The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company will remain in Akron, Ohio - and retain nearly 3,000 jobs - under a tentative agreement that will involve a seven-year development project. The company, which has been headquartered in Akron for 108 years, will sell most of its properties to Industrial Realty Group of California, which will in turn build Goodyear a new headquarters in Akron and make improvements to the company's technical center and research facilities. Goodyear will lease that facility from IRG for a minimum of 20 years with additional renewal options. Full financial terms were not released by the Ohio governor's office, but a report in the Akron Beacon Journal indicates that IRG will commit $700 million for the project, with more than $200 million coming in state and local incentives. Company officials expect groundbreaking some time next year, with full operations in 2010. "This project has been called the most ambitious development effort in the history of the City of Akron," says Joe Gingo, Goodyear's executive vice president and chief technical officer. "I cannot say enough about the positive spirit of cooperation between all the groups who helped make this vision a reality."
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