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Bridgestone Headquarters to Tower Over Nashville

When completed in mid-to-late 2017, the new building will house more than 1,700 employees.

Wed July 22, 2015 - Southeast Edition
Cindy Riley

Designed to be one of the largest and tallest corporate headquarters buildings in Nashville, a 30-story, $200 million office tower for Bridgestone Americas Inc. is currently under construction in the downtown SoBro area. When completed in mid-to-late 2017, the new building will house more than 1,700 employees.

“Bridgestone Americas is going through an important transformation — one that will position the company for future success and long-term sustainability,” said Paul Oakley, vice president, communications, Bridgestone Americas Inc. “One key component of this transformation is uniting more teammates in one location, which will reduce business silos and spur more interaction and creativity. Locating more businesses together helps to maximize the potential of our entire portfolio and all our brands.”

A combined BSA headquarters means communications across businesses will be easier, and teammates will have access to more timely, relevant and strategic information. Recruitment, retention and job satisfaction also will be enhanced with a new facility that reflects amenities teammates want and expect in a great workplace environment.

“It’s not just about the 600 new jobs we’re bringing to Nashville. It’s about the 1,100 jobs that will stay here because we, along with city and state officials, see value in keeping them here. In addition to the economic impact the company makes in the region, we are committed to investing in the community in which we live and work through donations, sponsorships and volunteerism. Bridgestone has a strong existing presence and has formed deep ties to the community for the last 22 years,” said Oakley.

Bridgestone is moving from a building on Marriott Drive near Nashville International Airport. With its lease expiring in late 2017, the company launched a major search for a new headquarters location to support future growth. By combining its operations to downtown Nashville, the move is one of the largest relocations to a city center from the suburbs in the U.S. Oakley said the location is a perfect fit.

“Nashville was selected after an extensive and intensive review over an 18-month period that included cities across the country. Nashville offers a great quality of life, low business costs, a low reasonable cost of living for teammates and a great overall employment value proposition. Middle Tennessee is a region where both teammates and the business can grow and thrive. Downtown Nashville is vibrant and growing, and offers great brand exposure and visibility,” said Oakley.

“The entire organization is involved in some way. We’re seeking feedback from teammates about what they want in their new building and are actively in the design stages. Bridgestone Americas is designing the facility specifically to allow for greater collaboration and innovation among businesses and teammates, which positions the company for future growth. This facility will represent an important part of BSA’s commitment to becoming a great place to work. Bridgestone Americas is confident the new combined headquarters will excite and inspire teammates to do more great things at Bridgestone, and feel comfortable and at home in their work environment.

“We are proud of the prominence our building will take in the skyline of the city. Bridgestone Americas is committed to recruiting and developing a diverse workforce that embraces multiculturalism throughout its operations. BSA promotes a business culture that represents the unique values, opinions, cultures and needs of its teammates, as well as its customers, communities and suppliers.”

According to Oakley, this is a pivotal time in Bridgestone Americas’ history.

“The move to a combined headquarters helps build a stronger Americas strategic business unit and contributes to the goal of being integrated across the company’s businesses and around the globe.”

The planned 514,000-sq. ft. (47,752 sq m) headquarters will be located at 4th Avenue South and Demonbreun Street. Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor.

According to Bob Watson, Brasfield & Gorrie senior project manager, there are several factors contributing to the complexity of this construction, including high traffic volume in the area, limited laydown room for staging materials and equipment, and proximity to existing buildings such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Symphony Hall.

“Also, the construction site is surrounded by existing utility lines,” said Watson. “To prepare the site, fill material containing low grade contaminates had to be excavated and hauled to a hazardous waste facility. Rock will be excavated to a maximum depth of 55 feet below street level. Labor is tight, due to the volume of construction currently underway in Nashville.”

Watson said soil has been removed from the site, shoring is in place and rock blasting and removal are ongoing. Foundation work begins on one end of the building before excavation is completed.

“Currently, we are blasting and removing rock. Trucks are hauling rock daily from the site. We also are procuring materials such as rebar and post-tensioning material so that we are ready to go vertical when excavation concludes. We are in the early stages of coordination with MPE trades on a design-assist scenario, in an effort to identify the most effective processes and to control costs.”

“We are in a good position to begin vertical construction,” said Watson. “We are awaiting the final design plans, so that coordination and pricing matters can be resolved. Our scope is limited to the core and shell, with the structure being the most time consuming and main critical path of the job. The critical path also runs through the elevator installation, which will begin as the structure rises by installing temp roofs at different levels to accommodate elevator guide beams and rails. The glass installation follows the structure, and should remain approximately five floors below forming activities.”

During the excavation phase, crews are using large trackhoe excavators, drill rigs for blasting and shoring operations and as many as 120 trucks per day.

“Once the excavation is completed, we will erect two tower cranes that will stand approximately 500 feet above grade. Glass and steel will be erected and installed with small spyder cranes inside the structure. We expect to have five to six spyder cranes and two tower cranes on the site when construction fully commences,” said Watson.

“We expect to use nearly 4,700 tons of reinforcing steel, 441 tons of PT cable, over 50,000 cubic yards of concrete and more than 375,000 square feet of glass curtain wall. We are removing 22,827 cubic yards of ’hot’ soil and 6,478 cubic yards of regular soil.”

Watson explained that the project expects to attain LEED Gold certification.

“This will require great care during the removal and recycling of sensitive materials. Additionally, all materials used in the construction will be vetted, to ensure they meet LEED certification standards. For example, the skin must be designed to satisfy insulation requirements and the MPE systems must be designed to meet energy goals. We are working with a local LEED consulting firm to ensure compliance in these areas.

“With its underground parking, above grade double helix parking, skin and height, this building will be a prominent feature in the Nashville skyline. Unlike other buildings in the area, the structure will feature a four-sided glass system that eliminates the need for a lot of trim pieces. Additionally, the design will incorporate large glass ’fins’ on the ends and top of the building that will add to its unique appearance.”

The facility will primarily consist of single-tenant office space. 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 Co., LLC and Firestone Industrial Products Company LLC.

Bridgestone Americas Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. Bridgestone Americas and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries.

Bridgestone Americas CEO and president Gary Garfield told reporters at the official groundbreaking, “Today is an historic day for our company, for Nashville and for Tennessee. 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.”

The ceremony also was attended by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; Bill Hagerty, Tennessee economic and community development commissioner; Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; Ed Fritsch, Highwoods Properties president and CEO; and Bridgestone executives and team representatives from the employee units to be relocated to Nashville.

“We are very pleased to have been selected by Bridgestone Americas to build their headquarters office tower,” said Fritsch. “This signature high-rise, designed by Perkins+Will, will be an ideal work environment for this highly regarded, globally recognized company with a strong presence in Nashville.”

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