ATLANTA-Local office brokers say an expansion of the local headquarters of Triarc Cos. Inc., following its pending acquisition of Wendy’s International Inc., would be a boost to the city’s office market. Triarc currently has a request for proposal seeking 150,000 sf of contiguous space for a consolidated support center with 1,000 employees.
Questions remain about the logistics of such a move, such as where Triarc’s new center would go or whether enough direct or sublease space is now available in the market to accommodate that big an operation. Triarc representatives will only say they are considering their options while working to integrate Wendy’s operations with those of the company’s current chain, Arby’s Restaurant Group.
Triarc has 370 personnel at its offices at 1155 Perimeter Center West, where the company occupies 134,000 sf or at least one third of the 12-story building. Brokers say that building and several others in the Perimeter submarket don’t have enough current vacancy to accommodate Triarc’s proposed consolidation, raising the prospect that it might need to relocate to another part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Triarc, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, disclosed in recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings that it plans to consolidate support services for both Wendy’s and Arby’s in Atlanta, while maintaining Wendy’s longtime headquarters in Dublin, OH. The nation’s third-largest quick-service restaurant company would realize estimated annual savings of $60 million by streamlining services and eliminating duplicative corporate functions.
CB Richard Ellis is said to be working with Triarc on its RFP, which CBRE’s Atlanta office would neither confirm nor deny prior to the Independence Day holiday weekend. However, reports of a larger Triarc headquarters is generating excitement among local office brokers in a market seeking good news amid an overall vacancy rate nearing the 20% mark at midyear.
“That deal will be one of the first big wins Atlanta has had in a number of years,” Bob Mathews, president of Colliers Spectrum Cauble in Midtown, tells GlobeSt.com. “It would be a bellwether deal for this market.”
Although Atlanta ranks third among US cities with the most Fortune 500 headquarters, including Coca-Cola Co. and United Parcel Service, it hasn’t been without its fair share of corporate losses. Besides cutbacks by major corporations such as AT&T, Home Depot and Delta Air Lines, its office sector has been hit by financial services layoffs related to the housing market downturn.
Triarc, which posted nearly $1.3 billion in annual sales last year, expects to grow that number to $12 billion once it completes its $2.3-billion buyout of Wendy’s this fall. The merger will combine nearly 3,700 Arby’s restaurants, which specialize in roast beef sandwiches, with 6,600 belonging to Wendy’s, which is famous for made-to-order hamburgers and biggie-sized fries and drinks.