Goodyear Decides Not To Roll Out Of Akron

Goodyear blimp "Spirit of Goodyear" in flight AP (file)

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said Wednesday it has tentatively agreed to keep its corporate offices in Akron, where the biggest U.S. tire manufacturer was founded in 1898.

The company announced a redevelopment of about 280 acres near downtown Akron that will replace its present headquarters and keep thousands of jobs in this industrial city.

"This is a major milestone for the future of Goodyear and the Akron community," Robert Keegan, Goodyear's chairman and chief executive, said at a news conference.

He said the deal "will keep Goodyear's worldwide headquarters in Akron for decades to come."

Ohio was in competition with South Carolina and Virginia for the headquarters. Danville, Va., is home to a Goodyear plant employing approximately 2,000.

The Ohio deal announced Wednesday calls for Industrial Realty Group to buy the Goodyear property, build the new headquarters and then lease it to Goodyear. Industrial Realty has a history of remaking old U.S. industrial sites.

Stuart Lichter, president and senior managing partner of IRG, estimated about $700 million of private capital will go into the project, which is linked to an array of public incentives and will include other office buildings and shops.
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