AKRON—Bridgestone Americas L.L.C. has exercised a lease extension that will keep its race tire manufacturing facility in Akron for at least two more years and preserve more than 50 jobs within the city.
Bridgestone's Advanced Technology Workshop is located in the former Firestone Tire and Co. headquarters at 1200 Firestone Parkway on the south side of Akron. Earlier this year, Akron proposed razing the building—which it owns—to create a "thriving, job creation center that offers a collaborative environment based on job creation and neighborhood enhancement."
The move would have forced Bridgestone to find other accommodations for its race tire unit which occupies 100,000 of the structure's 750,000 square feet, Akron said. The race tire unit's sole output is tires for the Verizon IndyCar Series.
"We'd like to thank our city, county and state leaders for their continued support of Bridgestone and our investments in Northeast Ohio," Steve Charles, vice president of Product Development for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations said in a news release.
In 1988, Bridgestone purchased Firestone, which was founded by Harvey S. Firestone in 1900.
By 2012, Bridgestone had invested $100 million in a research and development center located about a mile south of its former headquarters in Akron. The four-story structure contains 246,000 square feet of space and houses the engineering and research laboratories. The project was supported by the city through tax abatements and low-cost loans.