AKRON (July 9, 2010)—Goodyear and Bridgestone Americas may get a leg up on their respective Akron projects after Akron City Council voted June 21 to allocate part of the city's recovery zone facility bonds to assist in financing them.
The city council voted to put $11.1 million of the more than $18 million it received from the U.S. government toward Goodyear's headquarters project—construction on which was initially scheduled to begin in 2008—and it may invest another $500,000 to help build a skyway connecting a parking deck to Bridgestone's new technical center.
The bonds, part of a stimulus package allocated to each state by the U.S. government and then divided among their counties and cities, are expected to carry favorable interest rates.
For the funds to go toward the construction of Goodyear's headquarters, Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group, the private developer handling the project, must accept the offer for the bonds.
Debra Harrell, senior vice president for IRG, said the company will probably accept the recovery zone bonds “if we can put the rest of the financial package together.”
“Goodyear and IRG and the county are very committed to getting this project off the ground,” she said.
Construction site preparation is under way, but the credit crunch has made securing financing for the new headquarters a difficult task.
Baughman said Goodyear had taken the financial crisis into account in its timeline for completion of the headquarters project, assuming about five years from the time construction was supposed to start.
Meanwhile, Akron may also issue $500,000 in bonds in Bridgestone's new technical center for the construction of a skyway connecting a parking deck to the facility.
Summit County already has pledged $500,000 toward the skyway.