Summit county leaders have revealed more details about plans for Smither’s, Akron’s long-time research firm, to move its world headquarters from West Market Street to downtown.
In a transaction involving the county, the city, the Development Finance Authority and several others, the company will renovate and occupy the former Austen BioInnovation Institute at 47 N. Main St. The plan includes tearing down the old trolley barn and constructing a new research & development facility.
Akron Deputy Mayor for Integrated Development James Hardy says the plan has a number of benefits. “One obviously with advance materials and the innovation Smithers does on a daily basis," Hardy said. "But also helping to retain and grow what we have versus always relying on mega deals to attract something bigger. We want companies like Smither's to stay and grow and we wouldn’t have been able to do that without everybody at the table.”
Smithers President of Materials and Science Engineering Nathaniel Leonard said the company expects to hire more than 80 workers nearly doubling its Akron workforce. The company expects to begin moving staff in mid-2020. Akron Children’s Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Akron General will occupy space on the Smithers Campus.