FirstEnergy Corp. has signed a 10-year lease extension for its 19-story downtown Akron headquarters, reaffirming its commitment to the city it has called home for over 100 years.
The lease extension was reached with Ann Arbor-based McKinley Inc., owner of the FirstEnergy Building located at the corner of S. Main Street and Mill Street. The current contract was set to expire in June 2025. With the extension, FirstEnergy's headquarters will remain in downtown Akron through June 2035. The building currently houses about 950 full-time employees.
As part of the agreement, McKinley will make substantial capital contributions to FirstEnergy over the next five years for workspace modernization and updates. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"The last couple of years have marked a major transformation at FirstEnergy that charts a course to long-term success for our company," FirstEnergy President and CEO Charles E. Jones said in a statement. "But what has not changed is our commitment to remaining a major presence in downtown Akron for the foreseeable future. We're also pleased that the lease extension will allow us to make enhancements to the building that will foster a more vibrant workplace for our employees."
The building was constructed in 1976 with Ohio Edison as the main tenant. After the 1997 merger of Ohio Edison and Centerior Energy that formed FirstEnergy Corp., the company headquarters remained in the same building in Akron. Several other FirstEnergy predecessor companies have been located in downtown Akron, most notably Northern Ohio Traction & Light, which was incorporated in 1902.
In addition to the downtown headquarters, FirstEnergy facilities in the Akron area include the West Akron Campus and other FirstEnergy and Ohio Edison facilities that support more than 2,000 employees. McKinley owns and manages more than 55 million square feet of commercial and residential real estate throughout 34 states. The firm specializes in solving complex real estate problems for its own portfolio, as well as for a select clientele of institutional investors and partners.