Nike manufacturing facility in Goodyear

Citing “unprecedented times,” Nike will not start a manufacturing facility in Goodyear. Last year, the Oregon-based athletic shoe giant purchased the Lincoln Logistics facility in Goodyear.

There will be no swoosh in Goodyear, as mighty Nike has dropped out.

The company had planned to invest $184 million in its third U.S. manufacturing line for Nike Air sneakers at the Lincoln Logistics facility it purchased last year.

But the Oregon-based athletics school giant did a fade-out last week.

“We are experiencing unprecedented times, and due to the COVID-19 impact we will no longer be investing in our Goodyear facility,” said Greg Rossiter, a Nike spokesman.

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord, who excitedly praised plans for Nike over the last year, expressed disappointment:

“The city of Goodyear was very much looking forward to the opening of the Nike facility in our great city. While we are disappointed, we recognize and appreciate the many challenges and difficult decisions businesses are faced with as a result of current economic realities.”

Nike purchased an existing speculative (“spec”) industrial building, noted Tammy Vo, a Goodyear spokeswoman. “They did not have a building specifically constructed for them.”

Last year, Nike agreed to build a manufacturing plant that would create more than 500 jobs with an average salary of more than $48,000, Vo said.

“Goodyear agreed to waive just under $1 million in permit and review fees and reimburse $1 million for jobs created,” she said.

Though disappointed, Goodyear is hardly devastated.

“In the past year, we have announced the creation of more than 2,800 new jobs in Goodyear. Many of these companies are currently hiring or will begin hiring in the near future, which means hundreds of new jobs are expected to be available in Goodyear over the next year,” Lord said.

As the city’s website boasts, “Numerous Fortune 500 companies have chosen Goodyear, including: Amazon, Ball Corporation, Darden Restaurants, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Microsoft, Nike (and) UPS. Many other best-in-class companies also call Goodyear home, including: AerSale, Andersen Corporation, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Blue Buffalo, CornellCookson, Daimler, Fairlife, Huhtamaki, REI, Sub-Zero and many more.”

Though Nike and its iconic swoosh will have to be scratched from that, Goodyear still has multiple employers that are hiring, even during an unprecedented pandemic.

As the West Valley View previously reported, Amazon and Fairlife—a milk-products producer with a new plant near Loop 3030—are hiring for scores of jobs. New Amazon and Aldi facilities will bring more jobs to Goodyear.

Even so, Nike’s backpedal was a shocker. Last August, West and SouthEast REALTORS of the Valley (WeSERV) and others reported Nike purchased a 900,000-square foot facility in Goodyear for just under $70 million.

“This is the culmination of a multi-year, multi-state search for a facility that could meet the specific manufacturing and logistics needs of this user,” said Lincoln Property Company Executive Vice President David Krumwiede, describing the Nike deal to commercial real estate tracker Connect Media. “Lincoln Logistics was built to serve just this type of large-scale, sophisticated tenant, so we were very excited to make the match.”

Just south of Van Buren Street on 143rd Avenue, the sprawling Lincoln Logistics facility was built in 2018. According to commercial real estate site loop.net, it has “abundant trailer parking,” with 550 parking spaces on 50 acres as part of the Airport Gateway at Goodyear project located in a “foreign free-trade zone.”

The $70 million question: Who will replace Nike at Lincoln Logistics?

John Werstler of CBRE, which brokered the Nike deal, did not respond to a query from the West Valley View by press time.