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Bridgestone to build larger HQ in Tenn.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Bridgestone Americas Inc. will move its headquarters by mid- to late-2017 to a larger structure in downtown Nashville to allow the company to consolidate as many as 600 employees there from three business units not located in Nashville, including Bridgestone Retail Operations L.L.C.

The new headquarters, to be sited in a 30-story, 514,000-sq.-ft. structure adjacent to Bridgestone Arena, will house more than 1,700 employees—1,100 currently based in Nashville plus 200 more from Bridgestone Retail Operations in Bloomington, Ill.; and 400 from Firestone Building Products Co. L.L.C. and Firestone Industrial Products Co. L.L.C. in In- dianapolis.

The project is valued at $232.6 million, according to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Bridgestone could benefit from as much as $100 million in economic incentives from state, local and regional sources, according to published reports in Tennessee.

Subject to approvals from the Nashville Metropolitan Council, Industrial Development Board and the state of Tennessee, Bridgestone will break ground on the project in early 2015 with planned occupancy in the third quarter of 2017.

Bridgestone Americas selected Highwoods Properties Inc. to develop the new headquarters; Highwoods in turn retained Chicago-based Perkins+Will Inc. to design the facility, which is expected to be LEED-certified at the Gold level and reflect best practices in workplace space design.

Bridgestone Americas CEO and President Gary Garfield disclosed the firm's decision Nov. 11 at a press conference in Nashville, where he was joined by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty; Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; and others.

“Uniting teammates from our core business units in one location is fundamental to continuing to build a bright, sustainable future for our company,” Mr. Garfield said.

“Under one roof, we will increase collaboration, innovation and growth across our lines of business.

“Current and future teammates will benefit by being part of an exciting and motivating workplace culture intensely focused on meeting the needs of those who buy our products and services,” he said.

Regarding Bridgestone's decision to expand in Nashville despite “world-class receptions and very competitive offers” from other cities, Mr. Garfield said Nashville offers a “great quality of life and low business costs, with a reasonable cost of living for our teammates.”

He also cited the support and leadership shown by the State of Tennessee, Nashville Metro government and the Tennessee Valley Authority for his firm's decision.

Mr. Hagerty said Bridgestone's decision “further solidifies our position as the epicenter of the new Southern Automotive Corridor....”

Bridgestone said it has outgrown its leased headquarters facility near Nashville International Airport, where its lease is set to expire in late 2017.

“Locating here makes perfect sense,” Mr. Garfield said, “given Bridgestone's existing strong presence in and deep ties to Nashville and Middle Tennessee.”

Bridgestone Americas opened its headquarters in Nashville in 1991, moving the bulk of the former Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.'s administrative staff to Tennessee from Akron after parent firm Bridgestone Corp. bought Firestone in 1988.
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Previous | Published March 18, 2019

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