Elected officials and business leaders Thursday broke ground on a new Akron business park on the eve of what would have been Harvey Firestone's 150th birthday.

The public-private partnership aims to lure business to a 20.5-acre parcel on the former site of Firestone Tire Co. headquarters in Harvey Firestone's namesake neighborhood — Firestone Park.

The land is owned by the city of Akron and APV Coatings. Together they have formed a partnership with Summit County government, the Greater Akron Chamber, FirstEnergy and Pleasant Valley Corp. to redevelop the industrial site.

It will cost about $4.2 million to bring roadways, sewers, electrical infrastructure and public improvements to the business park, the city and county said in a joint news release.

About $1.25 million of that will come from separate streams of state money acquired by the city and Summit County. The rest will be shared by the partnership, "with a significant portion being paid over time through property assessments," the news release said.

"The county has already made significant investments in Firestone Park with the Russell M. Pry Building and Bridgestone Americas Technical Centers, and we plan for Firestone Business Park to be the next step in continuing to grow commerce and create jobs in this area," Summit County Executive Eileen Shapiro said in a prepared statement, calling the public-private partnership a "model of collaboration and ingenuity."

Initial tenants include a new sewer maintenance facility for the county and a new Pleasant Valley Corp. warehouse and manufacturing building.

The county project, a proposed 50,000-square-foot operations facility on about five acres, will take up about a quarter of the business park. Pleasant Valley plans to build facilities with up to 100,0000 square feet that will bring jobs to Firestone Park, according to the statement.         

FirstEnergy has already started placing new utility poles to reroute electricity between Cole and Emerling Avenues. The city of Akron will build a Cole Avenue extension and provide other improvements.

Public officials said the site is perfect for light industrial use or manufacturing.

"Firestone Park has a rich history of being a center for economic development in the city of Akron," Mayor Dan Horrigan said in  the news release. "Firestone Park has been, and remains, open for business."