|By Katie Byard, The Akron Beacon JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News |
March 19--A nationally known chain will operate a new hotel as part of the Goodyear redevelopment project on Akron's east side.
And the East Akron site of the old Goodyear headquarters building has its first new tenant that will occupy a portion of the space in the tire company's onetime main offices on East Market Street.
Stuart Lichter, owner of the 400-acre East Akron site, which includes the former, as well as the new Goodyear headquarters, revealed these developments Tuesday after he spoke at a University of Akron-sponsored panel discussion on the economy.
"We're about to get an approval of the hotel franchise," Lichter said, saying the construction of the hotel, on a onetime Goodyear parking lot, will begin sometime in "the next few months."
The franchise is not Wyndham hotels, which was part of the original redevelopment plan. That plan, unveiled in 2007, got revamped after lenders grew skittish in the Great Recession.
After Tuesday's UA panel discussion, Lichter said he wanted to get the OK from the new tenant for the old Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. headquarters before identifying the tenant. He said he may be able to reveal the tenant's name later this week.
Lichter said the tenant would occupy 40,000 square feet. While that is nearly an acre, it represents only about 5 percent of the roughly 800,000 square feet of rentable space in the former headquarters building.
Lichter said the old headquarters structure is larger than 800,000 square feet , but some of the space is being converted into indoor parking.
Lichter is founder and president of Industrial Realty Group, headquartered near Los Angeles. His Ohio projects include the Goodyear campus in Akron, and the 1.4-million square feet former site of Hoover Co. in North Canton. Lichter also was behind the redevelopment of the sprawling Canal Place on Main Street in Akron. Canal Place was once home to the B.F. Goodrich Co. headquarters and manufacturing facility.
Joining Lichter on UA's panel on the economy was Richard Ciccarone of McDonnell Investment Management in Oak Brook, Ill., and Barry James of James Investment Research outside Dayton.
Lichter is nationally known for redeveloping distressed industrial sites that he buys at bargain prices.
Redevelopment work on the old Goodyear headquarters begins in earnest once Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. moves into its new multistory corporate headquarters on Innovation Way (the former Martha Avenue across I-76) by April. Goodyear employees are to move into the new headquarters building in phases through the end of March, Goodyear has said.
Lichter's company developed the new $120 million headquarters.
For more on the UA panel discussion, see Wednesday's Beacon Journal.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or email@example.com.
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