Industrial Realty Group CEO Stuart Lichter and his colleagues at IRG haven’t seen a shuttered U.S. Air Force base, abandoned auto plant or mothballed manufacturing facility they didn’t like. Their efforts are yet another step forward in a Rust Belt renaissance of decrepit manufacturing facilities, particularly in Ohio, given a second lease on life by a native New Yorker.
Founded in Los Angeles by Lichter more than three decades ago, IRG breathes life into communities, spaces and places with its own renaissance-based motif.
Last week, the Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm joined forces with a paragon American brand, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, to officially unveil a $160 million Rust Belt renaissance project, a breath of fresh air for a rebounding U.S. economy, and the next generation of Goodyear in Northeast Ohio.
Today - Tuesday, April 26 - IRG is in Moraine, Ohio, to unveil its plans to redevelop the GM Moraine Plant with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Moraine Mayor Elaine Allison, Congressman Mike Turner and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Other attendees will be state representatives, various county commissioners, school board members, city council members, university representatives and business owners. This event is not open to the public.
Moraine Redevelopment to create as many as 2,000 new jobs.
IRG plans to convert the more than 4 million-square-foot GM Moraine facility to independent structures of approximately 300,000 to 800,000 square feet each. IRG anticipates 1,000 to 2,000 new jobs as a result of the site's redevelopment.
"The GM Moraine plant is a gem. At IRG, we have been looking to this day for some time," said Lichter. "Properties like GM Moraine should be regarded as a treasure, which they truly are. It's our job, along with our partners, to restore, rejuvenate, and reconvene interest in this icon of the Moraine community."
Additional details will be provided at today's press conference, scheduled for 10:30 am. For additional information regarding IRG, please contact Mr. Andy Hemmer, President of AndyHemmer.com PR.
IRG is also looking to finalize a redevelopment deal soon, with the City of Dayton, for the UPS facility near the Dayton International Airport.
GOODYEAR IN AKRON: A PROJECT FIVE YEARS IN THE MAKING
The partnership announced last week by Industrial Realty Group (IndustrialRealtyGroup.com) was attended at the Goodyear headquarters in Akron by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, members of Congress, state, local, public and private officials, further refining the art of an IRG renaissance project: embracing huge, outdated industrial facilities with a renewal plan, capital, ingenuity and style.
Originally conceived in 2008, Lichter has stayed the course with the massive, sprawling Goodyear project throughout its many twists and turns. The Akron-based titan of the U.S. tire industry similarly stuck with IRG, as both ride a U.S. economy lurching toward recovery, led by a Rust Belt renaissance.
“It’s been a very long road, through a horrible recession and lots of challenges. All parties involved should celebrate this accomplishment,” said Lichter. “The unfortunate fact is, that the country has gone into this recession, and it has created a lot of niche opportunities, for what we do best.
“Almost all of our property is purchased through corporate America and government entities. ‘White Elephants, ’ as it were, that need to be converted to their next generation of use,” Lichter added. “The part of this that we’ve become good at, that we’re really proud of, and what might just get us the most excited, is the redevelopment of all the facilities Goodyear will be vacating. We have done quite a bit of new construction like this, but usually only because we’re already focused on an existing asset.”
Goodyear Chairman, CEO and President Richard J. Kramer joined Lichter and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at the Goodyear groundbreaking last week, joined by Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Summit County Executive Russ Pry. Also attending were a number of federal, state and local officials – all who helped negotiate the deal – and together, shovels in hand, they helped start construction at the worksite.
“This was truly a remarkable team effort and a good example of the public and private sectors working together for the common good,” said Kramer.
“Goodyear is proud to be a global company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Both Goodyear and the city have changed and grown over the years, but our commitment to Akron remains constant. Goodyear will continue to be a vital part of this community’s future.”
The groundbreaking took place on a grassy lawn, site of the new facility, just south of the Goodyear Innovation Center.
The Goodyear new headquarters complex is scheduled to be completed in early 2013. At that time, Goodyear will relocate about 2,000 associates into the building, which will serve as headquarters for the company’s global operations and North American tire business team. The new building will connect with Goodyear’s existing Innovation Center and serve as a central campus for the company in Akron. The Innovation Center is currently home to more than 800 associates.
As part of the agreement, Goodyear will lease the office space through 2038 and have potential options through 2093. The project was announced several years ago, but was delayed by the credit crisis.
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 56 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to goodyear.com.
The assignment at Goodyear, covering 480 acres as well as the new, 639,000-square-foot complex, is the second-largest for IRG. The biggest: a former Superfund site, McClelland Air Force Base near Sacramento, which IRG bought in 2000 and transformed into 3,000 acres of office/industrial, hotel, recreational, FBO and chapel space.
Up next for IRG: a former United Parcel Service facility in Dayton. Details will be revealed soon.
About Industrial Realty Group
With 80 million square feet of projects in 22 states and affiliate management offices in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Sacrament and Los Angeles, IRG (IndustrialRealtyGroup.com) is one of the largest full-service redevelopment companies in the United States. IRG and its properties employ more than 300 people.
IRG specializes in the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of excess corporate real estate and manufacturing facilities, closed military and government facilities, under-utilized corporate campuses, industrial parks and large vacant buildings.
IRG is among the largest private owners of commercial and industrial properties in the country, and is widely recognized as one of the largest in repositioning under-performing assets through adaptive reuse.
Mr. Lichter’s company is unique, in that it vertically integrates the real estate cycle. IRG utilizes a large network of professionals that specialize in every phase of a real estate transaction, from acquisition and construction to management and disposition.
IRG is proud to sustain relationships with Delphi, United Technologies, NASA, Ford, Northrop Grumman, BF Goodrich, Levi’s, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., GM, Siemens, Martin Marietta Materials, Lockheed Martin, Kohl’s, NaviStar, Hoover, Rubbermaid, Lowe’s and Target.
For more information about Industrial Realty Group, please call the Los Angeles headquarters at (562) 803-4761 or visit IndustrialRealtyGroup.com/.