AKRON, OHIO — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (IW 500/54) opened its new global headquarters today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches from company and government officials.
Addressing a couple hundred Goodyear employees and media members, Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer said the building embodies the tire maker’s commitment to innovation in Northeast Ohio.
“Our new facility represents an evolving and innovative Goodyear,” Kramer said. “I’ve often said that success in the global tire industry depends on continuous innovation, and it gives me great pride to say that our innovation leadership begins right here in Akron, Ohio, in this building.”
Also addressing the gathering were Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic. Both talked about the five-year public-private partnership that enabled Goodyear to build the new facility in the city it has called home since its founding by Frank Sieberling in 1898.
The ceremony took place on the plaza outside the new building’s entrance, adjacent to the spot where Goodyear broke ground for the project in April 2011.
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According to Kramer, the new headquarters houses about 3,000 Goodyear employees, who finished moving in several weeks ago.
The seven-floor, 639,000-square-foot building was designed by Vocon Partners of Cleveland and Gensler of San Francisco, and developed by Industrial Realty Group of Torrance, Calif.
The structure adjoins Goodyear’s Akron Innovation Center. Dubbed “Plant Two” when it was built in 1916, the Innovation Center was renovated in 1978 and became the tire maker’s global technical center at that time.
The new headquarters is situated on a 216-acre campus that contains a five-floor, 952,000-square-foot parking garage; a 10,000-square-foot fitness center; and a 19,000-square-foot cafeteria that accommodates 665 diners, plus outdoor patio seating for another 95.
The campus’s buildings total about 1.5 million square feet—triple the floor area of Goodyear’s former headquarters on East Market Street in Akron.