Bridgestone pulls out, wanted rubberstamp
MONROE - A Bridgestone Tire store will not be coming to North Kelsey after parent company, Firestone, decided to back out of a deal with the city in January.
The offer was verbally rescinded, which was confirmed later by e-mail, economic development manager Jeff Sax said last week.
A string of e-mails sent in January show that once a representative of the city made it clear the city wasn’t willing to “rubberstamp” Firestone’s plans, the company said it didn’t want to proceed.
It was not a surprise, Sax said last week, “as there appeared to be some changes between Bridgestone and their site selector (Jones Lang LaSalle) and their (real estate) broker.”
Firestone’s decision came shortly after an e-mail sent from the city’s broker for the North Kelsey property, Jane Lanford of Grubb and Ellis, said the city wouldn’t review any more documents until an application was submitted.
“Not sure what you are talking about when you mention lack of response from the City,” Lanford wrote to Craig Killman, senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle. “As you will recall, the City has done what was asked up to the point Firestone needed to file a formal application for further review. Nothing abnormal about their request as most jurisdictions would have required formal application before reviewing the sign package and the initial building layout and exterior design. Firestone is looking for a rubber stamp, which will not happen.”
Bridgestone entered into talks with the city in April 2011 shortly after the City Council’s controversial Walmart vote. The tire store was interested in buying a parcel in the south part of North Kelsey for $775,000.
Like the Walmart store, Bridgestone, would supposedly have to adhere to the North Kelsey development and design guidelines.
Firestone said the reasons for pulling out were “time and the uncertainty of the deal; lack of response from the City...” Killman wrote.
Neither Killman nor Lanford could be reached for comment last week.
During talks, Firestone also brought up its issues with the city’s sign code, which the city is now addressing through the comprehensive plan review process.
By STEPHANIE KOSONEN
Published April 11, 2012