Bridgestone Americas Celebrates Groundbreaking for Headquarters in SoBro Area of Downtown Nashville New Tower to Bring More than 1,700 Jobs and Broaden City Skyline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 7, 2015) ― Bridgestone Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company, celebrated the groundbreaking for its new 30-story, more than $200 million headquarters to be located in the SoBro area of downtown Nashville. When completed in mid-to-late 2017, the new facility will house more than 1,700 employees – 1,100 currently in Nashville and 600 new jobs from three out-of-state business units being relocated to the city.

“Today is an historic day for our company, for Nashville and for Tennessee,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and President of Bridgestone Americas. “We proudly call Nashville home and are very eager to welcome our teammates from out-of-state as soon as possible. The leadership and support of the State and City are to be applauded for reaching this groundbreaking milestone – it marks the next step in our journey to shape tomorrow together.”

Garfield was joined at the groundbreaking event by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam; Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty; Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; Highwoods Properties President and CEO Ed Fritsch and Bridgestone executives and team representatives from the employee units to be relocated to Nashville.

“Today is an exciting day for the continued partnership we share with Bridgestone,” Haslam said. “This is a company that could choose to do business anywhere in the world, and they chose Tennessee. We want to congratulate Bridgestone on its latest achievement, and I look forward to continuing to work together to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

The business units moving to the new headquarters represent world-leading tire brands; the world’s largest automotive retail and service operations; a worldwide leader in commercial roofing and building products; and a global leader in vehicle and equipment air spring technology.

“Earlier this week, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to be awarded back-to-back honors for ‘State of the Year’ for economic development. A feat of this magnitude is achieved and further solidified with the help of globally renowned companies like Bridgestone that do business and flourish in our state,” Hagerty said. “I applaud Bridgestone for breaking ground on its corporate headquarters today and for its continued investment in our state. I wish the company much success and look forward to growing our partnership in the future.”

Dean said, “We’re very fortunate to have companies like Bridgestone Americas doing business here in our city. We couldn’t ask for a better corporate citizen than Bridgestone, which is an important partner in so many of the causes we believe in as a community.”

The planned 514,000-square-foot headquarters building will be located at 4th Avenue South and Demonbreun Street. Bridgestone Americas selected Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW), to develop the Company’s new headquarters. Global architecture firm Perkins + Will has been retained by Highwoods and Bridgestone to design the new facility, including the interior. These design elements are expected to be LEED-certified at the Gold level and reflect best practices in workplace space design. Brasfield & Gorrie is the building contractor and has already begun site preparations. The facility is intended to be primarily single-tenant office occupied. Upon completion it will stand among the largest and tallest corporate headquarters buildings in Nashville.

“We are excited to begin development of this signature high-rise headquarters which will become a defining element of downtown Nashville’s skyline,” said Fritsch. “The Highwoods investment of $200 million in this project underscores our continuing commitment to Nashville and our strong belief in its long-term growth and prosperity. We are also appreciative to have the opportunity to work with the great people at Bridgestone Americas who have been extremely collaborative with Highwoods and the entire design and construction team.”

Bridgestone has outgrown its current leased headquarters facility on Marriott Drive near Nashville International Airport. With its lease expiring in late 2017, the Company launched an extensive search for a new headquarters location to support future growth. Nashville and the new property were selected after a nationwide search by a Bridgestone team that included leaders from multiple business units and functional areas, as well as the retained support of commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group, Inc.

"Bridgestone combining its operations to downtown Nashville is one of the largest relocations to a city center from the suburbs in the United States and is a testament to the dynamic environment of the City of Nashville," said Todd Lippman, Vice Chairman of CBRE, who represented the company along with Ken Leiser, Senior Vice President of CBRE.

The new headquarters will be home to Bridgestone Americas’ corporate staff and supporting functions, as well as Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC; Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC; Firestone Building Products Company, LLC; and Firestone Industrial Products Company, LLC.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.