Nearly 10 Years in the Making, Goodyear’s Old Akron Headquarters is Ready to Rock
WKSU / by Amanda Rabinowitz
The mostly-abandoned site of the former Goodyear Tire & Rubber headquarters on Akron’s east side is starting to come back to life. Last weekend, a new concert venue opened in the 90-year-old Goodyear Theater with two sold-out concerts featuring rock acts The Smashing Pumpkins and Gavin DeGraw. Developer Stu Lichter says it’s just the beginning. His California company, Industrial Realty Group, is behind that and about a half dozen other major revitalization projects at old factories in Northeast Ohio.
Back in 2007, Stu Lichter shared his vision for a new Goodyear headquarters when he heard the tire company was considering leaving the state. “We presented them with a concept: Let’s create a new neighborhood,” Lichter says. That resulted in the first phase of the project – a new corporate headquarters that was completed in 2013. Then, Lichter says, the rest of the vision came into focus – residential, retail and office space at the old complex on East Market Street.