It's not called the glass city for nothing. The numerous glass makers and manufacturers in the Toledo area have been here for generations.
Libbey Inc. has played a huge role in the name's origin.
"Some would say that we are one of the seminal founders of the movement to create glass here in the area," says Libbey CEO Stephanie Streeter.
Streeter says, "We moved here in 1888, and the owner was granted a 4 acre lot along with 50 lots for workers to build houses."
Libbey Inc., along with Toledo Edison and the Mayors office, announced that after much consideration, a new lease has been signed at their downtown headquarters, keeping them here for at least another 15 years.
"We had some very good competition both here in town and in other places. So we sharpened our pencil to the very extent we possibly could," said Randy Frame, Regional President of Toledo Edison.
However, Streeter would not tell me who that competition might have been, only that, "We seriously considered leaving and did a wide search throughout the Midwest."
There are approximately 250 workers at the headquarters, located at 300 Madison Avenue in Downtown Toledo, and roughly 1,400 workers in the area.
Toledo Mayor Michael Bell praised the choice saying, "The city of toledo, the glass capital of the world, is very much associated with Libbey. And we would have lost a little bit of our identity. So I am just extremely happy today that we didn't do that."
Moving forward, Libbey says they plan to use its vast experience and history, not only reshape their workplace, but also to stay on top of the most contemporary and modern designs the glass industry can offer.
Libbey's net sales in 2011 totaled $817.1 million and produce 1 billion glasses anually.
The State of Ohio awarded Libbey a $1 million economic development grant for capital improvements, and a $200,000 grant to enable them to provide additional workforce training.
So, for now, our title will stay intact. And glass will continue to help our local economy.
The location of 300 Madison Avenue lists its space at $15.75 per square foot. There is available lease space currently in the 232,000 square foot building.