NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Bridgestone Americas Inc. has christened Bridgestone Tower, its $200 million, 514,000-sq.-ft., 30-story North American headquarters in downtown Nashville.
The building will house more than 1,700 employees.
Among the dignitaries at the grand opening and ribbon-cutting, held Dec. 13, were Masaaki Tsuya, Bridgestone Corp. CEO and representative executive officer.; Gordon Knapp, Bridgestone Americas president and CEO; Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; Nashville Mayor Megan Barry; and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty.
Knapp called it a "historic day," admiring the facility as part of the Nashville skyline.
"This effort was only made possible due to the tremendous support we have from Nashville city leadership and Tennessee state leadership, and the Nashville community," Knapp said. "Additionally, through the relentless work of our teammates and partners, Bridgestone Tower has come to life."
Bridgestone also celebrated the honorary naming of Bridgestone Drive, the street in front of Bridgestone Tower. The street is located at 4th Avenue South, between Korean Veterans Boulevard and Broadway, marked by six street signs.
During the event, Bridgestone announced a five-year extension to its naming rights agreement for Bridgestone Arena, home of the National Hockey League's Nashville Predators. The agreement, which began in 2010 and includes a marketing partnership with the Predators, runs until 2025.
Bridgestone has called Nashville its home since 1992, when the company acquired Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. and moved its primary operations from Akron.
"At Bridgestone, we are expanding an investment in Nashville that began 25 years ago," Knapp said.
"Nashville and Bridgestone have made an incredible team since we first moved here in 1992. The city has been good to us, and we strive to be a good community partner and neighbor in the places where we work, live and play."
Knapp said the company will continue to support downtown Nashville and other communities in the region that will "contribute to growth and vitality for years to come."
In addition to the 1,700 employees at Bridgestone Tower, the company has more than 450 employees and contractors housed at a separate facility in the area, the 77,000-sq.-ft. Bridgestone Operations Center in the city's Antioch area. These employees work primarily in financial shared services, information technology and customer support.
Together, both facilities house more than 2,200 employees, including corporate staff and those working for business units Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations; Bridgestone Retail Operations; Firestone Building Products; Firestone Fibers & Textiles; Firestone Natural Rubber; and Firestone Industrial Products businesses.
That number includes roughly 600 jobs that were relocated to the Nashville area from Bloomingdale, Ill., (Bridgestone Retail Operations L.L.C.) and Indianapolis (Firestone Building Products Co. L.L.C. and Firestone Industrial Products Co. L.L.C.).
Bridgestone broke ground on the project in January 2015.