Tim Todaro is trying to fill a lot of space.
He’s the leasing agent for the East End development — the newly renamed and vacated former Goodyear headquarters campus. That means finding people who want to work and, in some cases live, in about 1.4 million square feet of space on 400 acres of land in East Akron.
“We plan on making it a completely different atmosphere,” said Todaro, 45, who is with owner and developer Industrial Realty Group’s Ohio Realty Advisors. “We’re trying to extend the downtown area into the campus.”
The East End will be a mix of office, residential, retail/restaurant and entertainment space encompassing the headquarters and the former bank, theater, gymnasium and other rooms at Goodyear Hall. A new hotel also is planned nearby on the site. (Plans can be seen online at the site www.eastendakron.com)
Renovation work is scheduled to start in earnest in the next couple of months as Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. finishes moving everything out of the complex, he said. IRG’s concept is to create a “live, work, play” atmosphere at the site.
“We can offer the most contiguous space on one floor [at Goodyear] than anywhere in the Midwest,” Todaro said. “We’re adding more parking and making East Market [Street] more pedestrian friendly. We hope it will better gentrify the area.”
The Akron tire maker several weeks ago completed moving its employees into the nearby state-of-the-art headquarters off Innovation Way.
Todaro was born and raised on the east side of Cleveland and is a Kent State graduate. He’s been in commercial real estate since 1989. He has a biology degree and initially intended to be a dentist.
“I realized I didn’t want to be a dentist,” he said. After graduating, he became a restaurant manager while working to get a real estate license.
He spent 11 years with Developers Diversified, now DDR Corp., in Beachwood; Todaro said the business grew from owning and managing 150 shopping center properties to about 800 when he left.
Since last June, he’s been with California-based Industrial Realty Group, which was founded by Stuart Lichter and specializes in buying aging industrial sites and then redeveloping/repurposing them. IRG has significant holdings in Northeast Ohio, including the Lockheed complex at Akron Fulton Airport and Canal Place in downtown Akron.
Besides the Goodyear site, Todaro also is responsible for leasing out the former Hoover Co. campus IRG bought in North Canton and redeveloped.
“They are two different projects in two different markets,” he said. Among the differences, Hoover is more of a downtown village location and Goodyear will also include a residential component.
“There’s a lot of history in both places,” Todaro said.
The East End will make use of much of that history, he said. Goodyear’s famed Mahogany Row — offices lined with hand-cut and designed mahogany wood where the tire company’s top executives once worked — will be preserved and marketed to businesses such as law firms, Todaro said.
“It looks great,” he said.
The old Goodyear cafeteria, on the other hand, which hadn’t been updated in decades, likely will be converted into storage space, with the nearby kitchen area turned into offices.
Todaro’s typical day includes making a lot of “cold calls” to prospective tenants, handling inquiries from real estate brokers and others, developing marketing plans and networking. Todaro said the idea is to offer the properties as a solution/problem solver to other businesses.
Regional development agencies also are providing leads, Todaro said. The East End is being marketed in Michigan, Pennsylvania and other parts of Ohio, he said.
“No two days are ever the same,” Todaro said. “It’s a lot of fun. … It’s all coming together.”
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or email@example.com.