Client story

Bendix’s modern new headquarters fuels growth, innovation and sustainability

Partnering with JLL, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems leased and developed a flexible, inviting and LEED-certified corporate hub


58.44 acres, including 28.44 acres of wetlands


Brokerage savings: $10M
Project management savings: $9M+


Avon, Ohio


Transaction management, Project management

“[The JLL team] has provided excellent responsiveness and is extremely professional. They are a key factor on the success of our project.”

Nestor Piuma, Vice President of Operations, Bendix

For nearly a century, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix) has been delivering leading safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components for trucks, tractors, buses and other commercial vehicles across North America and beyond.

The challenge: Relocate, expand and modernize corporate headquarters

After making a former tank factory in Elyria, Ohio its home for eight decades, the industry pioneer was ready to build a new facility that would encourage and enhance collaboration, as well as attract new employees to join the company. The new location would need to support the rise of flexible work, integrate sophisticated R&D space with offices, elevate the employee experience and fuel corporate sustainability goals—all while saving costs.

To meet this tall order, Bendix leaders turned to JLL’s transaction, project management and workplace strategy experts. The team worked collaboratively to secure and build out the optimal location, while maximizing a tight budget.

Innovative financing structure maximizes savings

After discovering a prime 58-acre property in Avon, Ohio conveniently located next to the highway, Bendix considered whether to own the building or lease it. They ultimately decided to build the new space to their specifications and lease it back from the developer.

The JLL Project Management team then teamed up with JLL Integrated Portfolio Solutions and Brokerage to evaluate and tailor a solution for real estate development and financial structuring, and solicit competitive bids from pre-qualified developers/investor teams. After an exhaustive interview and negotiating process, the team selected the right development partner, primarily due to their design-build process and in-house architecture team.

In the end, a capital lease structure using Ohio Port Authority bonds was paired with the preferred developer. This complex structure brought in additional incentives, while enabling Bendix to own the building at the end of the 20-year lease term. Combined, these efforts resulted in a cost savings of more than $10 million over the term of the lease.

Masterminding a site plan to deliver more modern, sustainable and cost-effective space

One key challenge was to determine how much space was needed to realize the vision for a workplace that supported flexibility and mobility. The JLL project team worked with Bendix leadership through pre-planning and workplace strategy development to determine the appropriate size of the facility based on current and projected growth.

By ensuring the right Bendix stakeholders were at the planning table and listening closely to their diverse needs, JLL provided direction to develop a detailed site plan that resulted in $2 million in savings by identifying more affordable stormwater management solutions and configuring a separate building for the engineering garage.

From there, JLL worked closely with the design-build developer to value-engineer the plans and specifications. This collaborative approach saved or avoided a total of $9M. The project team evaluated material options; considered a variety of layouts; and optimizing procurement for furniture, technology, and other components.

Close-up on sustainability and employee experience

To support corporate responsibility goals as well as deepen employee pride, Bendix leaders also wanted the new location to achieve LEED certification. This meant incorporating sustainability principles into various elements of site planning and development. For example, the team installed submeters to monitor the energy used by labs, HVAC and lighting in real time. The building design also incorporated daylight-harvesting energy management controls to automatically dim or switch off lighting as appropriate. High-efficiency measures alone will help reduce the facility’s overall energy consumption by more than 18% compared to similar buildings.

Hazardous materials are stored in negative-pressure areas to help prevent them from leaking out into adjacent areas. And before moving into the space, Bendix conducted a building flush-out, bringing in over 2 billion cubic feet of outside air to improve indoor air quality.

The Bendix project team also prioritized recycling – within the design of the building, on the construction site and for building occupants. As one example, the company reclaimed wood from trees felled on the site and transformed it into conference tables used in the building. More than 80% of all construction waste was diverted from landfills. In addition, the team drafted a recycling plan for Bendix to adopt after moving into the new space.

The site reflects Bendix’s long-standing sustainability strategy, supporting its goal to be a partner with our planet by reducing energy consumption, diverting waste from landfill and increasing its use of green, renewable energy.

A LEED-certified, state-of-the-art new headquarters where employees thrive

Today the new Bendix headquarters boasts a modern, central building of more than 200,000 square feet and a free-standing, multi-bay commercial vehicle garage. It recently became the first facility in the area to achieve LEED Silver v4 certification, a newer and even more rigorous set of requirements than earlier versions.

Also, as part of its LEED program in the new building, Bendix promotes alternatives to conventionally fueled vehicles. The parking lot includes 28 parking spaces for electric vehicles and six Level 2 charging stations, which can be easily expanded to 24 chargers. Plus, the site is equipped to add commercial vehicle charging stations in the garage and dock area.

Bendix employees now have a sophisticated, flexible and multi-functional mix of spaces where they oversee research, development, engineering and testing as well as sales, marketing and other corporate activities. When they need to recharge in nature, they can simply step outside to enjoy the lush, landscaped acres that surround them.

The project’s large, landscaped site – 70% of which is accessible open space – is designed to encourage employees and visitors to socialize, interact with the environment and engage in physical activity. It includes a community garden, a variety of plantings and vegetation, walking paths, bicycle paths and covered bike rack parking.

By achieving its vision of a more modern, inviting and flexible headquarters, Bendix has positioned itself to forge ahead into its next century of industry leadership.