Historic Building to be Torn Down to Make Way for Goodyear Project - Tire Review Magazine

Historic Building to be Torn Down to Make Way for Goodyear Project

(Akron Beacon Journal) A large, former General Tire building off Seiberling Street in East Akron dating to 1898 that most recently was used as a warehouse and business incubator is being turned to rubble.

Once all of the structure is knocked down and removed as expected in October, the $900 million Goodyear headquarters/Riverwalk project will have more land to grow on.

The new property owner, California-based Industrial Realty Group, is removing asbestos from the interior before completing the demolition of the two-story, 276,846-square-foot building.

”A piece of it is already down,” said Debra Harrell, IRG senior vice president. ”We’re abating the environmental issues first.”

The asbestos cleanup is being paid for with a $750,000 ”Clean Ohio” environmental grant obtained by the city of Akron. Industrial Realty Group expects that by later this fall, only a slab will be left of the building.

Once the land is clear, the site off Interstate 76 next to the Little Cuyahoga River is earmarked for the first development phase of a planned retail complex as part of the project.

IRG continues to market the site to prospective retailers, Harrell said.

”The project is going very well,” Harrell said. The Seiberling Street building was always slated for demolition as part of the project, she added.

Construction of the new Goodyear corporate headquarters off Martha Avenue and the retail complex will follow what IRG calls the ”adaptive reuse” of the current Goodyear-occupied buildings, Harrell said. IRG earlier this year obtained public funding to back its purchase of all but about five parcels of property from Goodyear. The tire company is leasing from IRG the buildings it formerly owned.

The former General Tire & Rubber Co. property at 99 Seiberling had been controlled by the city and used as a business incubator.

IRG bought the property in May 2007 for more than $2.2 million through a subsidiary, Mahoning Valley-Seiberling LLC.

The building has a long history tied to Akron’s rubber manufacturers, including the former General Tire, which had a headquarters and factory nearby on Englewood Avenue.

General Tire bought the 12-acre tract in 1967 for $865,000 and at one point used it as its technical center. General Tire stopped using the property for manufacturing in the mid-1980s, with technical center operations ending in 1995 (after General Tire had been acquired by Continental AG of Germany) and the building turned into a warehousing operation.

American Hard Rubber Co. was an earlier owner. In 1966, American Hard Rubber closed its manufacturing operations of battery containers and other products there, ending the jobs of 400 people. A 64-day labor strike by United Rubber Workers Local 15 preceded the closing. The company said it would shift production to facilities in Los Angeles and Butler, N.J.

American Hard Rubber’s operations in Akron dated to 1916, with employment at the Seiberling Street plant totaling about 700 in 1952, according to Beacon Journal reports.

The company had almost closed the plant in 1957, saying it was losing money because of work stoppages in 1955, 1956 and 1957. But civic leaders intervened and persuaded the company to keep the Akron plant.

That same year, American Hard Rubber joined an investment firm and a woolen and worsted textile manufacturer in forming a company called Amerace Corp., which called itself a $50 million enterprise.

Other ”hard rubber” products included bowling balls, combs, knife handles, rubber-lined tanks, pipe fittings and smoking pipe bits. In 1963, American Hard Rubber said it was attempting to grow its business in plastics manufacturing for customers in electrical equipment, chemicals, furniture, mechanical products, buildings and construction, autos, trucks, trailers, sporting goods and marine products. (Tire Review/Akron)

 

 

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