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ORLANDO-Locally based Darden Restaurants Inc. has selected Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. to develop its new 400,000-sf corporate headquarters at John Young Parkway and Central Florida Parkway.

The project will house more than 1,200 Darden employees, with plans to grow the company and add at least 900 jobs. Darden and Trammell Crow are in the process of selecting an architect for the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

Woody Coley, of Trammell Crow, tells GlobeSt.com that the site has been acquired and the design and construction team is being assembled. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2007. Coley adds that the existing headquarters is located in 10 to 12 buildings, which does not the company’s needs. “They had managed their business with a real estate component that didn’t meet their needs,” he says.

Trammell Crow Co. Florida Business managing director Bob Abberger will oversee the local development team comprised of Coley, Stephen Aldridge and Chase Brackett. The company has been working with Darden over the last nine months to select a site for the project. It also assisted Darden with the sale-leaseback of its existing campus to Wayne, PA-based Patriot Equities.

“We know the casual dining business thoroughly and wanted a development partner with complementary expertise in developing a new restaurant support center for our employees,” says Darden senior vice president of supply chain Barry Moullet. “Trammell Crow Co.’s team continues to deliver expertise when and where we need it.”

Darden is a casual dining restaurant company whose restaurant chains include Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill and Bahama Breeze. Its current headquarters is located at 5900 Lake Ellenor Dr.

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