SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Belle Tire Distributors Inc. called Allen Park its headquarters for nearly four decades. Not anymore: The company has relocated to a Southfield office tower with ample room to keep growing.
Belle Tire, which was founded more than a century ago, has moved into about 22,000 square feet in The Century office building — up until a few years ago, known as The Maccabees Center — with another 11,000 square feet available as part of its lease on the 10th and 11th floors for a total of 33,000 square feet or so.
Approximately 100 people, ranging from the C-Suite to legal, finance, HR, IT, property management and other departments, made the move from Allen Park, the company's home base since 1984.
Don Barnes III, president and chief tire guy for Belle Tire, said the move was necessitated because of a large addition being added to its 306,000-square-foot distribution center in Allen Park. Construction on the 90,000 square feet of new space there began in July and is expected to wrap up in June.
"We ended up losing all of the employee parking," said Barnes. "But it was fitting, anyways. This is really supporting all of our new store growth, so the addition was put on in order to support all of the new organic greenfield growth we have going on. That was the catalyst, but to relocate them to Southfield was really more of where is probably the best spot from our current staffing where it'd be great and easy to get to."
Earlier this year, Belle Tire acquired Toledo-based Tireman Auto Service Centers, adding 18 Tireman locations in northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan and 300 employees to its workforce.
Barnes said Monday that Belle Tire has 10 locations under construction — eight in Illinois and two in Indiana — with a current store count of 173 plus 3,200 employees on payroll, up by 500 or so since earlier this year prior to the Tireman acquisition.
The move also allows Belle Tire to operate more efficiently. Its previous office space at 1000 Enterprise was scattered throughout the large building, which was originally built as a potato chip factory, Barnes said.
"It really gave us the opportunity to get teams really together to be able to collaborate a lot more," Barnes said.