleveland Tank Plant. We know it today as the I-X Center.

building bodies for chevy and olds station wagonsOctober 23, 1947: The Fisher Body Division of General Motors announces the purchase of 20001 Euclid from Ferguson Tractor for a (rumored) price of $2 million.

Spring 1948: The Euclid Fisher Body plant begins manufacturing bodies for delivery trucks and Chevy and Oldsmobile station wagons for returning Vets and their American families.

1958: 100,000 units roll off the Euclid Fisher Body line this year, including bodies for the iconic El Camino, courtesy of 2,900 employees making 500 bodies per day.

January 1960: Bodies for convertibles will soon be added to the Euclid Fisher Body line in response to “soaring public demand.”

October 1965: GM announces the Euclid plant will be the sole producer of bodies for two of the company’s most jaw-dropping luxury muscle cars: the Oldsmobile Tornado and Buick Riviera.

1969: The plant’s 2,800 employees manufacture 110,000 auto bodies this year, which are trucked seven at a time to final assembly plants, some as far as 200 miles away.

1970: That transportation proves too expensive, and the Euclid Fisher Body plant stops producing the Tornado, Riviera, and Cadillac Eldorado. GM retools the plant, which becomes a sewing center, making interior trim and upholstery.

GM strike1970-1980: Labor disputes and strikes mark the decade. The number of employees dwindles to 1,100.

1972: The plant adds airbags to its roster of products.

February 1982: GM announces the closure of the Euclid plant.

April 1982: Local 1045 at the Euclid facility joins 10,000 UAW workers nationwide and agrees to concessions. The Euclid plant is saved.

1986: The plant expands its horizons and begins making seats for Sea Ray Boats.

1992: GM announces the final closure of the plant at 20001 Euclid Avenue and the end of the road for the remaining 596 employees. By 1993, the closure is complete.

1996: GM sells the Euclid property, to a St. Louis development company for $2.5 million.

HGR building1998: Helmed by Paul Betori, HGR moves into 20001 Euclid and realizes his vision of an ongoing industrial garage sale the likes of which the world has never seen, including everything from massive machines from the Rust Belt’s heyday to office chairs.

2000-2010: HGR shares the space with a quirky array of other lessors: a paintball range, self-storage units, batting cages, a liquor warehouse, and an indoor soccer field among them.

2015: HGR, now the sole owner of this historic building, renames it Nickel Plate Station, with a nod to the station wagons manufactured here decades ago and the rail line that spurred off to a rail loading bay inside the building.

2021: HGR experiences tremendous growth, from opening two new warehouses in Birmingham, Alabama and Fort Worth, Texas to acquiring CNC machinery company Tramar Industries to creating our very own online auction platform, HGR Auctions.

2022 and Beyond

HGR will expand into new locations and markets while continuing serving our loyal customers.

We are thrilled to share our journey with our customers and look forward to helping even more companies buy and sell their industrial equipment.

hgr warehouseBuy and sell with HGR

HGR has over 20 years of experience serving local and international customers looking to buy industrial tools, robots, parts, and equipment. Our 500,000 square foot facility in Euclid, Ohio carries thousands of items with truckloads of equipment coming in every day.

Plus, we purchase used surplus from warehouses across the United States so our vendors can clear out their facilities while recouping part of their initial investment.

Visit HGRinc.com to view the latest additions to our marketplace, save big on used industrial parts and equipment, and sell your surplus to us. You can also sign up and register for auctions on our brand new auctions platform, HGR Auctions! Register today to start pre-bidding for our next event.

1 Comment on History of HGR

  1. Steven Balder says:

    Thanks for sharing this history and for helping our small business grow since 2008!


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