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14 Sep 2022

Case Study: Firestone

Category: Net Lease Retail Tags: Auto Parts, Firestone, Midwest

Property Profile

Akron, Ohio


Firestone is an American tire company founded in Akron, Ohio, by Harvey Samuel Firestone. The company is one of the first global makers of automobile tires and has continued to make a name for itself over the years. This Firestone property is in the southwest corner of the country and was built in the 1970s. The seller operated his auto service business here until early 2010 when he sold the operations to Firestone. The seller was looking to cash out of the property and hired MatthewsTM to represent him in the transaction. The buyer was represented by another brokerage firm and was looking to acquire the property because it fulfilled their target yield.


Multiple challenges arose during Phase 2 of escrow. Firstly, the environmental report results would have caused buyers unfamiliar with auto service deals to completely shy away from this Firestone. Secondly, later in the escrow, when the buyer received the ALTA survey, it became apparent that most of the parking lot was owned by the Department of Transportation. The encroachment of state property meant that the seller could not provide the buyer with a clean title report since he did not have a right to convey that portion of the property.



The MatthewsTM agents handled the environment report issue with ease and complete transparency. The agents understood that an unfavorable Phase 2 Report was expected given the property’s use over the last 50 years. The agents were clear in their disclosures before a purchase contract was signed with the buyer, and successfully moved the deal into escrow once the buyer had no more objections.


The encroachment on state property issue was complicated to handle. The buyer decided that they wanted to terminate escrow when notified that it would take months to buy or rent the piece of property not owned by the seller. However, the MatthewsTM agents did not give up on what seemed like a lost cause. The agents called the Department of Transportation and obtained more details on how and when the state property could be acquired to resolve the encroachment. With this resilience and research, the agents negotiated a separate escrow to be opened where the seller could hold back funds to pay for that purchase. This accommodation provided what the sellers needed to deliver a clean title and, more importantly, offered enough comfort for the buyer to rescind the termination and close the deal. 



Without the expertise of the well-trained MatthewsTM agents, it would have been an almost impossible to seal this deal given the unique circumstances regarding the Phase 2 and encroachment. MatthewsTM agents are known for going above and beyond for all their clients, which is especially apparent in their ability to close this deal. The agents did not rely on the title of the company, the buyer, or the buyer’s consultants to resolve these significant issues unilaterally. Instead, they proactively helped push the deal along and leaned on their relationship with the buyer to keep the deal together even when termination was imminent. The seller believed multiple times that this deal was unsellable, but MatthewsTM agents, who never shy from a challenge, were able to get it done. 

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