Owens-Illinois today announced that the Company intends to relocate over 300 employees from the current headquarters building, One SeaGate, to its Levis Development Park campus in nearby Perrysburg, Ohio, subject to the receipt of certain state and local incentives.
The company-owned Levis Park campus, located about 15 miles from One SeaGate, is the current home of about 550 O-I employees. Some employees currently occupying One SeaGate will move into vacant space at Levis Park resulting from the divestiture of the blow-molded plastic container business in October 2004.
In the spirit of the cultural transformation now underway at O-I, the Company intends to remodel and modernize the three buildings in Levis Park. The Company is also planning to build a fourth building, approximately 75,000 to 100,000 square feet, to house corporate support functions. More details surrounding this construction project will be forthcoming.
The move is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2006 and to be completed by the expiration of the current One SeaGate lease on September 30, 2006.
"This decision was not an easy one, to say the least," said Steve McCracken, O-I Chairman & CEO. "We looked at many options, including staying in One SeaGate, moving to Levis Park, or relocating out of state. We had to keep in mind our vision and our transformation agenda as well as our heritage. Our decision is based on our future, not our past, and is what we feel is best for a vibrant and growing O-I. We look forward to finalizing the necessary agreements with the State of Ohio and the City of Perrysburg that will make this move possible."
"O-I's intention to keep its headquarters in northwest Ohio is a testament to the quality of our workforce," said Ohio Governor Bob Taft. "In a time when we're competing with other nations and other states for jobs, I am pleased that O-I has reaffirmed its desire to remain in Ohio."
Levis Development Park was established in 1966 as an industrial campus dedicated to research and development. Products such as composite cans, metal containers, television tubes, lightweight glass containers and other developmental products were formerly manufactured onsite. Today, Levis Park is still dedicated to research and development with a packaging design studio, innovation center and plastic closure sampling center. The property is named in honor of William E. Levis and J. Preston Levis, both former O-I presidents and Board chairmen.
Construction of One SeaGate began in May 1979 and was completed in late December 1981. At the time the building opened, O-I occupied most of the building with about 2200 employees. Over time, those numbers have steadily decreased due to downsizing associated with the divestiture of several businesses including timberlands, railroads, containerboard, Libbey glass, a financial company and a health care company. O-I employees currently occupy about eight floors of the 32-story One SeaGate building, which is located in downtown Toledo. O-I leases the entire building from an unrelated third party and sub-leases space to other organizations, which employ about 700 of the building's occupants.