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IRVINE, CA-The Taco Bell restaurant chain will relocate its headquarters from elsewhere in Irvine to a 181,000-square-foot building owned by Ford Motor Co. under terms of a 10-year lease that the restaurant chain has signed. The new Taco Bell headquarters will be at One Premier Place, a two-building complex in the Irvine Spectrum that Ford developed in 2001 and has been occupying since.

Ford will move out of the five-story, 181,000-square-foot building that Taco Bell has leased and will continue to occupy the other, a 90,000-square-foot building, according to senior vice president Kevin Bender of CB Richard Ellis. Bender and Mark Sprague of CBRE represented Taco Bell, while CBRE’s Dean Chandler and Jeff Morgan represented Ford in the lease, terms of which were not disclosed.

Bender tells GlobeSt.com that Taco Bell expects to move into the new space in January and February of 2010. Taco Bell Corp., which is a unit of Yum! Brands Inc., has been in Irvine for 20 years and is now in about 220,000 square feet in two buildings on Von Karman Avenue in a lease that expires in 2010.

Although the company will be occupying less space in the new headquarters, Bender says that the number of Taco Bell employees in the new building will remain the same at about 600. “They are taking advantage of a first-class facility where they will be able to redesign their headquarters in a more efficient fashion,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “The building they are moving into will enable them to enhance the environment for their employees and the branding for their company.”

The One Premier tower will be reconfigured to include office space for the restaurant chain’s development, finance, food innovation, human resources, legal, marketing, and operations teams as well as test kitchen facilities, meeting space for national training, consumer testing amenities and child care facilities.

The building that Taco Bell will be moving into has been home for Ford Motor Co.’s western headquarters for Ford and Lincoln Mercury sales and customer service and the company’s California design center since it was built. In addition, the facility has served as the North American headquarters for the Ford Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover subsidiaries.

Ford sold Jaguar Land Rover to Tata Group of India in June, 2008, and Volvo continues to be a Ford subsidiary. Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover are separately relocating their North American headquarters to New Jersey by the end of this year, which vacates approximately half of the 181,000-square-foot building. The other half will be vacated when the remaining Ford and Volvo employees in the building move to the 90,000-square-foot building next year.

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