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Akron makes BFS offer to keep tech center

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AKRON (March 27, 2008) — Ohio officials presented a $68 million proposal to Bridgestone/Firestone in hopes the firm will keep its technical center and more than 600 employees in Akron.

BFS is considering renovating its current facility, a former Firestone tire plant, or building a new facility elsewhere.

The Ohio proposal includes construction of a new building in Akron—estimated to cost about $57 million—that BFS would lease. The city of Akron would purchase the old building for as much as $5 million.

The project would be funded from a variety of sources, according to a city official, including state loans and grants and city tax increment financing.

Nashville, Tenn.-based BFS is expected to decide by the end of the year between proposals by Akron and the Nashville area. Bridgestone Corp. bought the Akron-based Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in 1988.