Bridgestone Americas' new A-mericas Technical Center in Akron will be a “catalyst” for both Bridgestone and the Firestone Park neighborhood surrounding it, CEO and President Gary Garfield told a crowd of more than 200 at the center's grand opening April 11.
The $100 million, 260,000-sq.-ft. facility houses 450 Bridgestone technicians, engineers, etc. who previously worked out of offices at the 101-year-old former Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. headquarters a mile north of the new facility.
“This facility will be a catalyst for innovation” for Bridgestone's technical team, Mr. Garfield said, “to help maintain Bridgestone's status as the No. 1 tire and rubber product maker.
The new center was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold specifications, designed and constructed to have the highest performance in human and environmental health. The architects and builders used a variety of products from Bridgestone's Firestone Building Products division to help the facility meet the rigid LEED requirements.
Bridgestone first floated the idea of a new technical center in early 2008 and elected to keep it in Akron in August 2008 after studying a number of other potential sites. The city of Akron, Summit County and the state of Ohio all contributed financial and/or logistics resources to the project.
Bridgestone also operates tech centers in Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan; Rome; and Wuxi, China.