AKRON—Goodyear christened its new global headquarters May 9 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by company executives and employees, along with state, county and city officials and the media.
Goodyear Chairman and CEO Richard J. Kramer said the seven-story, 639,000-sq.-ft. glass-and-steel structure represents Goodyear's "commitment to Akron and northeast Ohio … not just to the Akron of old, but to a revitalized and progressive Akron that continues to evolve and prosper in groundbreaking ways.
"It represents genuine collaboration," he said. "Our new home was made possible by a true partnership between the public and private sectors and serves as a model for other cities to follow."
The company broke ground on the facility April 18, 2011, after years of deliberating and working out the financial arrangements. Contractors "topped out" the structure on Nov. 18, 2012, and employees began moving in from the company's 85-year-old former headquarters a mile away in mid-February and were settled in by March 25.
Goodyear originally proposed moving out of the old headquarters in 2007, but the deal was delayed by the nation's financial crisis in 2008.
The new building, valued at $110 million, is designed to obtain a silver rating for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), with much open space and windows for natural light. To maintain a green environment, building materials included wood from old growth logs reclaimed from Ohio rivers.
The campus décor features patent numbers lining the walls of the innovation center as well as photos of different places the Goodyear blimp has been
The new campus is significantly smaller than the former one, with the new global headquarters building, innovation center, parking deck and parking lots all sitting on 216.3 acres and measuring 1,5 million square feet, while the former campus is on 480 acres and has 5.17 million square feet.
Approximately 2,000 employees are working in the new building, Goodyear said, along with 1,000 in the adjoining Innovation Center, which is housed in what once was Goodyear's "Plant Two," a 1916-era factory that was renovated in 1978 to become the company's global technical center.
Industrial Realty Group of Torrance, Calif., the entity that built the headquarters and is leasing it to Goodyear, bought Goodyear's old headquarters for use as a business incubator.
Vocon Partners L.L.C. of Cleveland is the building's architect. Welty Building Co. of Fairlawn, Ohio, and Gilbane Building Co. of Providence, R.I., were the general contractors.