Site Work Has Begun on Darden HQ Hotel
- Oct 25, 2013
By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor
Darden Restaurants’ headquarters already has a gym, and a cafeteria with take-home meals. The company giant recently started development on its long-awaited HQ hotel project too. With the construction finally underway, the building is expected to be finalized within 10 months to one year from now. Moreover, Darden spokesman Rich Jeffers told Orlando Sentinel that they would like to see the hotel open this time next year. He didn’t disclose lease terms however.
The hotel, which would be a Courtyard by Marriott, will include 128 rooms and will be developed by Concord Hospitality Enterprises of Raleigh, N.C. It will mostly serve as lodging headquarters for workers attending Darden’s restaurant support center’s training sessions. Darden’s construction site is located on the corner of John Young Parkway and Taft Vineland Road, on a 64-acre campus southwest from downtown Orlando.
An Orlando development firm had been entrusted to start construction in spring 2011 with hopes of a mid-2012 inauguration, but plans had stalled in the meantime prompting the company to look for a new developer to keep the project alive. Even splitting the whole company in two had recently been considered, according to an earlier article in South Florida Business Journal. Orlando’s only Fortune 500 company, Darden Restaurants Inc. owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden and other brands, and is one of Central Florida’s largest employers with more than 6,000 employees.
Photo credits: Darden Restaurants Inc.