Akron City Council Monday night approved a historic agreement that will keep an Akron icon – and 1,000 full time jobs – in the city.
Council authorized the execution of a development agreement between the city, Summit County, the Summit County Port Authority and Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC to build a new technical center on the grounds of the original Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. campus in Firestone Park.
Under the agreement, Bridgestone will invest $67 million to construct a new 260,000-square-foot technical center on Firestone Parkway and 410-car parking lot directly across the street to be shared with Firestone Stadium. Construction is expected to begin in the spring.
For its decision to remain in Akron, Bridgestone will benefit from additional assistance and incentives from not only the city and county, but from the state of Ohio and the private sector.
Akron will contribute $1 million per year in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) payments to the project over the first 10 years, and $800 per year during the last 20 years of the agreement. If Bridgestone should leave Akron within 20 years of the agreement, the company will repay the city a pro-rata share of its contribution.
Other key details of the agreement are:
Council President Marco Sommerville lauded the agreement as a testimony to how the city and county can work together for the betterment of the local and regional economy.
“This is a great day,” Sommerville (W-3) said. “We always try to attract new business to this community, but the fact that we can retain jobs really says what we can do when we work together.”