Goodyear to Remain in Akron
The decision that many in Goodyear’s hometown of Akron, Ohio have awaited for months was finally made public on December 5 – the US tyre major will continue its long-standing relationship with the city. At a press conference held at Goodyear’s World Technical Center, adjacent to the proposed future site of its new headquarters building, Goodyear chairman and CEO Bob Keegan made the announcement in the presence of state, city and county representatives, along with representatives from Industrial Realty Group (IRG), the developer selected to build the company’s new world headquarters.
“I’m pleased to announce we have reached a tentative agreement that will allow Goodyear to continue its 108-year history with the City of Akron and the State of Ohio,” said Keegan. “These state-of-the-art facilities will reflect the new Goodyear – a place of bold leadership and innovation – and they will inspire future generations of Goodyear associates.”
The tentative agreement between Goodyear and IRG calls for Goodyear to sell most of its Akron area property and facilities to IRG. The developer will construct a new world headquarters building, a new headquarters for the company’s North American Tire business, and make improvements to the company’s technical centre and research facilities. Goodyear will lease the new buildings and the existing technical centre from IRG. Now that Goodyear’s Board of Directors has approved the proposal, Goodyear and the other key groups can begin work on finalising the necessary details of the purchase and lease agreement which includes securing public funding and other due diligence issues.
“This project has been called the most ambitious development effort in the history of the City of Akron, and this announcement represents a tremendous and truly historic success,” said Joe Gingo, Goodyear’s executive vice president and chief technical officer. “I cannot say enough about the positive spirit of cooperation between all the groups who helped make this vision a reality.”
The proposal timeline includes breaking ground for Goodyear’s new buildings in 2008 and moving into the new facilities in 2010. Separately, IRG has been working with the City of Akron, Summit County and the State of Ohio to create a multi-phase development of other parts of Goodyear’s property into a mixed-use retail and commercial development – to be called Akron Riverwalk.