In past interviews, leaders including David LaRue, the company's president and chief executive officer, have stressed that they're committed to Cleveland. The company does have local alternatives for its headquarters, including the Post Office Plaza building on the west side of Tower City. Forest City still owns Post Office Plaza, which is grappling with vacancies and is rumored to be losing Quicken Loans, a major tenant that appears likely to move into nearby space controlled by Dan Gilbert, the company's founder and chairman.
Quicken representatives have repeatedly declined to talk about a possible move. On Friday, a spokesman reiterated that the company doesn't comment on rumors.
Relocating to Post Office Plaza might be the simplest option for Forest City. But the $8.8 billion company, with projects and properties scattered across the country, could look at other locations – both within and beyond downtown Cleveland.
"They are going to go for a national search. So the city and the state are going to step up," Price said, alluding to the possibility that Forest City will seek financial incentives to stay put. "We need to keep them in Cleveland. The worst thing is that they move. We don't want that."