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Published: Thursday, 7/28/2005

Architect, builder for O-I project selected

A Maumee firm will build the new $20 million headquarters of Owens-Illinois Inc. in Perrysburg, and a Detroit architectural-engineering firm will design it.

O-I, which announced in May it would move its worldwide base from downtown Toledo to the suburbs, said yesterday it has chosen Lathrop Co. to build the 100,000 square foot structure and Albert Kahn Associates Inc. to design it.

Lathrop, established in 1895, is one of the area's largest construction contractors.

Kahn Associates, also founded in 1895, last year had 250 employees and $1 billion in construction projects.

It has designed many signature buildings, including Henry Ford's River Rouge automotive factory complex, the Fisher Building with the golden top, and the Detroit Athletic Club.

Construction on the O-I building is to begin Monday.

"This is going to be a very exciting project," said Stephen Whitney, Kahn's president and chief executive. "We have worked with Lathrop on many projects."

His firm and Lathrop are working on a new glass-container factory for O-I under construction in Colorado. Kahn Associates, with $35 million in revenue last year, has offices in Birmingham, Ala., and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The O-I announcement was made the day after the Toledo glass-container maker received site-plan approval and a tax-incentive agreement from Perrysburg's city council for the office in Levis Development Park.

The Fortune 500 firm plans to move its 340 employees now occupying One SeaGate downtown to Perrysburg by the end of September, 2006, when its lease expires at the 32-story riverfront landmark.

About 200 employees will be housed in the new structure in the business park that the firm has owned since the mid-1960s, and the rest of the relocated workers will move into space in three O-I buildings already there, O-I said yesterday.

The company plans to spend about $9 million to renovate the three buildings, which have a total of 400,000 square feet.

The complex off Roachton Road just west of the I-475/U.S. 23 interchange with State Rte. 25 will have about 800 O-I workers when it is completed.

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