There may have been more than a moment or two during the Great Recession when those at the top of Goodyear wondered: Is the new headquarters ever going to get built? It always was going to happen, too many public and private partners pushing for the construction. And now that the building shines on Innovation Way, the former Martha Avenue, its official opening coming last week? It must be all the company had hoped.
What a welcome departure from the former headquarters on East Market Street — bright, open, reflective of a company engaged and determined to keep pace. At its very best over the years, Goodyear has been about innovation. The new place is designed to build on the rich tradition.
The company needed a new headquarters as part of attracting talent, and those who may doubt the importance of the public money in the deal should know that all of us benefit when Goodyear brings smart, driven and accomplished people to town. It involves more than the number of employees on the payroll. Goodyear engages globally. As it competes, the rest of us are reminded about what it takes to perform at a higher level.
The same goes for other companies in town, larger and smaller, that compete in such ways. Akron should want to be a place where these firms choose to reside. That, in part, is the signal the new Goodyear headquarters sends. This is a town that wants to run with the best.