AKRON, OHIO — With the turn of a shovel earlier this week, the revitalization of Goodyear's Akron headquarters began. The groundbreaking was held on Monday for the company's new seven-story, 639,000-square-foot global headquarters.

If this seems much smaller than the company's current headquarters building, that's because it its. Goodyear's current headquarters is more than double the size at 1.4 million square feet. However, the tire manufacturer does not have as large a presence in Ohio as it used to and no longer has need for this building as well as several others on its sprawling 480-acre campus.

Last year, Goodyear contracted with Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group (IRG) to redevelop the campus and reduce its footprint. Goodyear sold most of the buildings to IHG, which plans to redevelop the unused ones. The developer will also build the new headquarters, which will be located adjacent to Goodyear's existing Innovation Center. Once construction is complete, which is expected in 2013, Goodyear will relocate to the new building and IRG will take over its former headquarters building. Goodyear will lease the new building through 2038 and have extension options running through 2093. Its overall campus size will be reduced to approximately 216 acres.

IRG specializes in redeveloping large-scale industrial projects all over the country and has experience both in Akron and with tire companies. IRG redevelopedt the B.F. Goodrich rubber plant into Canal Place, a 12-building, 27-acre office and industrial project. To date, the company has leased more than 2.5 million square feet of space in Canal Place to companies that include Time Warner, Bank One and Donna Karan.

Details of its plans for the Goodyear campus were not disclosed.

— Coleman Wood

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